Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ignoring everybody - the PhD edition

In the last stage of my doctoral program, it seems the only books I manage to read cover to cover these days are self-help of one sort or another. *Though, they aren't the trashy paperbacks in the PopPsych section of a bookstore, but rather based on actual methodological studies checked out from my university library...*

While in Korea, I started following Hugh MacLeod (@gapingvoid) on Twitter after coming across his blog, gapingvoid. I enjoyed his flippant commentary via psychotic cartoons about anything, nothing, and the universe primarily because I was experiencing a sort of field psychosis and he seemed to be the only one feeling my pain. Or some such. He's just come out with a book titled, "Ignore Everybody: and 39 other keys to creativity". Here's a review on it. He can get kind of crazy on twitter, but at least he owns that craziness with a healthy contempt for almost everyone. And it's not the usual fare of soppy name-dropping insipid narcissism that makes me un-follow.

In doctoral studies, our admission into programs, and so much of our evaluation thereafter emphasizes "original contribution." And yes, I did say that whilst making the quotation signs with my fingers. In pursuing this research, one is left feeling quite intellectually alone at various points in the process. Not all the time, but even amidst the most kindred of spirits, one's research is one's own, ultimately. Lonely wolf, or bored sheep, right?

Given this state of mind, what I did want to share so much as to blog it was one of those -lists- that we all know and love, about conventional (and not so conventional) wisdom on keys to creativity, which served as the basis of the book. Things like, "Ignore Everybody." Given the situations of some I hold near and dear who are reckoning with today's job/economic/whatever climate, I recommend a good hearty read of this entry... and hearty it is.

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