Thursday, December 15, 2005

When the research is a new area

My progress is painfully slow today.

I know what had to be done. I know what are the information that is required to support my train of thoughts, but oh dear. There is not much of literature in this area.

As a new, and unestablished researcher, it is often a matter of your thoughts against "theirs", in an areas which are still new, and monopolised by a few "established authority"- frequently people who had pioneered the area. If you are those lucky fellas (0r unlucky ones, depending on how you see it) who are holed up in labs, your only recourse in do repeat the experiement and showed that there is some garbage outthere among the tomes which had been written. However, if you are doing something that cannot be proven hard and fast so easily and is a mixture of good science and logical thinking, the battle is harder.

Sometimes I read with a good laugh how many pieces papers (I refuse to call some "works" or "literature") which had claimed their work as "significant progress", "proven to reliable" or "valid", when the numbers had shown otherwise. That is the problem when there is no golden rule, or evidences are still insufficient to establish one. Some earlier respectable pioneers may come out with something, and there we are, slogging to disprove it. If you are not aiming for a PhD, and not wanting to risk critising all your earlier work (which inevitably you may find some loopholes or knots here and there, unless you are so blind), walking down an unbeaten path is often fraught with difficulties. Your examiners and journal reviewers will not be too happy to follow the new path a green horn like you are talking about. It takes someone brave to note what you are showing, and risk showing a fellow colleague's earlier works need to be retired. Oh ya, there is also a risk that the examiner or peer reviewer, is the very authority which you disagree with.

The hazards of doing a PhD? Figure that out.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The benefits of a change of environment

I MOVED. From one continent to another.

What has changed?

The temperature, the sights and the air that I breathe!

A difference of 20degree C certainly have done great things for me. For one in many many years, I felt full of energy again, full of creative energy and ready to absorb every single pice of word which I read. I certainly hope that this change lasts.

Keeping this blog entry short and sharp is my new way of telling myself no more excuses or busying my self with things that do not really matter. Everything else could wait, till I finish the thesis.