Response to anonymous from two posts ago
"You seem to willfully put yourself in situations where you will be exploited, and then wase [sic] a lot of energy complaining about it"
Based on the first part of this comment, the commenter is clearly trying to be helpful, but doesn't quite understand the use of hyperbole in (or the general point of) blogging, but this part seems (willfully?) clueless.
Nevertheless I must agree, insofar as:
Attending grad school = willfully submitting to exploitation
Postdoc (with anyone, anywhere) = willfully submitting to more exploitation
Since neither of these is at all optional for becoming a PI (my stated goal), then yes, strictly speaking, you are correct.
I think the number of PIs out there who hire postdocs with anything other than exploitation in mind is very, very low. It's not as if there were, as many people have suggested to me here and in the Real World, a centralized directory with complete reviews of PIs, scientific and psychological.
Don't we all wish that such a thing existed? I would love to know what your grad students would say about you.
"If you get to be a PI someday"
Oh, and thanks for the vote of confidence.
"the way you interact with people will be a huge determinant in how you do. Just wait until your graduate students, with mids [sic] of their own"
I hope I'm lucky enough to have graduate students with minds of their own, and that I never need to force my graduate students to rush around at the last minute because I might be trying to, as you say, "stick one more peice [sic] of preliminary data in your grant proposal."
I hope you're duly embarrassed to actually have written that, anonymous or otherwise, because that's pretty pathetic.
I currently have enough preliminary data for at least two grants, but I'm not eligible to apply for one until I get a faculty position. How's that for backwards?
Dear taxpayers, if you want your loved ones cured of disease, write to your congresspeople and tell them to restructure research in this country so we don't have to waste our lives agreeing to be exploited by idiot assholes, in the hopes of eventually getting some actual work done.
I actually had a cancer survivor say to me the other day that she wants me to be funded, because my work is actually relevant to her disease and I actually want to get things done, unlike most of the crusty old professors at the university where she works.
Oh yeah, and blogging. Because all this cathartic complaining is just a waste of energy? Tell that to my hit counter on this site. I wonder why they would want to read this, if it's all a waste?
Does it occur to you that I have so many readers because everyone is in the same position as I am? I'm not just complaining, I'm saying what lots of people think every day.
And if we're all being exploited, not willfully so much as that we have no other choice, doesn't that support my ongoing point that the system is broken? Why else would we choose to live this way?
We actually want our own labs. And some of us actually want to change the system when we get there. So, you're just wrong. I'm not wasting energy complaining. Sometimes I think blogging, and having things to blog about, is the most important thing I can do, because it's one of the only things I can actually control.
What's the point in willfully putting yourself in situations to be exploited if you aren't going to document all the abuse?