Thursday, October 25, 2007

7 Tesla Professionals

I've always thought that a person, before being able to perform medical acts (which is something one acquires through learning and practice), needed to be a healer. Similarly, I thought that, before being able to perform facilitation acts, one needed to be a facilitator and, before being able to perform volunteer management acts, one needed to be a manager, ontologically speaking.

Somehow in my mind (and it might very well have been the 3 years of Philosophy in High School), I thought that people, in order to be able to do what they wanted to do, needed to be whoever it takes to to be in order to do those things. To my amazement, Parmenides influenced me more than I would have guessed he did. I bought his "for never shall this prevail, that things that are not are" entirely. As a logic (as in formal logic) corollary, I thought that things that are will prevail. So, I couldn't possibly make sense of doctors not being healers, facilitators not being listeners, volunteer managers not being organizers of people and resources.

Among the many lines from Parmenides, this one "For thought and being are the same" is the one I love the most. It's probably because, as a Myers-Briggs ENTJ, I like to look at the world with logic.

I didn't say I only look at logic stuff, discounting feelings and intuition. I did say I look at the world with logic and infer meaning through logic. For example: my heart beats faster all of a sudden so I think that I either feel threatened or I'm somewhat sick. I don't waste time wondering "do I like it or not", "what do I think of it" and the like. I live on the outside, so I FIRST try to understand the world around me and what it means, then I try to understand what my behaviors give away about my feelings about it, then I figure out what my feelings tell me about my inner beliefs. Finally, I try to figure out if I am a fit for that given situation and, if I am not, I move elsewhere. I detect what I feel basing on how I behave, and I figure out what I should believe basing on what the world is.

I don't live my life inside of myself thinking about what I like/dislike or feel all the day long, I don't think that everything I dislike is wrong and everything I like is right, I don't feel insulted if someone disagrees with me, dislikes me or even insults me, I don't live in my head constantly preoccupied about making arguments to prove I'm right or impress the audience, and who does looks to me like a person that is so weak that s/he can't take to look at his/her flaws without having to sweep them under the carpet and pretend s/he never fails.

I needed this digression to explain more of the topic I chose today.

If I were one of those non-healer doctors, I would give up medicine. Granted, it would be painful. It was when I gave it up sooner, when I thought that my bipolar disorder was too much of a hindrance. But because of the way I am, I can't lie to myself and I can't do something useless. In this case, I would look at my interactions with the world, think "you are no healer therefore it makes no sense for you to practice medicine" and would do something else. Also because, in all frankness, there is nobody I think less of the Emperor without clothes. Not because he was stupid but because he was pretending to see what wasn't there JUST not to acknowledge his stupidity. For this reason, I have a hard time understanding how people can choose to "be" doctors, facilitators, volunteer managers when their actions prove that they are not one. I constantly think they might be able to fool themselves, but they won't be able to fool others.

How do they do it?

They live in their head (or, as Parmenides would call it, doxa, the way of opinions) while I live in aletheia (the way of truth). Not because I'm always right, and not even because I'm smart. It's just because that's the way I am: I just look at facts, and I look at actions, feelings and beliefs as if they were facts (ie: observable, reproduceable, enacted). That's why I want to practice science: I am a scientist.

But there are many "Emperors" among scientists.

I saw evidence-based scientists saying they want to "spread the message" of EBM as if it were a religion (have you ever noticed how many scientists workship since as if it were God, just to proudly claim to have no God? Another appalling nonsense). A psychiatrist told me, before my eyes, that there was no point for me to get a Master in Neuroscience since the name "Neuroscience" was already in the name of the PhD program I intended to apply to after I was done with my MSc in Neuroscience. He also added he was going to get a "7 tesla MRI for neuroscience" as if neuroscience = MRI and as if MRI (structural and functional) were enough to unravel the mysteries of the brain! Another doctor I know pretended not to receive emails from one of his patients in order to push a person close to his patient to contact him.

This is by no means exclusive to doctors, by the way. I also know of facilitators who don't facilitate their own groups out of "I'm tired to be a facilitator" (which I would agree with IF such group had in fact another moderator, otherwise it's just inconsistent... it's like touting the virtues of the product you sell while you refuse using it in your life!), as well as volunteer managers who train people on volunteer management but heavily suck at it.

I am positive that all these people should follow who they are deep within, rather than who they (or their parents, or friends) want them to be. Maybe they wouldn't be nearly as rich or as famous, but they would be better persons and after all that is the only thing that people are going to really cherish about us.

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