Sunday, February 25, 2007

Good post

I saw this posting over at CV soon after it got posted and went back to read more of the comments. A very worthwhile read. To be sure, I wasn't sure how common such thoughts are. So many of us growup being the smartest kid around...that is until college. How we face up to being just one of many smart kids makes for interesting discussion.

It was so long ago, yet I think I'm still dealing with it now (I know, I know, it sounds pathetic). Just the other day I posted how I can get in a bad mood reading good work from "competitors." Am I among the top in my field? Or not? Should I content myself to be just one of many physicists contributing just a small piece to this global endeavor, try to make some ground-breaking discoverer at the risk of coming up empty-handed, or perhaps leave the field?

I am insecure about these things, going so far as to make somewhat ridiculous rationalization such as "Oh, that person is a postdoc so the pressure is on and s/he doesn't have to teach or attend faculty meetings." But, at least I'm not one of those jerks who tries to out talk others as if they know it all. I've been lucky to have good examples in grad school of famous & high powered theory people who, nevertheless, were down to Earth and could admit when they weren't getting something.

No comments: