The goal and intention of this blog began as a venue for my exploration of primary scientific literature, which is regarded everywhere as so dense so as to be unintelligible to the layperson and only vaguely comprehensible to someone in the field. Mind you, much of this fog is due to the thicket that authors plant to do something on the scale of putting their research into its finest three piece suit before it meets scrutiny or perhaps less generously, obfuscate the vagaries of their research that they would prefer to go unnoticed. But on the whole it makes for publications that are a taxing drudge to read, which is a real shame – these scientific journals are the true font of the cutting edge. So my goal, because I want to both equip myself and anyone who might be interested with some tools for sussing out important details, is to figure out a strategy for discerning the most important pieces of a paper. I imagine that the predictable format of journal articles will mean that this is pretty nearly an algorithm.
At the present, most of this is to get my head on straight as I anticipate taking the MCAT, which incorporates a large section on understanding primary literature. A big piece of understanding primary literature is understanding what graphs and figures are representative of in the research, so that goes hand in hand with my algorithmic theory of making sense of one paper helping make sense of most papers.
Now, my guilt comes in: I bought this domain name over a month ago, thinking that spending a small chunk of money on it would spur me to action. This also coincided with me leaving for Europe on a relatively quickly paced trip to hit a lot of major climbing hot spots and generally cruise by the seat of my pants. I had thought by some miscalculation that my days would be left wanting for extra things to fill the hours, and that sussing through admittedly dry scientific papers would be my first choice to fill those hours. Wrong. Very wrong. But I am committed to this project and I really don’t want it to fall by the wayside, so I am resolving to bring it consistency. I’m thinking that I will also include book reviews.