I am writing this from my new desk in my new office in the Birkbeck BabyLab. i didn’t get in until 4pm today because i am still largely nocturnal but have an induction on wednesday that requires a 10 am start so hopefully i can rejig my bodyclock to be a bit more in-line with the rest of the world.
Not officially enrolled yet as we haven’t finished all the paperwork. But that is just paperwork.. And haven’t seen my supervisor yet, but other than the induction classes, i think my time will be pretty much all be spent on paper work, which is to say, there is a hell of a lot i have to read.. I’ve flicked through a few theoretical discussion papers but i cannot easily get a grasp of the distinctions they are making so i am gonna have to go back to source to the original empirical findings.. what exactly were they waving under the babies/adults/rats noses that caused this sort of behaviour?
In fact, it is rather nice to think that i am at heart, an empiricist and want to deal with real experimental data.. my previous incarnation as a mathematician had me shying away from the messy, data driven sciences.. with much more of a preference for the abstract and conceptual. but here in my new field.. we are dealing with far less clear concepts and i fear that too many of the theoretical positions are taken on the basis of some philosophical bias than as extensions from uncontroversial concrete foundation. It seems we have very few agreed foundations in this field which has surprised me, is very exciting.
Also today I bought myself a very shiny new 15″ Powerbook to replace my ailing 4 year old iBook. Been waiting to upgrade for ages but been disciplined with myself in not doing so.. but today is finally the time and after a year or two of self-denial the fact that they’re going to take 3 weeks to ship it to me. I get a free ipod mini too. (i have a pod already so that’s one less christmas present to buy!)
Right now i have to go and put on my other hat, my anti-Mitre in fact for my job as trustee for the Rationalist Association.. which involves a long, dull but important bi-monthly board meeting where the progress of humanism and rationalism isn’t greatly advanced but at which we give Caspar Melville the editor of our magazine the New Humanist our support and some money to do that on our behalf.