Saturday, August 25, 2007

Memory lane

When I left Finland for Cambridge, I only took a couple of suitcases with me, and brought most of my belongings to my parents' place, to be stored until... well, now, I suppose.

I've been going through the papers, books, CD's, clothes this weekend. It's funny how easy it is to move on and forget the past projects, ideas, even "identity" in some ways. I found papers of projects I had done only five or six years ago, but I had already forgotten even having been involved in some of them. And surprisingly, some of the reports actually looked pretty good. Most notably, they looked confident; as if written by someone who (thinks he) knows what he's doing. Although some of that cocky confidence was probably unfounded, it made working much easier.

The case with the t***** is often the opposite. All drafts are very restrained and cautiously worded. Earlier, I had no trouble stating for a fact what shoud be done in European higher education in general, now I'm careful not to make too bod claims about small details of error correction mechanisms in a specified cognitive function.

Of course, there is a major difference between the mostly political writings of back then and th scientific writing now. While confidence and simplification plays a major, positive role in political communication, science doesn't care much about it, and scientists have the nasty habit of checking your facts and testing them. Still, for writing a t*****, a good dose of feelings of invincibility and youthful cockyness are very useful, at least if you have the tendency to doubt and second guess every word, as I sometimes do.

No comments: