Quote of the Week: July 1

From a column entitled “How To Keep Hostile Jerks From Taking Over Your Online Community“:

Teresa invented a technique called disemvowelling — removing the vowels from some or all of a fiery message-board post. The advantage of this is that it leaves the words intact, but requires that you read them very slowly — so slowly that it takes the sting out of them. And, as Teresa recently explained to me, disemvowelling part of a post lets the rest of the community know what kind of sentiment is and is not socially acceptable.


Now, the astute reader may object that this is more of an anecdote than a quote– so here’s your official quote of the week, from famed neuroscientist György Buzsáki when asked what coursework he might do differently in hindsight: I’ve often wondered about going into neuroscience so I found this particularly poignant.

We do not quite understand where our curiosity and motivation come from. Occasionally, we dream up an ideal life with constant happiness and success but attempts to define universal happiness and success always fail. Even if I confine your question to the “most effective road to systems neuroscience”, it is hard to make up an ideal curriculum. Perhaps, I wish I had learned more math and engineering, and got exposed to a world-class laboratory environment from the beginning. But whereas possession of tools is useful in answering questions, the critical factors in science seem to relate to asking an important question and building up a sufficiently intense motivation to solve it. Living in a suppressive regime at the time when my interest in the brain emerged made me focus on inhibition. This may not have happened under other conditions. Hardship and failure can be as formative of character and creativity as a barrage of positive feedback and supportive advisors. (emphasis added).

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