Monday, August 11, 2008

257. Formatting the Question Reality Manuscript via Lulu: Sample Freedom-of-Speech-Disclaimer-Page

Pdf of above.

Revised version of Disclaimer included in the pdf above.
Older version of disclaimer I made during the school year 2005-2006.
Older version of disclaimer I made during the school year 2005-2006. Inverted colors. I showed this image to Ann Aasen, a social worker / psychology counselor at the UC Riverside Student Health Center. Ann helped me make it through the year. I joked, telling many friends and family members that Ms. Aasen was like my Ph.D. advisor for the year. We talked about the problems of universities being overspecialized nowadays and not providing interdisciplinary avenues for students whose brains don't fit nicely in one departmental box (at least for UC Riverside). Back in the day, Ann had a more generalist education within the university. In the end, Ann recommended that as a graduate student, I shouldn't harm my own health and psychological health by fighting bureaucracy of the university. Maybe in the end, I should just transfer back to UC Santa Barbara, which I did.

Ann Aasen was a single light of hope, but takes my mind back to very dark places of my past that need a bit of reflection. Just a little. I won't elaborate too much. In fall of 2005, my first quarter at UC Riverside, I recorded on my Olympus digital voice recorder a panic attack in the car. My primal brain was going out of whack and I was rationally aware of it. By winter quarter of 2006, I started seeing Ann routinely, for necessary psychological reasons. My advisor at the time was juggling 500 balls in a circus act of being department chair, and I was one in 500 balls just kind of thrown in the corner and picked up every once in a while. It's not my advisor's fault at all. It's the position of being chairman. I saw my dad go through it. Even Dr. Pete Sadler, a very inspirational professor. But I was neglected psychologically and became pushed more and more and more into a corner at multiple fronts until my mind froze and I could not physically move. At one front, going to grad school in your home town is not a brilliant idea. It's like trying to continue to biologically grow on an overgrown, sick, bleaching coral reef. Too many strings attached in one place. Secondly, exploring the scope of the field of geology freed me to some degree, but I also felt chained up once I knew "the geological box." I was outdoors but in a prison. "I don't want to stare at JUST rocks all my life! I need to account for ALL environmental data! And the human perception of it! From a holistic point of view!"

A low point of my university experience was in June of 2006. I was bawling my eyes out to one of the Associate Deans of the Graduate Division and she flatly told me, "I don't change the rules. I am not in the position of change the rules. Maybe you should just transfer back to UC Santa Barbara." So much for being Dean of Anything. I thought Deans are supposed to spearhead rule changes. Contrastingly, Dr. Oran Young (my new advisor) supports the concept of greasing and bending rules, especially since pre-existing rules are not working in terms of environmental management. One of the Assistant Deans of the Graduate Division and frankly told me in fall of 2006, "I am sorry but UC Riverside is a more compartmentalized university. Everyone fits in a departmental box. It just is." I was stunned, just as one of my CCS advisors was stunned when I told him this about UC Riverside. It seemed like no one was willing to change or budge. I was in a psychological wreck. I felt trapped in my mind and trapped in my environment. Ann Aasen helped me get through some of these dire moments of entrapment, but in other occassions, educating myself in multi-media art was the only way out to being trapped in my mind.

I am not ashamed to return to UC Santa Barbara, the birthing grounds of my own intellectual freedom and independence, which spurred the writing of Question Reality in the first place. UCSB provided me the holistic environment and intellectual community that spurred and built me to who I was today, so it seemed like coming back, UCSB was taking responsibility for their anomalous undergrad creation who ended up becoming obsessed with creative science writing and multi-media art.

In my mind, I envision myself psychologically and physically abused and beat up by the world for four years. I came knocking on the door to UC Santa Barbara on my hands and knees, completely humbl-ified by the constraints and compartmentalization of society, and I needed a return to marrying intellectual freedom and the CCS environment. I have experimented and failed enough, four years straight, and now I am ready to succeed. I was ready to finally do something right. I came crawling back to my CCS advisors and undergrad mentors, my eyes so torn and in pain by what I have seen and experienced, it ws almost as if I visited hxll and came back. It was good that I outsourced, because now I have something to contribute to UC Santa Barbara, just as UCSB had shaped me up as an undergrad!

I am sad the thoughts of Ann Aasen had taken me to gloomy memories of my near-recent past, but at least she was a light of hope amidst the chaos.

I found this on the internet. My eyes sparkled with glee. This was a MiltonLoveism. I need one of these, and I need to stamp it on my forehead.

The reason why I state the above disclaimer is a MiltonLoveism is because when Milton gives his rigs-to-reefs presentations, he presents these hilarious slides reminding people of the First Amendment of the Constitution, and that he has the freedom to state whatever he wants, even if the Truth hurts. Hence, the creation of my own freedom-of-speech disclaimers. The crux of some of Milton Love's jokes is the mixing of fish biology, science, and politics all at once. It works beautifully and parsimoniously. Milton is one of those rare scientists who acknowledge that science and politics inevitably MIX and you can't separate the two... unfortunately. Then you can't even divorce politics with psychology, like the whole cognitive dissonance effect. Oh, dude, Milton Love and I talked a lot about that. I even discussed this phenomenon with Dr. Young.

No, Milton Love is definitely not one of those denial scientists: "I am an ecologist but I am a scientist, so I don't want to get involved in politics." He's an active player, as much as he can be. The best part is that he makes dxm good jokes out of the situation.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the greatest theorists on human behavior I have ever encountered ended up being my biology professors--who end up making social commentaries as their "aside comments" in their lectures.

"Every professors' joke has become my research." Milton Love, blurts out "uh-oh" as he admits he is smelling some trouble. "Good trouble," my new advisor calls it.

I have been shunned as interdisciplinary at UC Riverside. UC Santa Barbara embraces it and welcomes it to some degree. In short, UCSB is like temporary placement in "heaven on earth" after the last few years of "hxll" I've been through.

Wow! I didn't know my Disclaimers had so much emotional and memory baggage behind them!

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