And of course, "life happened," as per cliché: I left a good job at a great company in order to pursue a long-harbored passion for regenerative medicine. This meant giving up a comfortable income, a nice California apartment, and shifting as far east as continentally possible without falling off the drier part of the land shelf. I moved into a one-room university-owned apartment in a pre-War building, hit the books hard, slept little, and emerged a few years later in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Columbia University, along with a year's experience from benchwork done at the Genetics Department of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
In other words, I was ejected from the undergraduate pipeline an impecunious-but-proud, dazed-but-happy, moderately well-grounded novice in a new field, after having achieved some measure of "seniority" in another. Pretty crazy, huh? But I hadn't been living the life I'd wanted to live, and in the words of Robert Heinlein's character Daniel Boone Davis from The Door Into Summer, "In the course of a long life a wise man will be prepared to abandon his luggage many times." I don't count myself particularly wise; smart, yes, but not necessarily wise. This isn't false modesty speaking, but rather a genuine expression of a fear I think we should all share: that of getting intellectually soft about the hindquarters. Smugly, dumbly, comfortably soft. I fear the Previous Investment Trap, I dread throwing irreplaceable time after unrecoverable sunk costs. So, I shook things up and did something different.
Now that I've paid back around three years or so of a rather impressive sleep debt, I'm back at it. The stuff I plan to write here comprises all that miscellany inappropriate for email, 140-character Twitter pseudohaiku, and Short Attention Span Theater postings to my own limited social graph on Facebook. I simply despise the thought of writing acquaintance-tagged Notes on Mr. Zuckerberg's centralized panopticon cocktail party cork board, only to have them disappear eventually down the Orwellian Memory Hole. No thanks, I'd rather throw some thoughts and work notes out into the wild, where I maintain at least some small measure of control over persistence of memory and referential integrity.
This blog pertains to my new life as a biologist. Expect little in the way of political ranting, except insofar as politics gets in the way of doing my thing, e.g. the occasional venomous rant against cretins who insist on imposing their pre-Medieval views of ensoulment on the rest of us and mucking with our stem cell research. That kind of thing, you know, standard fare for the life sciences and those who try to practice them unmolested. Here I'd rather publish my domain-relevant longer opinions, my code snippets and technology explorations, and an occasional book review.
That, my friends, is my characteristically long-winded way of saying, "OK, I'm blogging again, for what it's worth." Hope you like it. Feed me, hire me, buy me beer.