Skip to main content

What a PhD mean for you

What is Ph.D.? Yes, I know it is an academic degree. That's it. No, I think. It's hard to describe it in words. You better focus on the illustration below:





And... the things that made me fall silent is what was said by Matt:
"If you zoom in on the boundary of human knowledge in the direction of genetics, there's something just outside humanity's reach. My wife and I chose to start funding these graduate students after we learned that our son has a rare, fatal genetic disorder. It may be too late for my son, but it's not too late for other children. Even one child suffering is one child too many. The only way to end this kind of suffering is science. And, the best way to do science is through graduate students."
What a beautifull thoughts that touched my heart.
Note: This work is originaly from The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D. by Matt Might.

Comments

  1. I do hope the best for your son.

    There are some interesting statistics to add to your diagram. For example, one study shows that college seniors know less about many subjects than college freshmen! The link is here:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/111290/college_seniors_lack_basic_knowledge.html

    My variation on the above is based on my R&D experience: Only about 1 in 10 Ph.d.'s will ever reach the boundary of human knowledge, and even fewer will actually make a dent. A few of those who do make a dent will, for one reason or another, have their work dismissed or lost. The good news is that there are millions of ph.d.'s so a large number will succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great way of explaining it. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. And then there are the multitude of the rest of society who, through their own determination and hard work end up contributing far more to humanity than the total number of PhDs, yet go unrecognized, unable to attach a few letters to their name, and who in their humility, do not care for such recognition.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A (very) moving and positive story.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was amazed by the circle representation of human knowledge described above. I've just realised how little a Ph.D's knowledge is compared to the knowledge-base built by humanity along the timeline. It's only a dot to the full circle, it is even not big enough to form the least visible of arc.

    But one thing I believe, it doesn't matter whether you are a Ph.D or not but as a wise human being we have to ever expand our knowledge the best we can, even though it will take forever to master a single dot of knowledge in the ever expanding huge circle of human knowledge.... Good post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great illustration... But I feel sorry for the sick boy. I hope as more and more becomes knowledge seekers. This would help cure lots of ailments in the future generation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @ Looney,
    My son was fine and he's growing like a normal kid :)
    Thank for share the link. This tendency is similar to the math lesson that is felt as a scourge for most students in Indonesia.

    "A few of those who do make a dent will, for one reason or another, have their work dismissed or lost."
    What do you mean human cloning?

    @ Cheerful Monk (Jean),
    Interesting to know from what you think and ponder after observed the illustration above :)

    @ Colson,
    After that... what you think? What is its positive sides? A satire to Ph.D.? (like a critical story from the link given by Looney).

    @ Yari,
    My musings is the human child at best they can do is thicken the dot and make a teeny dent on the edge of the knowledge circle. The more the number of dent are made at each edge of the circle then it will slightly enlarge the circle as wide as a teeny dent.

    @ Jolly Princess,
    Really hope it will happen ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ David,
    Your comment makes sense, but ... what kind of person are you referring to?

    ReplyDelete
  9. PhD explanation is fantastic Tikno, thank you. Matt's comments are also very touching and very humane. Great post. My compliments to you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @ Rummuser,
    Your compliments should be given to Matt.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello:)

    Amazing illustration and amazing thought.

    In Tamil language there is a saying-WHAT WE KNOW IS ONLY A HANDFUL AND WHAT WE DON'T KNOW IS AS MUCH AS THE UNIVERSE.

    The fact is that while we think we have reached the boundary, the boundary keeps on extending further and further and the human brain can never really reach the boundary.Some solutions for problems can be found but not all because we have some problem or the other cropping up all the time and all through the ages.When we think we have solved one problem another problem crops up.

    One PHD or even ten PHD's will not solve the problems or sickness's of this world.

    Faith in God and devoted care by parents has helped many seriously sick children to get over their sickness.There are innumerable examples.

    Best wishes:)
    Joseph

    ReplyDelete
  12. @ Joseph Pulikotil,
    Would you like to explain the examples you mean?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello:)

    Please go to google and type

    http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/article_0060.shtml

    You will get innumerable people who became famous despite their serious illnesses.

    Best wishes:)
    Joseph

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ Joseph Pulikotil,
    Thank for share the link. Maybe you are right that the boundary keeps on extending further and further and the human brain can never really reach the boundary. Like the human effort to explore the outer space, right?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi there! This is a very interesting illustration. Thanks for sharing. I believe that knowledge is ever expanding, and learning is continuous. Sadly, some people though, believe that they are better than others because of the educational background they reached. Anyway, nice reading your entries again Tikno:-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. @ Pearl,
    Been loooong time not heard you. Hope to see you come back again.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's commendable that learned, intelligent people would contribute their work and skills to do humanitarian work, save people's lives and greatly help people alleviate suffering. But it does not take a PHD to do that. Even ordinary people with little education or no education at all can help, in his own way, to make this world a better place----help restore the sick, feed the hungry, give shelter to the poor, encourage the downtrodden, etc. In God's eyes and in people's eyes, a little deed is a great deed. It doesn't need a PhD

    ReplyDelete
  18. Bingkee,
    You catch a good points.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Tikno,
    I really love this article. thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks a lot for this article, can I use it in report and refer to the source?

    Many thanks again

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

COMMENT POLICY : Spam comments will be deleted without notice.

Popular posts from this blog

VETO VS DEMOCRACY

In this post I only quotes the things associated with the two words above. Please use your sense and read carefully to find and feel the fundamental differences from it.

VETO
According to Wikipedia: "A veto, Latin for "I FORBID" is used to denote that a certain party has the right to stop unilaterally a certain piece of legislation. In practice, the veto can be ABSOLUTE (as in the U.N. Security Council, whose permanent members can block any resolution). In the United Nations Security Council, the five permanent members (the United States, Russia, the People's Republic of China, France and the United Kingdom) have veto power in substantive matters, though NOT in procedural ones. If any of these countries votes against a proposal, it is REJECTED, even if all of the other member countries vote in FAVOUR."

According to Global Policy Forum: "The five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) ENJOY the p…

Messages from golden wedding anniversary

The wedding anniversary was historically derived from Roman empire tradition, where husbands crown his wife with a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary, and a gold wreath on the fiftieth anniversary. In the present, generally, it called silver wedding anniversary for 25th years of marriage and the golden wedding anniversary for 50th years of marriage. Many people dream of their wedding will be lasting but many of them also fail.

For those of you who dream of it, then there is a philosophical message from a modest golden wedding anniversary, a pieces of dialog between emcee and bride, as follow :

Emcee : (jokingly) "What is the most annoying thing from your husband?"
Bride : "As many as the stars in the sky, unable to count them"
Emcee : (shocked) "Well, but your husband's kindness is also abundant, right?"
Bride : "A little, like the sun in the sky"
Emcee : (curious) "Then why you could live with him for half a century and st…

Mr. Money is not guilty

This is a special guest post. The grievances and notice from Mr. Money that share it in sorrow to readers. Please read carefully below :

My name is Mr. Money (sometime was called : Dough). My face is just plain, my physical is also weak, but I am able to overhaul the world order.

I'm able to change the behavior even human nature because humans idolize me. Many people change their personality, betray friends, sell their bodies, even abandon their faith, for my sake. That's not my command, note that!

I really do not understand the difference of pious and depraved people, but humans using me as a benchmark, determine rich or poor, honorable or lowly. Blame to human, not me.

I am not devil, but often people do abominations because of me. So I ask for justice who is the real devil.

I'm not the third person to make them divorced or make children and parents quarrel. I beg to the judge to re-examine this case.

It is very clear that I am not God. You must obey your religion forbid…

STOP the hatred war in the social networking site

Lately, I feel very worried by unscrupulous users of Facebook who already out of the spirit of Facebook motto namely "Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life". Some of Facebook users who use this site only for uploading pornographic images and shared it using private setting to certain people (not shared to everyone) and the other using it for spreading the hatred feelings, like a Facebook Group calling for Obama's death.

Although a very controversial Pages on Facebook namely "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" which it created by Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris has been closed by Facebook after receiving protests from various parties including protests from the Indonesian government, the most recent controversy is the two opposing group on Facebook who mocked each other namely: "Everybody Draw Mohammed day (Indonesian version)" and the other one is "Everybody Draw Jesus day (Indonesian version)". As I observed on its la…

Diversity is destiny

Competition between pair Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known as Ahok) - Djarot Saiful Hidayat and Anis Baswedan - Sandiaga Uno in the Jakarta gubernatorial election has ended. Although the scale of this election is only for Jakarta, this political contestation has a wide influence in Indonesia and gained international attention.

I do not want to talk at length about the first paragraph in this post because I'm sure everyone in Indonesia already knows about the political tension behind it and how its influence to the national unity. I am only interested in conveying the philosophical message to you all in relation to that matter.

Diversity is destiny. So that's destiny if in Indonesia there are Chinese, Balinese, Javanese, Sundanese, Acehnese, Irian, etc. More globally there are white, yellow, black. We can not choose to be born as what tribe or nation. We can not choose to be born in a Muslim, Christian, or Buddhist family. We can not choose to be born in rich family. It is God'…

Capital Punishment Against Bali Bombers

Last night, when I watching TV, I be attracted with the news about capital punishment against the main performers of the Bali Bombings incident. According to "TV One" (one of the Indonesian TV broadcasting), on October 24, 2008 (means today), the Indonesian attorney general will announce the execution plan for them. Faced that announcement, their family will put forward the re-consideration through their lawyer team next week.

Yes, according to the law, they were guilty and must be punished. But the capital punishment is equivalent with splitting the soul from the body. My big question is "Whether these world must have the capital punishment?" I don't know!

Photo: The Bali bombing memorial on the site of Paddy's Pub.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Bali_bombings