I know I haven't been posting; I'm still writing (always-it's how I think things through), but it's not always easy to decide what should go into cyberspace and what should just stay safe and anonymous on my hard-drive. I read a how-to on blogs (WikiHow knows everything about everything), and you're supposed to keep them as topic-specific as possible. The whole point, originally, was for this to be a science blog. Except that so far, my blog has not been about science at all. And every time I sit myself down to write about science, I get writer’s block. I can write about other things, the job-hunt, butternut squash, the abuse of domestic workers in Lebanon, but for some reason, I can’t seem to write about science.
And again, I blame my PhD. I’m currently struggling to write a couple of papers from my thesis, and it’s been a lot harder than I expected! I always thought the writing part would be easy, but the truth is: I just can’t motivate myself to do it. At first I thought I was just burnt out, but now it’s been a month, and I still can’t do it.
I’ve had an idea brewing in my head for weeks now, since I read an article in New Scientist on how scientists were able to create ‘false memories’ in fruit flies using lasers and gene manipulation. I wanted to write about false memories and confabulations and Korsakoff’s disease, and I wanted to tie it in with the Lebanese civil war. I wanted to show a clip from Waltz with Bashir (the one about false memories in the amusement park), and write about how revenge was such a powerful motivator for committing atrocities, and how you could create an army of brain-washed super-soldiers if you could implant false memories to make them believe that the other side had killed their family. And how to do that you would need to make the memories labile, and how that happens in some forms of therapy, and how you could possibly do that with drugs. And how Ranformation is a form of confabulation. And about how dreams are a form of confabulation, according to the activation-synthesis hypothesis. And about how the fMRI machine could potentially be used as a lie detector. And there are all these half-cooked ideas swimming around in my head, but I just can’t seem to sit down and write about them.
Because every time I sit down to write, I end up looking for jobs.