The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Two tribes

Although I take every opportunity I can to decry tribalism, I've come to realise that I'm guilty of it to some extent. Of course, I'm far too educated to be concerned by race or language, but there are other, quiet ways.

For one thing, now that I'm living among people who get dizzy when they see logarithms, I'm this close to writing Maxwell's equations on a bit of parchment and wearing it in a box strapped to my arm. I know I'm not the only one who thinks about the world and my place in it that way.

More strikingly, though, is the way I think about newspapers. In this country, a person's choice of paper tells you a lot about them. Personally, I will always pick the Independant, because I like hearing about issues in depth, don't neccesarily care about today's news, and hate firm opinions. Most of the people on my "round" get the Telegraph, a paper so partisan that it's one slow-news-day away from running a cover story with the headline CON RULES, LAB DROOLS.

The odd thing, though, is that I will mentally curse a Times reader for ordering a paper that they know full well is several millimeters wider than their letterbox, whereas when the shifting weight of the sack causes me to swerve madly and crash into a dew-laden bush, all I can feel is a mild remorse that someone's copy of the Guardian got damp.


At 1:33 pm, November 08, 2006, Anonymous Emmathy said...

I have found that talking Physics can in fact get you out of many situations:

1) Tutorials: When asked about Protein - Protein interactions when you have done insufficient reading on the subject (probably due to reading Bran Report) you have two options: either rabbit on about the possible use of Free energy and entropy to decide the bond affinity and strength; or the ways physics is used to analyse them (bonuses if you include the term Fourrier Transforms - these are wierd mythical things that biologists recognise by their magical ability to give you the data in terms you want all at the press of the "FT" button! Mention an intergral and your laughing)

2) Social Gatherings: Normally this is a big no no but recently I got into a Physics arguement with an Engineer (Even against me, a physicist will allways come out on top) putting the said gentleman down sufficiently enough to stop him flirting with me!


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