Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Confession


I just had a terrible thought - I realized that it has been more than one week since I lasted posted, which violates the promise I made early on to all of my readers, that there would be updates at least once a week, barring exceptional circumstances. However, I assure all of you that there is good reason for my neglect, which has left so many of you puzzled, confounded, bemazed, and deeply hurt; indeed, I have had at least one female reader threaten that, unless I produced new material presently, she would throw herself from the parapet á la Tosca, where she would surely dash out her brains on the stones below; and I have received similar threats by the score, involving dramatic and often bizarre acts of suicide, including severing one's aorta with a jewel-encrusted dagger, throwing oneself under a train, and ingesting arsenic. On the whole, not a very comfortable week.

However, as I said, there is good reason for my long absence, which is enumerated below:

One, I am lazy. With the beginning of the new school year, I have taken the easier path of fulfilling my more pressing duties, such as teaching, collecting data for my dissertation, preparing for a series of concerts, and peddling my limited knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and life, by tutoring a select group of pupils. In addition, I have taken up an outrageous and self-serving routine of self-betterment, involving the gradual acquisition of healthy eating and sleeping habits, making all of my sustenance from scratch, almost totally abjuring alcohol, and running at least sixty miles a week. Obviously this cannot long be sustained, and I look forward to when my will is compromised and I become much the way I was before.

Two, beginning around the start of the New Year, I made the rash and impulsive decision to sever my home internet connection, limiting my contact with the outside world to a series of terminals that I must travel to through the cold and the snow in order to send emails, check the news, and watch videos of obese cats attempt to jump into laughably small cardboard boxes. While this may seem a foolish endeavor, over the past month I have noticed a marked change in my mood, physical symptoms, and attention span; I spend more time at the piano bench and more time at my desk poring over textbooks and volumes of poetry; more easily lose myself in deep thought, and, when I desire to do so, lose consciousness faster and sleep deeper; and in general have gradually lost the craving to compulsively check particular websites, leading to less agitation, reduced nervousness, increased libido, and significantly fewer discharges of the necessities of nature.

Last, as I have been teaching a couple of colleagues all that I know about my trade, I have concomitantly discovered that I know far less than I presumed at first. This has led me to reevaluate both what I know and how I teach myself, so that I may more effectively transmit my meager store to the next generation; for in my view nothing acquired easily is worth having, and without the broad foundation to understand why one does what one does, along with all of its possibilities and all of its horrors, one's profession becomes increasingly mundane, monotonous, quotidian, and dull; qualities which begin to seep into and corrode one's soul, until there is nothing left but an automaton, and whatever spark of life and curiosity there once was, lies entombed within that coffin of devitalized flesh.

In short, I feel as though I am starting again from the ground up; and instead of pumping out videos and tutorials without fully understanding what I am doing, I wish to take a step back and think about this some more. All good things to those who wait.


  1. Congratulation for the great blog. I just discovered it and your posts and videos seem truly interesting and useful and ..ahhh ... congratulation for the piano tastes ;)
    I fight with FSL almost all days even if fMRI is not my main interest and I'm just for starting in this. I mainly work on DTI and volumetry.
    I'm trying to learn more even on SPM, AFNI and other tools (even if FSL is great .... it's too limitative working only on it!).
    So thanks for all your advices and your sharp and simpatic way to explain a very complicated matter.
    Greetings from Italy

  2. Hi Sandrokhan,

    Thank you so much for the feedback! I've been having a bit of a slowdown recently on the tutorial videos, as I've started thinking more about how to effectively present the material. But be assured that I will continue working on it, and trying to help people figure out what is going on!