dilemma

We’ll hopefully be submitting the first mainly-our-lab paper soon. A post-doc in our lab has done a lot of work for this. But a big chunk of work has been done in collaborations with many other labs.. there are at least 3 other labs which have done something of significance for the paper, besides one company. All these are important contributions which have played important roles in shaping the final story.
But the issue now is authorship… rather, the order of names. Boss explained to me why the decision is not simple and why it cannot be fair. It’s a political issue and lots of things – present and future – have to be kept in mind while deciding who goes where.
And he said something very interesting – “the best decision in some cases is the one which makes everybody a little unhappy.”

Its true, if u think abt it.. u cant make everybody happy. so rather than making some ppl very happy and some very unhappy, is better to make everybody a little unhappy.
He was talking abt science and collaborations, but this statement can fit in a much wider context.

So very often we find ourselves at the crossroads of life. Not sure abt which way to go. Anything that we do is bound to make somebody or the other unhappy. All those ‘somebodies’ and their (un)happiness means a lot to us. Standing there forever or retracting ur steps is not an option. a decision has to be taken and some move has to be made – very soon.
Higher degrees of connectivity also mean fewer degrees of freedom, and a bigger disturbance in the network if one string is pulled a little harder than the others.
So peace is clearly the last thing to expect. The questions then, r –
1. how much struggle are u ready to put up?
2. is the reason to put up the struggle strong enough?
3. r u prepared for the general unhappiness which comes with the struggle?
4. r u sure u actually disagree with whatever u r going to fight against?

Or, the available options can make different ppl happy and different ppl unhappy. The thing to decide in that case is..
-whose happiness means more to u?
-is making the other ppl unhappy the right thing to do?

Sometimes there are just no right answers.. hope we manage to find the best ones in such situtations..

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3 Comments

  1. Amit said,

    June 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Good thought! Sounds like the law of conservation of total happiness! But if keeping everyone little unhappy makes me very unhappy, I won’t go for it. I feel that ultimately whatever we do is to make ourselves happy. Sometimes our happiness may lie in the happiness of others, but that should not be a regular phenomenon. Often people you are caring for do not express their true happiness/unhappiness, they just pretend! Like pahle aap, pahle aap… and train chhoot gayi!

  2. Princess Fiona said,

    June 25, 2008 at 5:22 am

    True. ultimately whatever we do is to make ourselves happy.
    …as long as we r sure abt what makes us happy. πŸ™‚
    The the law of conservation of total happiness is a great name! Thank u. πŸ™‚

  3. ray said,

    June 25, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don’t you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog Its never too late to start afresh. Even if it is, well, i dont care!! took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run http://www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. πŸ™‚

    Cheers,


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