And this is medicine?
Said Richard Feynman to the psychiatrist who was examining him and who had stated he studied medicine to become a psychiatrist. Part 3: “Feynman, The Bomb, and the Military”, “Uncle Sam Doesn’t Need You”
Scepticemia is a portmanteau-ed neologism. It is a combination Scepticism and Septicemia. And it is supposed to mean a condition where Scepticism has spread throughout the body (mind).
I have always tried to inculcate in myself a healthy ability to doubt. Ever since I read Surely You are Joking Mr. Feynman, I have not only been a Feynman fan, but also an ardent follower of his skeptical attitude. I remember his philosophy, which he reached after having been led astray on the neutron-proton coupling constant by reports of “beta-decay experts”:
“…since then I never pay attention to anything by “experts”. I calculate everything myself.”
o Part 5: “The World of One Physicist”, “The 7 Percent Solution” – Surely You Are Joking Mr. Feynman
That and the fictional Dr. Gregory House’s outrageous assumption that: “Everyone lies”!
I am a recently graduated physician, who believes that the first step to knowledge begins with the cultivation of skepticism. In this blog, I talk about my brush with affairs that leave me skeptic. Or asking for more. Or matters which peeve me no ends because they are not in line with reason and logic. Matters where eminence trumps evidence. Where the accepted wisdom of the ages has stilled the growth of newer thoughts. Sometimes, in this journey in search of my skeptic nirvana, I end up getting caught up in the thorny shrubberies of ambiguity or self-doubt. It is then that I use this blog for thinking out loudly and publicly. Inviting frank criticism, open discussion and a light to show me how to find the way out, I use this as a work in progress to clear out the chaff that settles in my mind.
I believe I am still in search of that perfect balance where I can use an open, accepting mind, sharpened with an ability to stay healthily skeptic, not only to doubt a false move, but also to try and identify (and appreciate) a revolutionary idea when it comes my way. However, again, in the words of Richard Feynman:
“There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.”
Richard Feynman, Letter to Armando Garcia J, December 11, 1985
So, what I essentially plan to do through this blog is to find myself through a journey in scientific medical inquiry. And as all journeys, this also starts with a lot of trepidations…