Photo by Muzammil Soorma on Unsplash There is a controversy out just now about whether holders of doctoral degrees other than medical doctors ought to use the title of Doctor before their names. I have some thoughts on the subject as a PhD holder in Physics. When I was in graduate school we would joke about the German practice of using honorifics for people according to their precise level of advancement, so a Herr Doktor would be outranked by a a Herr Professor Doktor and so forth.
© Creative Commons Zero (CC0) Free photo ID 82985451 © creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime.com The disturbing thing that happens as you age, I find, is that you begin to notice your mind working subtly differently from the way it used to. From an early age I have set great store by my thinking organ, through all the years of school and the years working in technical professions, and taking care not to mess it up with chemicals or risky activities.
I have been attracted to religion from an early age, though I have lots of friends and acquaintances who have no interest in it or have an active dislike of it. Towards them I bear no ill will, though I understand that this blog post is probably not going to be their kind of thing. For Lent I listened to the audiobook version of Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upward as my assignment and it was an experience of a contrary way of looking and doing things.
Twice a year, during Advent and Lent, I try to do some spiritual reading as a discipline, and this Lent I’m reading St. Teresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle, generally accounted to be a masterpiece of contemplation. The idea is that the human soul is pictured as a transparent castle containing many rooms, sort of a diamond cloister, the most impregnable fortress against the dangers of the outside world. It was natural that this member of a cloistered order would write based upon something she knew, of course, but the interesting thing will be how much I can make of this idea living in the world.
In 2016 I went to a bunch of technical talks, none of which I intend to discuss right now, and all of which armed with a cameraphone along with everybody else in the audience. In this day of Slideshare and official corporate tech blogs many of the presentations will make it up to the web in pristine form, so why would anyone want to take a crooked, out of focus, keystone distorted, and sometimes half second too late picture of the screen?