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  • Committed II

    Scientists get tattoos in order to mark themselves with an aspect of the world that has marked them deeply from within.

    Mary Roach from the forward of Carl Zimmer’s Science Ink – Tattoos of the Science Obsessed
    Everyone should get this book. It’s Carl Zimmer, and no one’s better at explaining the intricacies of science and its discoveries.

    But here Zimmer dives deeper. All of us have lived through a cultural alteration that has transformed our vision. Now what something meant is different from what it means, and it can be measured, spoken of openly and pursued throughout our lives. Stories surround it and anyone who thinks that this will soon pass should probably think again.

    There’s something about the title that intrigues me. Zimmer calls those who chose to mark their skin permanently with tattoos “obsessed.” I prefer “committed.”

    Which would you prefer?
    Barrett L. Dorko

  • #2
    Had you told me a few years ago that I’d have a tattoo of the evolutionary tree of life on my arm I wouldn’t have believed you.

    The organisms depicted are a cyanobacterium, a foraminifer, three diatoms, oak leaves and acorn, a Spirogyra cell, a red cage fungus, a stauromedusa, a nautilus, a tardigrade, an ophiuroid, and a badger.

    Joel Klinepeter, page 144
    Barrett L. Dorko

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    • #3
      I don't think I'd mind "obsessed". For instance, I could be obsessed with pain science or even some proposed model but not committed to a specific model. If I got a tattoo of Melzack's old neuromatrix model and I were committed to it, I might be bummed when a new one comes along. Maybe I'd be so upset I'd try to have it removed.

      If I were obsessed then changes and updates shouldn't perturb me. It would simply feed the obsession. Maybe I'd get another one or have it modified.
      "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

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      • #4
        Here is Zimmer talking about the book.

        http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/clip574325#clip574325
        Carol Lynn Chevrier LMT
        " The truth is, people may see things differently. But they don't really want to. '' Don Draper.

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        • #5
          Interesting comment Jon. I should look through the book and see if people chose things that are less likely to change than a relatively new model like Melzack's.

          Thank you for linking this Caro. I'll watch it tonight.

          I wrote Zimmer and informed him of the thread. He very kindly replied immediately and is grateful for the exposure.
          Barrett L. Dorko

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          • #6
            Side note: the article "The brain" by Carl Zimmer in the latest Discover magazine; in the mailbox today. Interesting stuff - about intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs).
            We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are - Anais Nin

            I suppose it's easier to believe something than it is to understand it.
            Cmdr. Chris Hadfield on rise of poor / pseudo science

            Pain is a conscious correlate of the implicit perception of threat to body tissue - Lorimer Moseley

            We don't need a body to feel a body. Ronald Melzack

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            • #7
              Carl addressed that issue a bit in Caro's video at about the 4 minute mark.

              Maybe these folks are committed to science as an approach but obsessed with the subject matter.
              "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

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              • #8
                On the inside of her left wrist my daughter Jennie has had tattooed in a simple black outline of a dove in flight.

                To me, this means two things: she is unapologetically committed to free expression, and, in many ways, she’s tougher than I am.

                On page 49 of the book Zimmer shows us a photo of chemist’s Lisa Park-Gehrke’s wrist.

                It’s a nonane molecule.
                Barrett L. Dorko

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                • #9
                  I don't know which. I have a tattoo of our first pet, and the memory of that time and those feelings is why I chose to mark myself with it. I suppose obsessed works regarding the vigor at which one who seeks to mark themselves seeks to remember/remind......

                  The tattoo I have, to me, is a symbol of love, of a younger me at simpler times and in a fresh marriage, of self expression, of crossing the "forbidden" or the "taboo" line quite opposite my perception of my parents' attempted raising of me.....etc. I could nearly go so far as to say it is the ultimate in my personal expression of the perminance of my person, in an ever changing situation surrounding and exerting its effect upon me. It is one moment of a "different" or less evolved, but more beautifully simple "me," and one I am obsessed with remembering, perhaps. I like Jon's second attempt to define, but I'm not even sure why...

                  I think if there weren't tattoos, or if they became something required or acceptable by our culture, people would find another way to mark themselves as unique and with some sense of perminance....and it would likely involve physical pain, as without that, the meaning is far lessened, if not lost entirely, hence the seeming obsession. (?) Just a thought....

                  Great thread(s) Barrett!

                  Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk
                  Stephanie A. Mikoliczak, DPT
                  sigpic
                  And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anaïs Nin

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                  • #10
                    Stephanie,

                    Wonderfully thoughtful.
                    Barrett L. Dorko

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