Sep 132016
Mr Clever, Mr Men

I love being told I’m clever. It gives me the same sense of accomplishment that I get when I do a poo in the wild and not get it on my legs. Although I am no better than anyone else, when I am told that I am clever it makes me feel better than everyone else and that’s what we all live for.

In science there are a number of pathways to being told you are clever and enjoy the assumed success which accompanies it. The most difficult pathway is trying to get other scientists to call you clever. This is really fucking difficult and that’s because most other scientists have a really good bullshit detector and are also trying to do the same thing.

For this approach to work, you’ll need to have the right combination of luck and opportunity. Much like being able to kiss The Queen on her Prince Edward stained lips. To be called clever by other scientists, you’ll need to publish as many papers as humanly possible as quickly as possible. To maximise the soul crushing effect of comparison, we typically compare a single number so there’s an actual quantifiable amount of how much people are better than you.

The metrics used for comparing academics include the H-index, m-index, h2 index, g-index, c-index, s-index, e-index, I10 and the O-index. H-index is probably the most commonly used and although it seems confusing, just make sure you tell people about the one that makes you look the best.

At some point, after sustaining the minimal effort to scrape by (for long enough that you’ve reached the age where masturbation is a boredom activity) perhaps you’ve come to realise that science is really difficult and you are too scared to just leave to try something else? Well, my friends, it’s time to self-sabotage.

Self-sabotage is the perfect way to appear like “it just wasn’t meant to be” whilst not having the balls to quit and just do something else. Here are 3 quick techniques to help you along your way:

1.The internet is the perfect place to start. When asked about your H-index, tell people that you don’t really care about metrics then go back to your desk and zombie your way though countless hours of YouTubeFacebook and Twitter. It’ll make the time pass really fast and you can always pretend that you were looking at sciencey stuff.

2.Be a dick to everyone. If someone sends an email to you immediately send a pissy reply and be sure to copy in your boss and their boss.

3.Constantly compare yourself to others and their metrics. Become overwhelmed by the amount of work you’ll have to do to match their stats and dwell on it – a lot. So much in fact, it should take hours out of your day and only be interrupted by toilet breaks and sending pissy emails.

These techniques should start to work within about 3 months. If these techniques don’t work, just punch someone in the balls and/or boobs  – that’ll quickly get you on your way to a forced career decision.