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ALMA, the trigger of emotions and stress

November 27 2013 , Written by Wing-Fai Thi

Writing observing proposals is stressful but I do not understand why people feel obliged to do it. Perhaps they want to make revenge on selection committees by inundating them with proposals to read and judge. Astronomy is not a dictatorial system. We are free. You are free to stress yourselves, fine. But please do not stress me as well (as a co-investigator). Someone misread a sentence in an email and just went mad at me. Why so much emotion? First nobody should extrapolate someone else’s thoughts from one single sentence hastily writen. Second, astronomy is about science, cold emotionless science. I am emotionally attached to people but not to my papers, proposals, or ideas.  I was certainly in the past. This proved to bring me only worries and problems.

I was planning to write about my encounter with a copyist who is specialised in Vermeer and especially in the Astronomer and the Geographer but it seems that I need to write a few ALMA-related emails. The emails will be dry. I will just expose my view objectively without emotion or emphasis.

What’s a pity that ALMA is not just a cute Dominican-American woman with a big “a..e”. If I had to become mad about ALMA, I would prefer her to be an attractive woman rather than a telescope.

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