2006. Holy shit. Did I really use to be on Slashdot? Back then, I was working just outside of London - as the name suggests, using primates as a model of HIV infection. The funny thing with research is that you're busy all the time, but with significant downtime in between. I should have been reading the literature, catching up on my reports or presentations, or figuring out some other experiment I could slip in between my main ones. But I wasn't. I had discovered slashdot.
Slashdot filled that entertainment gap for me, since I was too lazy to check more than one site, and I was an asshole who liked to give my opinions to other people. And boy, did I post a whole lot of crap, now I come back to look over it. Most of it is just amusing to me now, I can't even remember posting half of it, nor can I really remember how I knew what I was posting about, since I don't know it any longer. Perhaps the daily wash of topic summaries that gave me that knowledge has been wiped away by the past few years.
I ended up leaving my job, where I was a lowly research assistant because I did a PhD. No point in pursuing research if you don't have one - you're following orders for the rest of your life. So now 4 years later I have the piece of paper and the sense of anticlimax. It isn't a big deal to anyone but my parents and employers, now that I've gone through the crucible. It was the same old shit, only far more complex, far more arduous and demanding far more stamina then I could ever have realised (and I'm glad I didn't, because I wouldn't have done it.)
I'm now the Internet's passing expert in a minute part of a minute field of human research, I've got some published research and I'm getting at last the Post Doc jobs. I went from HIV research right out to left field, into Cutaneous research, specifically proteins of the terminally differentiating keratinocytes that make up your skin surface. What I research won't cure cancer, it won't really help in wound healing, inflammation, allergic responses, squamous cell carcinomas, the horror of skin diseases like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis or anything else. Probably. But you never know with basic research. You just never know.