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I hesitated alot when it came to writing this article.
Mostly because, will I be shooting myself in the foot, professionally, when I publish this article?
But if even one person sees a pattern and it helps them succeed then, I have done my job. Everyone starts a Ph D/ research career hoping to change the world even the slightest bit.
The bad experience that I had both as a Ph D student and my short-lived postdoc career is certainly not unique, and definitely will not be the last.One thing I realised is that supervisors are not there to guide you to be successful.In the current environment where funding is getting cut left, right and centre self preservation is a perpetual theme.However, there are still some absolutely wonderful people who truly want to further the science, and I hope this article encourages you to seek them out. If you are enjoying my tutorials/ blog posts, consider supporting me on https:// or by subscribing to my You Tube channel https:// (or both! There's this great Andy Warhol quote you've probably seen before: "I think everybody should like everybody." You can buy posters and plates with pictures of Warhol, looking like the cover of a Belle & Sebastian album, with that phrase plastered across his face in Helvetica. Not only are they ego-feeders for the stuff we put online as individuals, but advertisers track their campaigns on Facebook by how often they are liked. I decided to embark on a campaign of conscious liking, to see how it would affect what Facebook showed me. I liked something from a friend I haven't spoken to in 20 years—something about her kid, camp and a snake. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages. Nearly my entire feed was given over to Upworthy and the Huffington Post.But the full quote, taken from a 1963 interview in Warhol: Someone said that Brecht wanted everybody to think alike. But Brecht wanted to do it through Communism, in a way. It's happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it's working without trying, why can't it work without being Communist? A recent story on a krill oil ad campaign lays bare how much the like matters to advertisers. I know this sounds like a stunt (and it was) but it was also genuinely just an open-ended experiment. I liked one of my cousin's updates, which he had re-shared from Joe Kennedy, and was subsequently beseiged with Kennedys to like (plus a Clinton and a Shriver). As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed, the updates I saw were (in order): Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi's ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we're getting more and more that way. I wasn't sure how long I'd keep it up (48 hours was all I could stand) or what I'd learn (possibly nothing.)See, Facebook uses algorithms to decide what shows up in your feed. Also, as I went to bed, I remember thinking "Ah, crap. Warhol: The like and the favorite are the new metrics of success—very literally. Literally everything Facebook sent my way, I liked—even if I hated it. After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. Art News: And liking things is like being a machine? My News Feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time.It isn't just a parade of sequential updates from your friends and the things you've expressed an interest in. The only time I declined to like something was when a friend posted about the death of a relative. I have to like something about Gaza," as I hit the Like button on a post with a pro-Israel message. The Conservative Tribune comes up again, and again, and again in my News Feed. Usually it went something like this:'s web presence, uses a similar tactic.