RIASEC, Science, Permeating Irrationality

March 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm (Making Sense of Things) (, , , , , )

Our Delta Beta Crescent Colony of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity just had a “Dream Job” presentation based on the RIASEC theory. Our President and Vice President were both Enterprising, meaning that once they graduate the colony will have to fall into a period of stagnation until someone else who is Enterprising is recruited. I happened to be Investigative, with close seconds in Social and Conventional. To adapt myself to the prescribed stereotypes, I agree. I love Physics, which is Science, which uses the Scientific Method, so Investigative makes quite a bit of sense. One of my (many) flaws is my steadfastness in my current assumptions. To be fair, given decisive evidence I will drop my beliefs in a heartbeat, but until then I stand by them (for example, religion is a nuisance and bad influence on society, and is no better than hard drugs). However, what this flaw does do is make me an enabler: if I agree with someone, I will echo their thoughts, reinforce them, and do my best to help them realize their intentions. Hence, Social. And, based on my (not always successful) runs as forum administrator and my recent spike in campus involvement (Safewalk, Safezone, SAA, 1in4) and my executive officer position in the Fraternity, well, it would seem that I at least try to be an organizer. Wikipedia tells me that this makes me Conventional.

As to what I’m not: Realistic, Artistic, Enterprising. I will enable (being Social), but will not get my hands dirty (hence not Realistic). I will organize or even reorganize (being Conventional) but I will not innovate (hence not Artistic). I will think (being Investigative), but I will not hope (hence not Enterprising). As far as this relates to science, RIASEC tells me that I should be a theorist rather than an experimentalist. Not because I can’t (In fact, I am enjoying Modern Physics Laboratory very much and doing quite well in it) but because the best experimentalists are innovative and hands on, and are able to convince the big wigs with the money that the LHC is a necessity, and that one quarter of the experimental space should be theirs. So they are Artistic, Realistic, and Enterprising. I’m not. Damn.

Theorists live longer anyway, right? Then again, ISC does not likely make me a theorist (well, I helps, but S and C are stretch). Well, the contrapositive is that experimentalists don’t live longer, and I’ll just say “… than me” and be done with it. Speaking of living longer, Spock wished it on everyone, and he was a frequent flier. The worst segue of all time.

I took a flight last night on a De Havilland Dash 8 Q400. With 4 seats per row, and propellers rather than reactive engines, the real defining feature of the smallitude of the aircraft was that the stewardess, when pushing the beverage cart, was unable to give away cans of juice or soda because the cart was only large enough to hold at most three cans of each beverage (and in some cases only one can). As per some recent news stories I have begun to peruse PlaneCrashInfo.com.

How is that at all relevant to… anything? I will generalize to say that everyone has phobias. Some are so irrational and overwhelming, like claustro-, that I wont even delve in that direction. Fear of a plane crashing? Wholly idiotic, unless you have some method of stopping it. It is one thing to fear dying (or at least not want to die), but to fear death while already on the plane? Unless your plane is being hijacked, you have no control over your “fate”, if you will. Unless you’re in the cockpit, in which case there damn better be a good reason for that (like, you’re the pilot). The man next to me was freaking out. While we taxied to the runway, on take off, in the air, and during the bumpy landing. In case you read this, sir, let me just tell you that you will die young. Worrying leads to stress, and stress prevents your body from regenerating your blood cells at an appropriate rate. You’ll die of old age, at a young age. (To clarify, that was a Google search. Unlike Wikipedia, things on Google are NOT always true. As a matter of fact, I didn’t actually read the page I just linked.)

It is rational to worry about your choices, and to perhaps make your choices based on what you hear in the news (though they are likely just as irrational as you are, those reporters, newscasters, and editors, that you are better off waiting for statistics to appear on Wikipedia). For example, it might be prudent not to choose flights that use the Q400 series aircraft. The point is that once you have made this possibly poor decision, you should be resigned to your fate. Unless you want to be tazed, once the cabin door has been closed you will either make it to your destination, or you wont. So pick up a book, or whip out your laptop, and amuse yourself. If you are going to die, at least die happy :).

Jay Jay the Jet Plane

This guy will!

The moral of the story is that it is rational to have rational fears – so as to guide your current choices. It is irrational to have irrational fears – instead, one should make conclusions and mental notes to influence their future choices. If that doesn’t make sense, then I recommend therapy.


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