?

Log in

No account? Create an account

March 8th, 2012

Flattered... and irritated

Finally back in Rome, I am going through the accumulated emails that I had been putting off.

One of them writes: "After reading your article, Astronomy, Science Fiction and Popular Culture, 1277-2001 (and Beyond), I thought you might be willing to offer some comments for an article I am writing..." That flattering reference to a fifteen year old paper in a particularly obscure journal is followed by a lengthy series of questions that he wants me to answer, such as what 17th century stories were particularly good examples of early science fiction. 

They are good questions. I would love to know the answers to them. I would love to read an article that addresses those questions.

I would not love to research such an article... for someone else to write. Research does not equal "search the internet." It doesn't even mean to search for experts to ask. It means becoming an expert yourself, by reading the relevant primary literature, doesn't it?

(The article in question is for a magazine, not a scholarly journal, so I can give him some slack, I guess... but still... I guess I would be less irritated if it were something that an editor assigned him. And more irritated if it were an idea he'd come up as a freelancer.)

ADDED AS EDIT:
On thinking about this some more (and thanks to the first two very reasonable comments already received) I suspect the irritation I feel is just as much at myself... I have this unreasonable urge to drop everything I ought to be doing (as in, stuff I have promised for others) in order to do all the research this very polite stranger has asked for -- in fact I can't answer any of his questions without more research.

Of course, I would then wind up dropping whatever research I would be doing for him, to answer the next email request for favor that arrives...

Profile

Telescope
brotherguy
brotherguy

Latest Month

August 2016
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow