What Makes Something Significant?

I am not going to launch into a discussion of statistics so you can relax.

On the one hand I am now a 57-year-old man living on a pension in rural Brittany. My health is not all that. I spend my time clearing the DMZ at the end of the garden.

And again, of late, practising my skills as a mole catcher.

red means two traps in this hole by the pond

I have an interest in New Age thinking, the so-called occult, raja yoga and Buddhism. For about seven years I taught A level Chemistry and Physics to 16–19 year olds in the Surrey-Hampshire borders.

This dude is obvs some geek-hippy-hybrid.

So far, this does not sound all that significant.

Does my interest in these subjects get more or less significant if I say that I have ~60 published research papers in laser-based diagnostics of molecules and growing semiconductor surfaces?

Is it more significant that I earned my Ph.D. at the Royal Institution of Great Britain when Lord Porter {Nobel Laureate} was director and David Phillips deputy? There was only something like a dozen researchers there at that time.

Does my strange taste in reading material seem more significant when before I quit my lectureship position, I had raised {in conjunction} something like £2mill in research funds and £5million series A Venture Capital? I really did teach Physical Chemistry for 13 years at Imperial College London.

Is it then significant that I say that I firmly believe in reincarnation and that I have been told that this is my last ever incarnation on this planet?

Have I now gone and blown it by outing myself as a whacko?

Or would people who are impressed by my “science” background think that because of this reincarnation is more believable, simply because I said it? That science dude from Imperial College said so.

People from that college have been advising on the lock down yo-yos in the UK, they get plenty of TV coverage and now people have heard of my former employer thanks to Covid.

What is significant to each individual varies.

I personally think that the juxtaposition of my previous incarnation, within this lifetime, and my current one looks a bit odd. They do not sit well with views of how things should be.

Here is my hand after my excision the other day. You can still see a little knuckle conditioning from donkey’s years ago.

It, the hand, was struck on several occasions, back in the nineties, by pulses of light around two hundred microjoules energy and of a duration of about seven nanoseconds. This gives a peak power of some 28 kilowatts. The beam area was about 4 square millimetres. So, the power density was about 700 kilowatts per centimetre squared. The wavelength was 270-300nm and ultraviolet.

We shall see what the histology says, if the lesion was significant or not…