I am going to study an area related to QS (e.g. biochemistry, bioinformatics, genetics, nutrigenomics etc.).
I would like to study the area that can have the highest impact on self experimentation by increasing my ability to understand and use research while increasing my awareness of how the body’s biology works.
Rather than acquiring a degree I’m really just interested in learning the relevant knowledge as effectively as possible so I can work better with QS. If a degree is the best way to acquire the knowledge, I’m interested - however I’m sure there is a lot of variety between programs at different schools. So which ones? Which courses?
Do you know of anyone who is already doing this? And who has found a suitable path or program? Perhaps this is something some of you already have ideas on?
I have similar aspirations, and am currently self-educating in the areas that I am most interested in, which are: self-experimentation (properly done), anti-aging, cultivation of good mental states, increased mental performance (through meditation, nootropics, dedicated practice, SRS, etc), and strength training. And of course the scientific areas supporting these.
I think that humans have a tendency to find patterns all over the place, even when there are none. Consider the history of the worship of gods, rituals to bring rain, stock market trading systems, and basic lab experiments proving that our brains don’t deal with true randomness logically. In light of this tendency, it’s important to form a logically sound process for accumulating self-knowledge. This process is the self-experiment, and it is the topic of my “Biohacking 101” series of posts: http://biohackyourself.com/biohacking-101/
Maybe you could elaborate a bit on what areas you are most interested in learning about? For starters, the mental or the physical domain?
I think getting some textbook/wikipedia grounding in the ares that you are interested in is a good start. But if you want to take this to a high level you should connect and work with those who are pursuing it in a serious manner.
I have self studied a lot of areas like strength training, nutrition etc. over the years - however, this remains ‘on the surface’ because I basically rely on other people I find to learn from - books written, blog posts etc from people I find to be rigorous in their analysis.
At times however there is not information out there available - and/ or the views of what is right is conflicted or still emerging. At that point I’m limited by my lack of understanding of biochemistry, genetics and other areas to push forward. That way I can access the research and dissect it myself and confirm analysis or create ideas/ hypotheses to test of my own.
Currently I have a few biochemistry books that I’m working my way through - but I’m wondering if it would be useful to attend an online university course to get more ‘regimented’ learning. Probably the most useful would be to get closer to people actually practicing biochemistry in the labs and perhaps get involved myself.
Rather than being interested in learning about a specific need (strength, mental performance etc) I’m interested in learning foundation skills (scientific control of experiments, statistical analysis, biochemistry, genetics) to be able to problem solve and experiment effectively.
So I’m just looking for ideas on how to approach this - I’ll add you on facebook - good to connect.
I’m also about at the point where I’m ready to tackle biochemistry/neuroscience books. Do you have any recs?
I’d like to back off a bit what I said earlier about working with experts. Most experts in our economy are working on a very narrow subdomain, whereas we are interested in pursuing the most useful knowledge across many different domains. So, I don’t think it’s necessarily a good idea to try to collaborate with e.g. professional biochemists. But it would be good to have contacts to consult with for guidance in setting up certain self-experiments.
I think its probly most efficient to learn the basics of the fields we are interested in, say by reading a few books on biochem, neuroscience, stats, etc. And then to at least pick the low-hanging fruit from these. A university degree program would probably confine your studies too narrowly, causing you to take a lot of irrelevant courses (and paying for the privilege). Maybe the online course collections might offer something worthwhile for picking and choosing, but I haven’t looked into that too much yet. Have you?
Cool, I will dig in after I finish “The Perfect Health Diet” by Paul Jaminet. I’m going to organize some references to educational material for those of us interested in self-educating on these topics. I’ll let you know as it progresses.