Escape plan

Me and my friend string theorist were discussing who we want to become. Or at least, who are we not ashamed to become. Here’s the list we compiled:

  • Work in Google on quantum computing – an experimentalist superstar Martinis from Santa Barbara is about to make quantum computer. He and all his lab was recently hired (read: bought) by google.
  • sniffing the homeworks – generally speaking, it means going to a university without serious research groups, and teach students. Or even high school kids. Recall who taught us to perform in Science Olympiads? Slobodyanin, Kozel and their PhD students at PhysTech.
  • third world countries – as far I understand, not only 3rd world, but even better off countries like Malaysia will happily employ us. You just need to call the right people. Also, you might remember younger Polyakov who works in South Africa on higher spin string theories.
  • computer graphics porn – something that (almost) happened to me.
  • music journalism – Sergey Kolesnikov has a column in online music magazine, and also had been a postdoc until he left for innovation business a year ago, when his istitute died in Russia.
  • internet celebrity – a certain Max Kac was selling soda vending machines in the 90’s, playing poker tournaments around the world in the 00’s, and is a politician of the opposition party in the 10’s. You can learn about all of it on his blog.
  • Russian army – it is more of an anti-escape. That’s what’ll happen to Grisha (aka the best of us Landau institute graduates of 2011) if he feels homesick in Princeton..
  • standup comedian – a regular conversation in our department: “Are you doing an APS march meeting talk?” – “Yes, I’ll just do 20 minutes of standup.” Meanwhile in Russia the comedy team of PhysTech made it to the TV screens again. Last time it was in the 70’s in the Soviet Union.
  • Kickstarter for toilet seats #PottyGlo – Mr. and Ms. Pai from my year at Caltech are rather inventive.
  • Communications manager ( “I hire you to tell me that I should make a twitter account”) – apparently postdocs can hire another postdocs. Now they are concerned with getting rich people to give more money to Caltech because they can.
  • Actuary – we met a person who permanently rents a room in one of the NY hostels and is an actuary for one of the more vicious Wall street companies. She smokes a lot and doesn’t try to hide the fact that her company has been one of those causing the crisis of 2008. And prospers today.
  • Advertising – pretty much the only way for STEM people to get involved with actual politics. See The Obama campaign digital masterminds.
  • Making an arXiv for engineers – already made, actually: http://hackaday.io , http://hackaday.com. Finally we theorists can help make something that exists in the real world!
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