After my previous post, I donned my recording studio styled headphones to crank through some rock assisted image analysis. I paused to consider the role of earphones in scientific labs. I wear earphones in the lab on three occasions: (1) image analysis, (2) to listen to the Pitt Panthers or (3) to signal to other people that I am not to be bothered. I plug in to my desktop compy, though. I haven't quite mastered the MP3/podcast thing yet. (Maybe I don't want to???)
My lab is an iPod lab. All of my grad student colleagues have one, and many listen while they work. I wonder if they have sinister motives (see #3 above). My deal is that if I am doing anything that involves words or numbers, I cannot listen to music. Senor brain just doesn't work that way. So that rules out tunes while I follow protocols, have conversations or write. It's inappropriate to transfer my own learning style on others, but I can't help but recall the good points about lab culture from a critique of lab life in the iPod era.
It's kind of funny that I am writing this, since my grad student pals will probably read it at some time... I just wonder if my tendency to work ideas over in conversation with someone else might benefit from a culture less connected to media and more connected to other people.
UPDATE: A fellow blogger made a nearly simultaneous entry on the effect ipods in society, but in a different context. Go figure that some state legislator wants to limit use of iPods by pedestrians in New York City.