Getting through the “black tar phase”

Chemtips

Lately I’ve been stuck in synthetic limbo, a single transformation consuming months of work.  With ample time to think I’ve tried to optimize my workflow, and the broad strokes are outlined below.  I’d be (very) interested to hear from anyone who’s found a different way through.

Fail early, fail often

An implicit assumption in this plan is that the bulk of what I do is wasted effort. Almost all of the reactions are going to fail, while the few that succeed may be low yielding or give products that rapidly decompose, even in the reaction vessel. Depending on the compound common analytical techniques like mass spec. and NMR may be unreliable or exceedingly difficult to interpret. In short, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Mentally, the key for me has been to dissociate the ego from the chemistry. It’s easy to get excited when something works and sad when…

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How our conditioning affects our relationships

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

monet“When our partner does something that doesn’t comply with our conditioning, we feel unhappy because we want our conditioning complied with. We think that our partner doesn’t love us or isn’t a good person for not complying with our conditioning. But the reason most people don’t comply with our conditioning is that they have conditioning that’s different from ours. When our loved ones don’t comply with our conditioning, we may feel unhappy, angry, sad, resentful, and even afraid. Did that person make us unhappy? Or did we make ourselves unhappy by assuming that person should comply with our conditioning? Who says someone should comply with our conditioning? Our conditioning says so.

The truth is that no one is going to comply with our conditioning all of the time because everyone has different conditioning. Not a single person on this planet has conditioning exactly like yours, so it’s too much to…

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