I have recently taken an interest in cyst extraction (along with chiropraxis, though that is a different story for a different time), which is really quite disgusting. However, there is pleasure in seeing cyst being taken out of a long-hidden, tiny, remote, almost unnoticeable part of one’s body, not only because the patient is no longer suffering from whatever pain or discomfort that patch of cyst has been causing him/her for God knows how long, but also because seeing a fair amount of toxic liquid/slime being squeezed out of a tiny cavity is sort of gratifying in a masochistic way. There is a term for this, which I recently found out was ‘popaholism’ literally ‘the love for popping things’. Cyst is truly awful, as it is in essence liquid trapped inside the recessed of one’s body, and seeing big amounts of it flooding out is kind of fun (call me sick if you want). I have written several times before that our knowledge can be broadly categorised as active and passive knowledge, the latter consists of purely knowing something which can be acquired passively (e.g. reading, studying, memorising) while the former is technically and cognitively harder in that it requires one to actually learn how to use one’s knowledge, which demands that one not only know one’s stuff but also understand it to the extent that one knows how to use it appropriately. There can be no active knowledge without passive knowledge, however, and I have argued before that it is essential that one spends enough time building up one’s passive knowledge so that when one comes to use it actively, one can eliminate as much hiccups as possible and just get on with it rather than going back to one’s passive repository repeatedly, something which I find exceedingly annoying. Cyst extraction serves as an analogy for this active/passive dichotomy in work preparation, since the bigger the cyst (i.e. the more liquid is trapped inside), the more gratifying it is to see it all come out in one go. In fact, having a big cyst facilitates the extraction process, since if the pimp is too small or hollow, nothing can be taken out. It is also better for the patient to have all the cyst extracted in one go rather than having bits of it come out cumulatively, which is not only annoying but also dangerous as it constitutes unclean cyst extraction which can have potential medical complications. With our work, too, it is important to spend as much time as necessary to store up as much passive knowledge as possible, since, although passive knowledge alone does not indicate mastery of the skill/task at hand, it can do wonders when we finally decide to go active with it, like a well-oiled machine that functions perfectly and fluently when required. Let’s oil our body then and fill it up with as much liquid as we can, even if it is as disgusting and toxic as slimy cyst. When we finally open the floodgates, it will be beautiful, at least for the popaholics and workaholics among us.
PS: sorry for the disgusting yet motivational blog photo.