Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Polar work will drive you mad!

This is an interesting article from Reuters about "Polar Madness" or more to the point, how some people when they go to work at the poles seem to go wacko. Now this is not meant as a slight to any one person or group of people since this could happen to anyone. It is, to me mind, a result of our ego-centric internalized conception of self (some might call that redundant) coupled with group dynamics coupled with some of the ideas pointed out in the article. Odd weather, light conditions, etc.

Here are some interesting tidbits:

Working for long periods in the
harsh and unforgiving conditions near the North and South Poles
often causes people to suffer a stew of psychological symptoms
dubbed "polar madness," scientists said on Wednesday.
That is a funny line really. Who are these scientists. The line "scientists said" is almost a journalistic cliche.

While some people on polar expeditions savor a gratifying
sense of achievement, the researchers said, 40 to 60 percent of
them may suffer negative effects like depression, sleep
disruption, anger, irritability and conflict with co-workers.
Sounds like any office in town.

"Some people may have difficulty adjusting to the
light-dark cycles, and so they can never get a decent night
sleep and experience a sleep disorder," he said. "Some people
can get clinically depressed. Some people just can't handle the
confinement, with seeing the same people day in and day out for
extended periods of time."

Palinkas cited more recent examples of "polar madness" at
research stations, including one staffer clubbing another with
a claw hammer and another beating a co-worker with a pipe.

"There was a saying at the station for the remainder of the
winter that 'If you've got a gripe, use a pipe,"' he said.

Humor is a cure all.

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