Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ten Simple Rules for Graduate Students in the Evil Sciences

Fish wrote an entertaining post about an advice column for graduate students in biology. It got me thinking: where is the career advice for graduate students pursuing the evil sciences? I developed these ten rules for science students looking to become doctors of evil.

Rule 1: Have a passion for evil
So many pursue evil science for the superficial reasons: power, wealth, and infamy. But while those rewards are ignoble, to be a successful evil scientist, you have to follow your heart and find true heartlessness. Most evil graduate programs are in lonely, isolated places—old castles, uncharted islands, under water. Those near populated areas tend to attract the scorn of the local citizens and the attention of authorities. Even the most evil of graduate students can’t help but feel a little bit alone and alienated. A true passion for evil will carry you through those rough spots until you can turn the tables on those all those bastards who said you were mad.


Rule 2: Select the right evil mentor, project, and laboratory
Finding the right evil mentor can be difficult, as they may be in hiding or incarcerated. Furthermore, nearly all evil scientists are selfish and untrustworthy, which tends to undermine the mentoring process. Ask around to see if the one you wish to work with will foster the positive learning environment you need to promote evil. Talk to henchmen, thugs, security forces, submarine crews, and even former damsels in distress.

The nature of the project is equally important. What is incredibly evil today can be laughably harmless tomorrow. Avoid selecting trendy research areas, such as Martian sciences and journeys to the center of the earth, which can become dated very quickly. Also, consider whether your project will even seem evil. A nude bomb or orgasmatron, while extremely evil to some voter demographics, may actually be embraced by others.

Finally, the laboratory should match your research interests. For instance, those interested in re-animation should look for dust, cobwebs, and Van der Graaf generators. Researchers in evil androids will want laboratories that look futuristic and, if possible, are made of white plastic. And doomsday graduate students will want to work as far away from their geographic subject areas as possible.


Rule 3: Independent, stubborn thinking is the stock trait of a true evil scientist
A scientist who solicits the opinions of others, listens carefully to their suggestions, and acts on the recommendations wouldn’t seem very evil. Always ignore the advice of even your closest comrades, particularly when they offer sound suggestions like killing a nemesis quickly and verifying his or her death.


Rule 4: Balance your evil life
There’s an old saying that an evil scientist who always works is truly mad. Take time away from the lab to balance out your villainy. Hunt humans for sport, open a mink farm, or work with your local city council to bring a Wal-Mart to your town. It’s all about balance.


Rule 5: Think ahead and develop your evil career early
To be an evil scientist, you have to let everyone know, early on, that you are a force to be feared and reviled. Work on your evil laugh, develop presentations that clearly express your deviousness, and demand sums of money that will be both shocking yet not inconceivable. Consider learning the audio-video skills needed to hijack broadcasting equipment to beam your message to every man, woman, and child, or look to outsource this work to a certified evil contractor such as a cable company.

You also need to think about what you plan to do with your evil research, if that field is lucrative, and if your current studies will fulfill those requirements. For instance, a career in Bond Villainy offers unending job possibilities, but also requires a multidisciplinary approach. Don’t wait to develop those skills until after you complete your studies, because by that time you will probably be wanted by the authorities.


Rule 6: Always reevaluate your work for its evilness
This may seem simple, but what is considered evil can change over time. A horrifying Brave New World can become an enticing brave new biotech investment option on the Nasdaq. Make sure what you’re doing inspires horror, not IPOs.


Rule 7: Find flaws in your research before the good guys show up
There is nothing worse than trapping your nemesis, cackling maniacally, and pressing a big red button, only to have nothing happen. Test your evil science constantly. Railroad yards, communes, and office cubicles provide endless sources of human subjects who won’t be missed and will probably go without a fight.


Rule 8: Share your evil genius with the world
No man is an island, and likewise no evil scientist should keep his hellish army of man-beasts on an island. Keeping your evil work to yourself is a crime.


Rule 9: Kill anyone who points out flaws in your research
While Rule 7 shows the importance of finding flaws in your research, it’s important that everyone a) knows that you are in charge and b) knows you are inherently evil. The sooner you demonstrate this, the better. The first time someone corrects or questions your work, it is vital that you kill them immediately in order to promote the productivity and focus of those in your lab.


Rule 10: Demonstrate your readiness for graduation by destroying your mentor with your work
Once all your research is completed, your critics dead, and your subjects killed or hideously mutated, you are ready to graduate. Gather your mentor and anyone else involved with your work and unleash your research on them. If they are also killed or hideously mutated, congratulations, you now have your Ph.D. in evil science!

But remember: be wary of evil doctorate students asking you to mentor them.

22 comments:

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Brando, I'm laughing so hard because it's all so true. I hope this is put in Best of CJSD pronto!!!

fish said...

Perfect, and much more useful than the other list. I love the concept of certified evil contractors. I am imagining all the documentation required for obtaining certification.

I, of course, have already achieved my Evil Scientist PhD.

Certified evil license # 666-01-2001.

Jennifer said...

What? No pancakes? No pig-lizard, either the 13 or 15 inch variety?

Noelle said...

That made me laugh. that is all.

Kathleen said...

some of your best work by far.

Kathleen said...

but what is considered evil can change over time.

like white sugar. One day its scary and ghost-like, the next day its in everyone's kitchen!

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Rule 8a: Keep abreast of other evil scientists out there
While it is crucial that the evil is eventually shared with the world, the last thing you want is to get scooped by someone's evil scheme before you have a chance to spread your own terror. Remember that your evil competitors are likely to boast of their own plans, sometimes prematurely. There is no reward for being the second to permanently ruin climate or destroy small countries. Make sure you are first.

billy pilgrim said...

You forgot the Evil Lair.

Because I've worked with many Evil Geniuses, over on the Straight Dope boards among others, where many geniuses of many kinds dwell;

An Evil Genius without a bitchin-kewl lair is nothing better than a wild haired crazy in a traileer park. Just an artificial tornado away from oblivion.

Massive, complex caves cut from living cliffs; the interiors of asteroids, or just some Bottom of The Sea bubble archipelago, we can design it for YOU! Destroy your nemesis from the ultra-modern comfort of a stainless-steel labyrinth on the far side of the Moon! Hold the World hostage to your Space laser while you sip Bahama Mamas in the tropical splendor of your two acre palace buried in the jungles of Ecuador!

Or just relax with your hench-persons and the Vixen of your choice (or Hunk, let's not quibble about personal choices) in the expansive Ice Lair done up like a frigid Taliesin!!

Give us a call today!! We Can Provide the Lair appropriate for Your Evil!

[we reserve the right to occupy the lair in the case of planetary destruction. Fees due upon acceptance of design, not completion; in the event of apprehension by the forces of Good, all assets of Evil Scientist shall be subject to Lien]

Don't be embarrassed to have the Evil Legion meet at your Fortress! Call us Today!!


{because, Dog knows, It's GOT to pay better than these frickin law-abiding losers I'm working with now}

Jennifer said...

like white sugar. One day its scary and ghost-like, the next day its in everyone's kitchen!

I did not note a drop of sarcasm in that perfectly innocent statement.

Churlita said...

This post is so much better if you're a total nerd and read comic books and watch certain movies...And that's why I loved it.

Brando said...

Churlita, that's the advanced study that let me write it.

I like UC and BP's additions. Although the cheap way to get a lair is to take it over from your dead/hideously mutated mentor.

Chuckles said...

Rule 8b: That also means you should physical take other evil genius' breasts. Mind control rays are great for improving your social life. And social diseases.

Rule 47: Disposable henchmen of questionable intelligence are handier than you might think. If they can't follow your instructions, then you can always blow them to bits with no loss. They might also ask the question that you would never think to ask because they are just that dumb. You can still blow them up afterward. Name them all Benson.

Grendel said...

Oh my God. Hats off to you, sir, and a deep, humble bow. An instant classic. Flawless, brilliant -- needed.

Bookwyrme said...

I just finished rereading the Evil Overlord list. This makes a magnificent complement.

Also, it made my day.

PMR said...

Image is everything when it comes to evil genius. One must take great care in the styling of the "evil" haphazard hair style which has a mind of its own. If you don't have the type of hair that can look like you stuck your finger in a light socket, then you must go for the "Dr. Evil" bald look. Either way, you must look the part or no one will take you seriously.

dhd said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Galileo126 said...

Oh, this is classic! WHile I did follow many of these rules in getting my PhD, I had no clue there were others to follow. GENIUS, I Say. GENIUS!!

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It is a joke or not or perfectly decent or evil these are the rules that will help you. Maybe good guys need to learn a bit from the evil ones to make sure that they stay ahead. To conquire evil you must think like an evil.

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