When research fills a need

I think I was given a bit of a compliment earlier this evening, somebody asked if I was from the country. The person posing the question explained that people from Melbourne are usually more stuck up.

 It was a small encounter but it really made me realise just how crippled my research can be by politeness or my own assumptions about what other people want. Sure, sometimes people want to be left alone, but maybe sometimes people enjoy meeting a stranger and do not mind helping out with a project they will never derive any direct benefit from?

 The next question must be, why do I need to be catering to peoples wants?

 I think this says a lot about me, and not much about my research method more generally. Potentially addressing a research gap is important. However, for me, there is something about having a useful social role that makes it easier to get out of bed (and then pedal through the cold, fog or drizzle) each morning.

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