Insignificance

I’ve spent a lot of my day poring over data for my master’s thesis. The data is messy, and deciding how best to deal with it has required some furrowed brows.

In the end, my furrowed efforts were not fruitful – at least not in the traditional sense.

I have yielded insignificant results.

Now, the level of insignificance is actually rather startling, so I’m not over the paranoia that I’ve in fact just gone wrong somewhere. But, assuming the insignificant results are truly insignificant, well, that’s actually rather significant.

The thing one would expect based on existing knowledge is not true. The thing one would expect based on intuition and common sense is not true. Something else is true instead.

A research paper with a question mark instead of a full stop is not desirable. It’s acceptable, but not favourable. It’s disappointing.

Much more satisfying is to tie everything up with a neat little bow. This is what we seek to do. This is what success looks like.

We are rewarded for the successes.

But we are rewarded by the failures.

It’s the failures that keep us moving forwards.