All 2 entries tagged PhD

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September 24, 2006

PhD re–launch

Writing about web page

Well, this weekend was going to be the weekend I got back into doing the PhD, since it’s the first longer weekend now I’ve gone part-time. I had a good meeting on Saturday morning with Sue and Rossana, two other PhD students. I learnt a lot about planning and structuring the work I need to do. I think WIE should put Sue on the payroll (Rossana already is) so she can run a session for everyone else.

My first task is to work out what I’m going to do and when, I’ll do that by next week. I also want to submit a paper for the ICE3 conference, I’ll need to get that done by the end of November. It’s not so much that it looks like a great conference (although it does) it’s mainly that it’ll be an incentive to get some ideas down and underway. There’s a balance between making sure you’re looking at relevant stuff, so that you don’t waste time writing things that wont get into the final thesis, and spending so much time working out what’s relevant, that you don’t get anything started. I think I’m just going to try and do as much work as i can, then work out later which is relevant and which isn’t.
Great-great-granddad John
Of course, getting down to doing some work in reality means identifying lots of displacement activity. My office space at home is now really tidy, the cat has a new extension to her climbing frame, and I’ve now gone through all my CD-ROMs working out what’s on which. My family tree now has photos of everyone back to great-great-grandparents on it, like my great-great grandfather John -->.

I have to be careful with the ancestry site though. If I click on “tree view” then “home”, I’m OK, I just get my family tree. If I’m in “Family view” then click home, it always triggers a mid-life crisis. The form has loads of prompts for adding new data, but they just read like accusations of failure – “add a wife for Mark Childs” “No children have been added for Mark Childs” “No relationship events have been added for Mark Childs”.

Which leads me to Welsh Whisky (crises -> whisky, you can see the link). I have no idea why everyone I mention it to finds the concept amusing. It really is very good.

September 20, 2006

rehearsing the posthuman

Writing about web page

A thought for the PhD. One of the reasons I wanted to get into this research is the sense that there might be something socially maybe psychologically or even evolutionary about this development of avatar-based systems, or even a persistent online self through chatrooms, blogging etc. One of the concepts I’ve just started reading around is the idea of the posthuman – developing new versions of human through surgery, nanotechnology, cybernetics. Although creating an avatar and acting through it probably doesn’t really count as having a posthuman body, perhaps theyre a way of rehearsing what that experience might feel like. Anyway, it gives me an opportunity to shoehorn some weird stuff into the study.

One thing though, if you’re meeting someone and trying to impress them this could be a set of ideas that might work in intriguing them, but only if you don’t mention that you stumbled across it accidentally while looking up forthcoming star trek novels.

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