I occasionally feel inexplicably compelled to give you, dear reader, an update of sorts on the progress of my studies and, also, a state-of-the-blog as it were. You may, understandably, find such posts tedious and uninteresting, in which case stop reading now and move on to whatever serendipity places before you next.
For the rest of you, I’ll keep this brief. As I mentioned a few months ago, after a year away from my studies, I was finally getting around to my candidacy exams. Happily, I’ve now completed those successfully. This was, as you might guess, a great relief. Hopefully, it means that I’ve now, well into my fourth decade, finally taken my last formal exam.
A dissertation will, I trust, be forthcoming over the course of the next year … or two, hopefully no longer than that. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I’ve suggested more than one possible path for my research. In fact, reading through the posts on this blog may give you a good sense of how my interests have drifted here and there over the past three to four years. That said, my plan is still fuzzy, but I’m taking Hannah Arendt’s injunction as my starting point: “What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing.” I’m asking how we might answer that call in our present technological milieu, considering, specifically, the speed at which thought must unfold and the complexity of that with which it must grapple. I’ll be working to solidify my research plan this summer. If you’ve got any sources that you think might apply, feel free to send them my way.
Here on the blog, posts will come more or less as they have been for the past two months or so. And while I don’t usually plan my posts very far in advance, I have had three posts in various stages of composition that you can look for over the next few weeks.
One of these considers how stories shape our understanding of technology. Another will explore a curious pattern of user responses to Google Glass. Finally, 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. The war deeply impacted attitudes toward technology in the west, and I’m working on an essay that explores the nature and extent of that impact. Hope you’ll enjoy those as they appear.
7 thoughts on “An Update”
Good luck with your studies! I’ve enjoyed following your posts.
Good luck Michael all the way from Singapore :)
In your upcoming essay I hope you consider some of the war technologies and their impacts. The Machine Gun created trench warfare and no mans land. The Germans developed a tactical solution to the problem: storm trooper tactics (too difficult to describe here). The English and Americans created a technological solution: the tank. Fast forward to today and the same pattern appears – the reliance on technology to solve tactical problems. Only these solutions (like drones) give us new problems and create new political dynamics not ever intended.
Interesting, thanks for the suggestion.
I sadly don’t comment much, but just want to say that I hugely enjoy reading your blog – keep up the good work! And good luck with the thesis :-) Best,
Thanks for the note, much appreciated!