Well, I answered question 1 in about a day and a half with 16 sources and in 12 pages including references. Starting question 2 of 4 tomorrow.
Is it too much to ask that my fingers figure out how to type out the word information? I mean seriously. It is one of the most typed out words in all of my qualification exams being that my degree is in information science.
For some reason though, my fingers keep typing it informaiton! I have enough other words that Word does not recognize that I have to type over and over again (interdisciplinarity anyone?) making the ugly red line seemingly pop up every 4th word as it is!
Well, I’ve mapped out citations for 2 parts of the first 3 part question. What does that mean? It means I’ve broken up the question in all of its parts into different Evernote notes and then went through all of my materials (also on Evernote) and put relevant quotes with their citations on each one.
It’s part of my leanphd methodology that I do fully intend to map out for those who want to be in the know, one day. I just need to find time to do it. I usually do this mapping in scrivener, but since I am taking advantage of multiple computing devices to get this done I felt that Evernote was the better choice for the time being. Once I get all the information in one place, I may transfer it all to scrivener. I’ll have to see if that seems worth it or not when the time comes.
Alas, this is the end of the night for me for tomorrow I shall start anew and fresh and hopefully somewhat rested. I still have the rest of this question to map out and then the next three. Then, you know, the actual writing part.
I am using three different computers and four different surfaces right now and all I am doing is sorting out materials I think are relevant to each of my questions.
Of course, the one article I really want right now is no where to be found and is not available in any digital repository I have access to. This is one of the few times it really sucks to be so far away from the university as I know I could walk into the library tomorrow and make a photocopy of it.
If I ever do find it, I will scan it in, OCR it, and make sure it’s in at least three different accessible places with backups as I’m almost certain I’ll be referencing it for my dissertation.
I can tell who on my committee had influence over which questions and of course those are the questions, the ones they influenced the most, that I want to answer.
This morning I got my list of 8 qualification exam questions of which I am to choose 4 to answer. At first it of course looks overwhelming, but I’d be disappointed if it didn’t. While I can’t discuss the exact content of the questions or my answers, I can discuss the process I go through to answer them and all of the real life stuff I have to deal with at the same time.
Like for example, should I leave the house to do this? Or, should I just barricade myself in my office (where I have all of the sudden noticed the lack of flat space on which to lay out materials), turn up my music, and try to get it done here.
I can say, for those who are interested, my questions focus on things like the interdisciplinarity of info sci, open source, virtual ethnography, and social informatics.
This entire process is wrapped up in a mess of excitement and anxiety. Oh and procrastination of course, but I only have a week to complete four papers that will determine whether or not I actually get to begin my dissertation process, so that really can’t last long. As I look around though, I have to say, my desk could use some tidying before I even try to start this madness…
I do not have many words to add to the multiple that are already out there. What I do have to say is that about a year ago I was protesting SOPA with the rest of you. It was one of those things those of us who care so deeply about freedom and the Internet did in hopes that it would actually bring about change.
Internet and Information freedom are near and dear to my heart. My entire Masters research was on FOSS / Fedora. I’ve posted on this blog about many of the things that are threats to this freedom including cyber bullying, censorship, and net neutrality.
Though I have a few papers floating around on the Internet, you will not find any of them in a journal much to the dismay of many of you who have contacted me for copies and citations. Why? Because I refuse to have my research (especially that which I do of my own free will and with no outside funding) published in a journal that cannot be accessed by the public, even if this hurts me academically.
I am not the only one that has a problem with the journal system and there are a few journals out there that have risen up against the status quo. There are also a few people who have taken a stand against the privatization of publicly funded information. Aaron Swartz was one such person. While he should be remembered for the many awesome things he did for Internet and Information Freedom, it is the ending of his life over the weekend that is being talked about today.
All I can say is the world, especially those of us who feel the same way he did, lost a great mind and advocate. He has been an inspiration to many of us, and he will only continue to do so. It will be interesting now to see how he has changed the world through the ending of his own. I am just an academic and a wanna-be hacker, but I will always do what I can to fight many of the same fights he did.
In the words of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
How are you changing the world today?
P.S. If you are reading this through an RSS feed – thank Aaron…
I think gamers would make great politicians. In game we have to be able to communicate, manage our time and resources, understand technology and how to use it, and work well with others. We also do all of this on top of our daily lives as parents, employees, students, and more. And, last but not least – we do it all for FUN!
So congratulations on your new state senate seat, Colleen Lachicz – Orc Rogue. From me, Diana Harrelson – Anthropologist, PhD Student, User Experience Designer, and proud to be a level 86 (working my way up to 90!) Night Elf Druid.