Wednesday, September 05, 2007

OT - a note to readers

This is my blog - hah - this is where everything goes - or maybe anything goes - as long as it goes I'll be fine. That's why it's a blog, see.

James, Michelle, whoever else I gave the URL to - if you read this - remember you only have to look at the stuff that is actually about the dissertation .. the rest is just me biting my nails.

James - one thing I did not talk to you about yesterday - about thinking and feeling. Descartes and so many others distinguish between thinking and feeling and believe we can separate out what we think about ideas from what we feel about ideas, or rather, when it comes to the history of mentalit├ęs, how we think ideas and how we feel ideas. I believe that is a false dichotomy - I think thinking involves feeling. Adam Smith seems to have been on to something along those lines when he talked about sympathy and the role it plays in our thinking about the world around us, or perhaps to think about things as PART of the world around us - a different perspective to be thinking from (imagining what it must be like in your shoes, or if I were in your shoes ..). The neurologist Antonio Damasio has written a book - Descartes' error - wherein he describes how we use emotions to think (we use emotions to decide what things are important to attend to and what can be ignored - we use emotions to fasttrack thinking into categories and to quickly find likely relevant other information (a sort of heterarchial tagging system). So, assuming that model is viable - any discussion of thinking and the categories of thinking would have to have some room for a broader understanding of thinking that does not see feeling as its ugly stepsibling.

Stuff like this - random blabber - will be tagged as OT. Stuff that is more relevant will be tagged according to some system I will try to come up with below:

DISS - the stuff itself
BIBLIO - readings
TODO - lists
conferences - places, groups, topics,CFPs, etc
money - grants, fellowships, travel,
research - places, contents, howto's,
admin - software, sorting stuff, tools I need or how to use them
OT - off topic stuff - rants, random ideas, conversations and moral outrage
PRECIS - just what it sounds like
Get it? Got it? Good! (Danny Kaye - but what movie?)