Monday, July 21, 2008

2b or not 2b; further ontologies of practicing being a PhD student

An ontological performance includes the writer as well as what is written.
This is a creative performance.
Not just of the thesis, where what is studied is made more real by the very act of being researched and written into the world.
What is studies cant help but be altered by the act of study.
Who is undertaking the performance is similarly altered.

An actor-network theory (ant) approach is humble.
I have a lot to learn about this.
In my past life as a critical social theorist i expressed judgements.
My big learning in this life as an ant type of being, is dont.
Belatedly, I remember Latour: Always assume people are right...put yourself at the peak of enthusiasm, the apex, the point where things were/are irrestible. (from Aramis)

7 things not to do as a PhD student, and in no particular order:)
Do not hit send on emails late at night.
Do not attach files to said emails without checking them.
Do not say that there is no writing in an area before you google the background of the person you talk to.
Do not neglect family and friends, you will need them when the phd stuff isnt going so well.
Do not have so many windows open on the screen that when your computer asks you if you want to save changes you say no by mistake.
Do not take your studies so seriously that you cannot laugh at your mistakes.
Do not blog yourself into a bog.

Feel free to add to the list, i could do with a laugh.

Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
when you're perfect in every way.
I can't wait to look in the mirror
cause I get better looking each day.
To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a (wo)man.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
but I'm doing the best that I can.
Davis Mac


  1. Anonymous3:29 AM

    Thanks for the 7 things not to do!

    By the way, I am an ANT enthusiast...

  2. After reading this I don't think I could be an ant person ...

    but your adventures whilst trying made me laugh ... perhaps if you fail antness you could go for stand up comedy ...

    and then you could play out your misadventures in a Yes Minister way like this

    Jim: Mr Watson, before we start there is one thing I must make absolutely clear, this must not get out. If the unions were to get to hear of this all hell would be let loose.
    Ron Watson: Oh yes.
    Jim: Of course there'll be redundancies, you simply ... you simply can't slim down a giant bureaucracy like this without getting rid of people, and ultimately a lot of people.
    Ron Watson: Won't you be holding discussions with the unions first.
    Jim: We'll go through the charade of discussions, but you know what trade unionists are like thick as two short planks and bloody minded.
    Ron Watson: All of them?
    Jim: Pretty well. Good Lord you should know. All they're interested in is poaching each others members and getting themselves on the telly, and they can't keep their big mouths shut.
    Ron Watson: What about drivers and transport service staff.
    Jim: First to go, good Lord we waste a fortune on cars and drivers, and they're all on the fiddle.
    Ron Watson: Because as I was trying to explain, I am not Mr Bruffs' deputy. I am the general secretary of the union of civil service transport and associated government work.
    Jim: I ... I ...
    Ron Watson: And I came here to check there was no truth in the rumour of redundancies for my members.
    Jim: Well I, I, I ... I just ... I don't .... all I meant was, Oh God.
    - The Economy Drive