Saturday, November 21, 2009

Playing with time

"Playing with other people , you must keep the time they keep."
In writing a thesis summary i am told some general guidelines:
Context (present/past tense)
The problem (past tense)
Data collection (past tense)
Data analysis (past tense)
The findings (past tense)
Conclusions (present tense)
Implications for further research (future tense)

I think there is room for movement.
Time, and chronologies, are punctuated differently for different actors in a network, Once upon a time marks beginnings, and they all lived happily ever after an end...but for whom, surely different realities will contest this.

There is no God-like view, accounts are partial; fractional and biased. One's present implicates past and future. Whats important to me today, may be blown out of the water with the important things that happen just a little further on. And any chronology of events with which I mark times passing are going to be very different to that of others.

As Etienne Van Heerden said, there are so many pasts, and "it" never looks the same.

In my thesis,
The past is with us, it creates the conditions of possibility (current tense)
The problem, continually evolves (current tense)
Data collected, is partial, reflects a time and place, or several times and places
Data analysis, is done here and now at a particular time and place,but is also read in the here and now of a different time and place
The findings, and conclusions are speculative.

And then there is the weirdness of language, in English there is a way of talking of the past but which does this with currency, a continuous past.
She was saying...
Of writing a thesis summary, is it of an object (study past) or is it more like a painting, its always here? Not the artist showed...but shows...
Is it not possible the tool (a thesis) may be more like an engine, not a camera enacting a future, rather than capturing a past?

1 comment:

  1. and, as I may have said a few times before.... old Albert once wrote: " For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubborn illusion."

    love the van Heerden quote