Back from my Xmas trip since a few weeks. Working on python-programming and reading about complexity was mighty fun, and after my return it’s been hectic writing, writing, writing to make sense of the things I’ve learned and thought last fall. All this paid off – I feel much more confident! Things are coming together theory-wise bit by bit. Not that I’m very learned in any single topic yet, but it feels that in near future, I may be able to iterate my approach by taking two disciplines, try an approach from both, discard the one that doesn’t feel right, and end up somewhere nice.
I’m feeling much like an explorer in the style of David Livingstone. My material is a huge jungle, and I know I may get lost, if I don’t prepare adequately (I’ve had it happen, and I’ve seen it happen many times.) All the writing and reading has helped. My backpack is almost ready; I feel the joy and excitement and look forward to spend weeks and weeks with the data. There’s only a few things I still need! First, any superficial and trivial research question to start with is necessary, to have a lifeline with which to haul myself out of the woods in case I get lost. And now I got one, thanks to a discussion with my supervisor and a few other experienced colleagues this week!
Second, I need to have a clearer idea of my audience. That is also necessary to *not* get lost. Many decisions during the analysis can be done based on what is important to my audience, what they would want to hear, how they will react to the insights I present. Still a bit of work to be done in that front – hope to have it outlined soon. And then, my friend the blog, I may leave to the great unknown, like Darwin, Livingstone, or like Lewis & Clark.