My thoughts for February 12th 2016

Last week I was desperate because of my coursework. Well, in a sense I feel better now – I found some great Coursera video lectures; watching the videos I feel I can finally make better sense of the whole. (Not that I have catched up for real, but at least I believe I can make it.)

It was necessary to get that course somehow sorted, because I have other things to do: 1. One more small thing for my project (it seems that once I finish one thing, another request comes up.) 2. One small thing for my department (manageable but must take the time; I’m already halfway) 3. One larger thing for my colleagues 4. Start actually working on my data. Let’s start with what to do next week: I will give a visiting lecture next Friday and my presentation is otherwise sufficient, but I want to show some actual work as a sample! So my next week should focus on analysis — though only in the early sense of reading the data and extracting some useful pieces out of it…. This is my second attempt. After my (much more experienced) colleague also couldn’t get the systems to work, it will be interesting to see how I’ll manage this time around.

Re: prioritization, during this week I realized I was actually pretty badly blocked by the thought I don’t know who my audience is and what theories/books/journals I should focus on. I managed to get that one sorted in my head this week:

  • Political Sciences: I found out that a very specific genre of literature I have loved throughout the years is called “Political theory” and it is actually a discipline! This is clearly connected to my bachelor Political Science minor. I am happy to keep this as a hobby, and can forget about political science otherwise. I don’t have any ambitions in this field; I’m apparently sufficiently well-read with pre-Renaissance era and the Chinese thought. (If I have the time and inclination, I could sample a few more modern thinkers like Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill, a bit of non-violent action, deliberative democracy, and Arthashastra and the Russian strategy school. But it is not high in priority by any means.)
  • Sociology: I realized that I have two clear issues why this discipline has been so hard to handle for me, at least at the micro level. I won’t describe them here, but we’ll see how it turns out in practise. Anyway, I will need the macro side most likely, so I will start with Anthony Giddens late works. One of my supervisors is an expert with British sociologists so I could as well benefit from his insights on Giddens writing!
  • Social psychology: I need to cover this a bit better but I will probably need this for the micro side. Must take a look at some point.
  • Economics: I need to get familiar with Swedish, Freiburg and more recent German economic schools to find a macroeconomics philosophy I like, and then I also must check game theory, behavioral economics, some empirical and complex economics, and new niche economics like neuroeconomics. To help in this, my supervisor proposed me to talk with another professor that sits above us pretty close by! I’m really excited! But I feel I must read a bit before I dare go talk with him. 😛



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