Thursday, November 21, 2013

Space

After reading Whitehead, the idea of space was kind of haunting my brain. His idea on bifurcation really reminded me on the concept of space in mathematics. And of course, we know that he is a mathematician so the connection is not a surprise. Using the concept of space in mathematics and then apply it in social science, is going to be totally cool. I mean, currently, Latour focuses on the idea of anthropology of moderns where he proposes purification to detect category mistakes of the ontology. While in We Have Never Been Moderns, he criticize the Moderns for their attempt to purify it through the great divide between subject/object, nature/culture, now he tries to do purification himself by suggesting the purification is based on 15 modes of existence. 

In the context of space, I can say that trajectory and in/felicity conditions are axioms for creating a space or a mode of existence. I think my contribution is going to be on the linkage between space literature (geography) and philosophy through the concept of modes of existence. 

I guess these days I felt loss, I still did not know what I wanted to do after I finished my PhD. I didn't know in what discipline I belong and worst, social science gave my anxiety of not knowing what I know. My colleague said that I am going to do economics once I return to Indonesia. I think I'll love doing modelling again with some experimental combinations with many other things.

Sometimes I wonder why I left mathematics at the first place. Since elementary school, mathematics is always my comfort zone. I know no matter how lazy I am, I won't fall in the subject.However, in university, I get good grades only in my first and final year. First year because I was exciting about everything and last year because I had a supervisor with whom I could discuss math, apart from my blog where I represented Dirichlet as prince charming. I think mathematics limits my communication and I was the most unmotivated person when it dealt with independent learning. This situation gave me a hard fall in the second and thrid year of my bachelor degree when math became an obligation and not a riddle.

I think writing a space will give me peace on who I am and especially, to reconcile my past. I think I own it for myself.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Plateau, Plateau!

I have not writing anything serious these days (apart for writing boring stuff such as paper!) and now, I am thinking to start to doing it again. A space where I can curse books and papers I read for the sake of my agency as a reader. I guess it is nothing to do with the papers per se, it's just the papers and I do not belong together. We share different tonality ...And yes, I change the name of the blog again since now I am working with Deleuze. Well, actually, currently I am working with Latour's modes of existence but somehow by reading Deleuze, Latour's book became easier to understand. Or probably I messed up things as I usually did.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Self-help for PhDs

If you think self-help group only works for people addicted to drugs or alcohol, then you miss one of the group called PhD's self-help group. Sometimes being a PhD means that you create a detachment from people around you. It doesn't mean you become arrogant but your work requires you to focus on specific things. And for this reason, you become an alien for others. Therefor, a self-help group, in which people share a similar problem, helps you to feel normal. You will find people who think remembering all Latour's books as normal or talking about what reality is as something common. In a way, you create a shared memory, experiences that you share with other people that you never meet in person.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Forest for the Trees

I got this comment A LOT. I like too many things and have tendency to put everything in a single basket. Most of the time, I become not discipline in describing things since I already move to another thing. And this is why it is important to interact with heterogeneous people. It forces you to aware to your own assumptions and how these assumptions influence your argument. So I guess currently I am using an inside/outside strategy. Going outside to see the forest and going inside to fix the details such as explaining the difference between intermediary-mediator and black boxing. After yesterday discussion, I realize that I am more a Deleuzian than Latourian, although I change my theoretical interest as I change my cloth, at least twice a day :D

I think my problem with Latour is that he liked boxes, while Deleuzian approach is more fluid. In an email with one of the Deleuzian scholars, we discuss the case of wasp and orchid in a great detail. What is heterogeneity in an event, what is intersection, how event can be routinized and how it influence the relationship between actors. And for explaining event of wasp and orchid, he used a full paragraph. He is an excellent story teller and also a generous one since he was able to transform ideas from Deleuze, Stengers, and Strathern in a very simple language. I have to learn more to do this ...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mind your audience!

Yesterday went better than I expected. At the beginning, I was not sure how I am going to handle 20 unknown persons for the speed dating session. But after I finished it, I realized that talking cross-disciplinary helps me talk more normally. Findings: not everyone know Latour (as if this is not obvious, haha, but somehow, it slipped from my attention), people thought that I am an engineer when they heard that I am studying bio-fuel, and that I forgot to define the term program in my research. So contrast between Wednesday and Thursday went very well. On Wednesday I had an interesting discussion about orchid and wasp from Deleuze, how an intersection, even when it was routinezed, creates heterogeneity instead of homogeneity. There is no similarity, the only thing that hold them together is the phenomena or the gate-keeping activities. Each actor 'lend themselves' in a routinezed practice, which strengthening their difference instead of similarity. The best part is, difference strengthens the intersection (or similarity) since an actor become more and more reluctant to their individuality. So yes, talking to a person with a shared library was fruitful and exited, but it did not teach me how to speak normally (and he spoiled me with reviewing the mismatch of combining boundary object and multiplicity). And the other part of the coin was yesterday when I have to talk to random people about what I was doing. It was easier to talk about the empirical material then to talk about theory and old people started to question the methodology and approach, so it was an iterative process. Another strategy was to let the other person to talk first, so I can frame my case based on their interest. Mind your audience!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Slow-ciology

What does slow-ciology mean? Wittgenstein described 'to understand x' is to know how to identify x and the consequence of x. This is the reason why in mathematics you have to start your proposition by defining in what field (such as finite or infinite field) are you in. I guess one of my weaknesses in my current field is I lost a grip of what I know. For instance, I tried to do things quickly with an approach that was built on a slow ontology. In this post, speed refers to details. For fast-iology, what matter is the collective, while in slow-ciology, what matter is the difference in practices. Yesterday, I had an interesting discussion with an author who explained how wasp and orchid intersect with each other. The author is so damn good in explaining things, he can make the story of wasp and orchid (adopted from Deleuze and Guattari) as an illustration to describe homogeneity-heterogeneity, practices and collaborating without converging. And he was very sweet as well (the most important part!), I like to ask many questions and he was willing to personalize his concept to my case, which made his emails even longer than mine.

I like sending emails to authors, sometimes for networking, sometimes for veryfying my understanding, and sometimes to discuss it so the learning process won't become very boring. From this whole experience, it is very rare to have an author who is willing to write more than a page for an answer. So hopefully, his email is not full with people like me, otherwise, his main job will be answering emails :D

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why on Earth

... I am taking a PhD? I guess this is a typical question for a last year student. With all the deadlines and pressure to graduate, the question slips into my mind. The pragmatic answer is to travel around the world for free. You won't get this position if you work in office. The other answer is because I want to live in Bandung and the only interesting place to be is in the university and I need a PhD to do that. But seriously Yuti, don't you have any noble thing beside travelling and enjoying life? I am not a fixed hours person. If you ask me to work in front of the computer for 8 to 5, I think I will just gone nuts. In certain degree, taking a PhD legitimate me for being careless for more years. It buy me time to grown up. But I think these years lead me to nowhere. I still need my supervisors to drag me to do things. I am more interested in elaborating new ideas than sitting in front of the computer and try to articulate things that I have read.

I like reflecting my experience or emailing authors, but I just not into writing bloody papers!!!