Friday, January 28, 2005

Starting to study

Well I have decided that Monday will be my official first day of starting my PHD daily routine. I guess this is an artificial construct in the sense that I have three years to complete it and the first day could just as well be today or yesterday or in three weeks time. But I feel ready to start the project, in fact itching to start it. My first task is to come up with a sort of rough daily plan to structure my study week, then I think I might work on a general plan to give me direction on where I am going.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Where is that plumber?

I'm waiting for the plumber to arrive. We're getting the old toilet removed from the laundry so that we can finally move the bikes from the study. Doing stuff to the house is a tricky business. As soon as you start thinking about one thing that needs to be done, other things emerge needing attention, especially when the house is over a hundred years old.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wednesday Sunday

It really feels like Sunday. Having a public holiday in the middle of the week is weird. I'm not sure about you lot but I have always thought of the week as a bit of a slide downwards towards the weekend. You sort of build up a bit of necessary momentum, then there is hump day (Wed) and by Thursday you know that there is only one day to go before the weekend and Friday is the delicious bit at the end of the slide where it all goes a bit faster and suddenly you're off the edge, into the great unknown. There used to be a bit of comfort gained in the routine inevitability of the rhythm of the week, only to be interrupted by the occasional public holiday (thank goodness). But now that I am a student again, my week metaphor is all up the spout. Maybe it's time for a new one.

Well my meeting went really well. I was very nervous. My supervisor gave me some great ideas and tools to get me started. It feels so much like the start up process of my old business - very organic and individual. OK so there are structures and processes that can be adopted, but essentially it is a creative act. I'd sort of forgotten all this or didn't really consider it when I applied but perhaps unconsciously this is one of the aspects of the PHD that I am attracted to. Making something out of nothing. Cool.

Monday, January 24, 2005

First meeting with supervisor

Tomorrow I'm meeting my supervisor as part of my official PHD program for the first time. I have done a little bit of preparation but don't really know what to expect. I think approaching it with an open mind is the way to go.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


I got inspired this morning thinking about the idea that perception evolves through an interaction between people and things around them. Maybe perception can be viewed as an outcome of the invention of technology and its application by humans and in this way is all about the relationships formed between our selves and our environment. It is a generative process, forming new configurations of space and time and constantly changing through every day practice.

Reading about computational models of how the mind works it seems apparent that the representations of the mind that come about are inherent to the technology that is used to define them. But there is another process at work too - the way in which these models are then applied back to human thinking. For example, to train the mind to work in a particular way. This is not just technological determism. This is a conscious and social effort to re-train and re-fashion thought. The Israeli program Intelligym is an interesting example of this used in the training of air force pilots, as is the ANU Moodgym project to teach users with anxiety and depression cognitive exercises that will assist them to challenge ideas about themselves. Here is the emergence of a type of perception formed and delivered by technology in order to shape and/or train the perception of its user.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Fish out of water

I didn't think that platties could fly but they can. Last night the biggest of the platties was found on the floor of the study about a metre away from the fish tank. It was mighty lucky that it hadn't been trodden on because we were both in the study and our feet were dangerously close. The dog was the one who discovered it. I noticed her nosing something and became curious myself and looked down. I'm so glad she didn't eat it.

I thought it was dead. Its eye looked unseeing and cold. But have you noticed that fish eyes look like this whether dead or alive? I cupped my hands to lift it and it leapt up falling hard and with a bit of a splat a few centimetres away. I managed to contain it in my palms and released it back into its natural environment. The fishy is OK today. I was a little worried about its chances of survival but its still swimming around.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Quote from Yalom

"I believe that the sense of potency that flows from understanding occurs even in the matter of our basic existential situation: each of us feels less futile, less helpless, and less alone, even when, ironically, what we come to understand is the fact that each of us is basically helpless and alone in the face of cosmic indifference."

(p250 The Yalom Reader, Irvin D Yalom, 1998)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Wow it works

It's not that I didn't expect it to but it's clean, simple and easy to use. I guess I thought it would be convoluted. Now I just have to decide how to do this thing. I mean how much do I say, when and do I feel up to others maybe reading my thoughts. What do you think puss, my feline muse?

First post

It's 8:30am and my gf has just left for work. My first post. I've been wanting to do this for a while and today is a good day to start. We've just had four weeks on holiday. I have until the end of January before I commence my new life...holidays aaahhh