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Monthly Archives: April 2005

Update

Last week I was lucky enough to have my supervisory board meeting, signifying the end of the 2nd year of my PhD and the beginning of the ultimate, 3rd year! After giving a presentation showing some of my findings so far, I was grilled with questions. The major criticism seems to be that my first two studies are exploratory, and that my 3rd study needs to test some of the findings that I have uncovered to date. I was also encouraged to share some of my findings so far on my blog to see if I get any useful feedback, so that may come soon (ooh, I can hear the blogosphere trembling in anticipation). My main concern now is that the last 6 months of my 3rd year is typically set aside for writing up, which leaves only 6 months for analysing current data and performing a 3rd study! I’m beginning to understand pressures that past PhD students have warned me about…

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Contagious Media

Contagious Media Showdown. Create a meme, achieve the most hits and win prizes!! Interesting idea, but will it catch on? 😉

What if…

…our brains are just pieces of bait on the end of an ethereal fishing line, controlled by fishermen looking for a bite from knowledge?

Land Walking Robot

Cool robot that rides the concrete…slowly. Video too!

PhD Progress

In an effort to try to keep this blog remotely related to my PhD (since this was my original intention for it), I’m providing here an update on what’s been going on…

I now have twelve months left of the 3 years. April 2006 marks the end of my funding and the beginnings of my plunge into debt and unbeknownst levels of stress.

I’m still doing interviews at the moment – these are largely now taking place over email which is quite a nice way of doing them, although perhaps doesn’t quite get the personal touch that a telephone or face to face interview provides. The very quick search in Apple Mail provides a great way of collating interviews together. I’ve not counted, but I’m sure the total number of interviews, including face to face, email and telephone, are approaching 20. I’m recognising a lot of patterns as I do the interviews, which is cool to see, so am looking forward to writing that up – guess that’s the best bit, because by the time you’ve done and analysed all the interviews, writing up and making connections should come easily and be fairly enjoyable.

I’ve written a chapter in a book about the role of blogging in the knowledge society which is due to be published in December this year. Writing this took a month under a fair amount of time pressure, but was a great experience that in hindsight I actually enjoyed!!

My literature review write up is ongoing, and I haven’t touched it for quite a while – need to catch up on reading papers, etc – feel quite guilty about this. I’ve already missed a deadline for a draft that was agreed with my supervisor, although this was partly due to the book chapter.

I’m also writing up the questionnaire study I did over 6 months ago now, which is pretty slack of me, although now that the interview results are coming in again, it’s good to make connections between the two studies.

That’s about all I can think of right now. If I can write another one of these in month and shown some real progress, I’ll be happy as Larry* Oh, and I’ve got a supervisory board meeting on the 19th, although details are sketchy at this moment.

*well-known happy bloke.

Blessing

I’m not a religious man, but I do find that certain religious doctrines can be absorbed and applied to life without the need to adhere to any particular religion. I guess many people would agree with me, given the tributes from people of all religions to Pope Jean Paul II regarding his recent passing. I recently attended the funeral of my great uncle and at the end of the service sheet was a final blessing. The words appealed to me. I’ve since discovered that they are part of a traditional Irish blessing.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.