Dissertation Advice

Dissertation Advice:
The point is: what are you trying to show?
The point is: what is your point?
If you can get that straight in your head, and put it up front
at the beginning of your document, you will be able to proceed in a straight
line.
You will know what things are essential, and what things are distractions
or detours.
You will know when to stop writing: when you have demonstrated your thesis.
If your thesis committee makes unreasonable demands of you, you will be
able to tell them:
“(a) My thesis, as stated, is a solid advancement of the field, and
(b) I have supported my thesis.
This is all I need to do to graduate;
your requests are above and beyond this threshold.
Cancel them and give me my degree.”

——–
my thesis is… more or less that software is policy. not that code is law, but that software interfaces are policy devices that control and normalize humanities interaction with machines and that these policy devices have a politics, which plays a part in the political economy of the internet as seen through the open source/free software tradition.

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0 comments on “Dissertation Advice

  1. jason says:

    Nice orangy goodness.

    BTW, after your these, you’re still missing the important bits… which can be done by responding to the following:

    Ya, so what?
    Why should I care?
    What about it?

    And then you’re done. 🙂

  2. CleverGirl says:

    My thesis is that war-affected children go to school during war and learn something, though maybe not what you think, and since no one documents education during war, we could learn a whole lot by asking the learners about their experiences… as i just have.

    To Jason:

    So what? Well, since I couldn’t find any previously done research on learner experience of education during war, I figure that this speaks for itself.

    You should care because as soon as someone graduates me, I will stop bugging you and borrowing your books for months on end.

    What about it? Well, now, I admit that there’s not much about it given the small # of participants, but the study shows the breadth of relevant and interesting information which other more potent researchers could present if they bothered asking learners about their experiences, too.

    So by your standards, I’m done… and Jeremy here is not (yet). ;-P

  3. jeremy says:

    of course, i am not done, but i really have no intention of ever being done. i might pass a defense some day, but… that would not be for me, that would be for the system, and what it requires.

    for jason’s so what? i’d reply ‘who cares?, i do’ and if i care, it indicates something.

    why should he care? he should not. he should aspire to a fundamental nihilism, from which he can reconstruct a reason to care… perhaps he’ll care for this, or not, it is not my business to see to his cares. my business is soley to motivate caring where appropriate.

    the end of a thesis is… there is nothing left to say… so ‘what about it’ is moot. since i can never find the end of a thesis… i can never answer what it is really about other than what my current folly is. for all i know id give it all up to pursue a doctor of theology. why… because there is nothing about it to be found in the immanent realm which is not patently obvious… however… that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.

  4. CleverGirl says:

    why should he care? he should not.

    lol! clearly he’s not lending you books which you keep for months (or is that years?) and even move to other cities with them… all the while making promises to return them as soon as you’ve successfully defended.

    heh, poor guy.