Today is Labor Day in the United States, a monument to a mighty tide of socialism from a bygone era. It is somehow appropriate then, though I'm not exactly sure how, that I begin my labors today. A meeting in the morning and a meeting in the afternoon, sandwiched between administrative duties like finding out how to get in buildings, which buildings I want to get in, where these buildings are, and how to send and receive emails. Having taken care of these things, I also began in earnest to write and revise.

Write and revise.

Write and revise.

The first version of my last entry was a mess because of jet lag and emotion and lack of editing. Blog posts aren't meant to be polished essays, prepared over years, but I think a good balance means writing in an explosion in the morning and then polishing it up at night before bed. 

Write and revise is a phrase I will repeat often, because it is the description of a good chunk of the rest of my career if I am to achieve any degree of success in academia. But the real fun part is the sharing and discussion that happens.

Today I met several of my colleagues, whose work and wisdom will hopefully appear in many more of my updates. I am a newly minted Ph.D., and though I do not feel inferior or ignorant in comparison to them, I am cautious about a lack of experience--both in general and in the United Kingdom's university setting. That being said, I've already received an article relating to my research from one colleague, and it can be found here. The author links architecture, specifically urban planning, to the rise of Cartesian philosophy, using examples drawn from Descartes' life. I think the general trend is correct. Rene is a part of a broader movement that wasn't simply a break from the past, and his philosophy reflects a push to fit imaginative systems into the landscape. Our philosopher pal also incorporated elements of architecture into his geometric reasoning. 

One key observation the author makes but doesn't make enough of in my opinion is the way that "I think therefore I am" requires a basis of doubt. Descartes seems to proceed to certainty from that doubt, which is certainly possible, but only by dwelling in doubt can Descartes achieve his design of a rational philosophy. Plans, I think, are a narrative and imagistic representational tool that require doubt, that require multiplicity. I'm fastening on that doubt and seeing what happens. Maybe it sticks around in ways DeCI look forward to working through this thought as soon as I can to see how convincing it is.

Lola Maxey
10/16/2013 6:55pm

I thoroughly enjoyed your blog. I really never got to know you and seeing you around family barely skimmed the surface. You were always quiet by nature when we were visiting. I remember kayaking
with you around your home. I liked following you on your blog because it gave me a glimse into who you are and have evolved into.
I will be on more often and curious as to what's next on the horizon.


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