Sunday, September 26, 2010

Points of Failure (20/??)

The important question is "where did I fail?", or in more charitable terms, "what did I learn?".

I suppose it is true that I have not yet failed to provide you with 30 posts in 30 days, but it seems likely that I will get no higher than 25 or 26 if I am diligent over the next couple of days. It is certainly possible that I could concoct 10 posts in 3 days, but at that pace I think the sacrifice of quality might defeat the purpose. We shall see. At this point, however, let's assume I don't quite make my target number. I haven't really learned anything new about my "work" habits. Procrastination hurts my recreational efforts as much as the professional. At least this blog doesn't cost my parents tens of thousands of dollars per annum, unlike some of my other failures. Which is perhaps a lesson in itself - high or low stakes don't seem to affect my performance too much. So it doesn't behoove me to look for either in a job, although obviously if I have a tendency to drop the ball I'd rather it be less than a critical error. Whatever.

Pursuant to this, I think it has reenforced a few things. Back in Polysci (especially first year), I had a tendency to write drafts on paper of blog posts. Usually something would occur to me during a debate or a lecture. Without that back-and-forth environment (and without input from beyond a limited social circle), I'm losing opportunities for new material. I also don't read the news half as much as when it was pertinent to a degree I thought I wanted. I guess Polysci doesn't get a lot of love either from the Engineers ("McDonalds" was the sickening refrain that my Engineer sister was encouraged to sing whenever a pack of Poli majors walked by during frosh week*) and real sciences...I dunno about its relationship to the rest of the humanities. I imagine that its pretense to some kind of objective/empirical study of politics puts it at odds with historical and philosophical perspectives that stress an understanding of the specific people, ideas, and cultures involved with a movement or event rather than push all-encompassing theories. But for whatever reason I was prepared to adopt it as a career path. And probably because someone suggested it to me offhandedly, too; I didn't have the marks for a science degree, so why did it matter what I did?

*I say "sickening" even though I still think in terms of Science/Engineering > Humanities > Trades. I think I'm allowed to be wrong as long as I'm aware of my error and try to correct it. Yeah, maybe it is funny, but like a lot of "just a jokes" it reflects a bias that we're not even trying to rid ourselves of. Engineers have more classes than I do, they do a harder job than I will (unless I get my shit together), they will have a deeper understanding of science than I do. Do I think that means we ought to tacitly endorse a heirarchy that puts them on top? No. And I'm sorry if I'm being humourless about this, but I bet it stings for those polysci majors to be told for a week that their degree is just a useless piece of paper. Enough arts majors have those worries already.

That's not really about what I learned, though. But yeah, I think I need to get back to drafting posts beforehand. It gives me a greater opportunity to put thoughts in order and eliminate some of the worse tangents (like what I didn't do just now for a paragraph and a half). I think I should read the news more. I think I need to widen my circle of discussions and opinions. I think these are all valid lessons to have learned.

And that is all for tonight. Tomorrow: something else, probably.


PS. I totally played a game of Civ V online with someone internet-famous (the instigator of Boobquake, no less) today. The MP is kinda buggy, although between all the players I think the game spanned from the west coast of the US to France, so it might just be that trying to play a game across, like, ten time zones is a really bad idea.

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