Thought Experiment #45,730,944 » Why I care about where I stand today

Thought Experiment #45,730,944

A pseudophilosopher and a̶s̶p̶i̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ professional hippy's contribution to cyberspace

Why I care about where I stand today

Posted on October 31, 2016 in Ramblings

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One of my favorite things about (my new) life as a graduate student is that everything, truly everything, seems designed to force you to try and understand where authors were standing when they wrote, or made, what you are studying.

I can see my more academic friends going duhhh, but bear with me for a second: when you are spending your entire day doing workshops, following up with allies, and generally putting out fires, having time to think is not the default. It is a privilege. And, unless you are in a research position, you will generally not use that privilege to look into the contexts from which authors emerged, nor to trace their argumentative paths. You go about life for four years without dwelling on where the authors of our ideas stand.

I have been blogging for 10 years now, and rereading what I wrote at age 16 makes me cringe, but it lets me see where I was standing back then. Today, it is for the loving work by my allies that I am lucky (or, rather, privileged) to stand in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where different affiliations are letting me explore the arguments, ponder the sticky questions and have the conversations I always wanted to have:

* As a Comparative Media Studies student, so I get to do fascinating readings on media theory, affect in film and the intersection between cognition and arts – then think and discuss. From that beautifully challenging intersection between the humanities and social science.

* Doing research assistance with Sasha Costanza-Chock, I get to explore the more pragmatic sides of research that relate with my everyday practice as a Latin American media and technology activist, from design justice to participatory processes. Witnessing the work and conversations at the Center for Civic Media is also bringing me new insights and much needed fresh air on civic technology.

* Through my affiliation with the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School , I get to be close to my YAMily, the Youth and Media Lab, where I consolidated the curriculum-building skills that took me through dozens of workshops in Mexico, and where I first formally explored topics of youth and digital literacies – the field in which I want to work for at least the next ten years.

The one thing that these three spaces have in common is that they allow me to learn primarily by making me read the works of others, engage in conversations about the works of others, and, more often than not, actually interact with those others to deepen my understanding of their work (and, ultimately, of my own interests). From different perspectives, I get to examine, or directly ask, where people stand.

And yet this always comes down to us. Where does this make us stand? Where does this make me stand, and will make me stand two years from now? I dedicated my first blog post at the Center for Civic Media blog to the things that keep my mind busy today, and I’ll check in again in a couple of years. (Kidding. I will be posting a lot.)

1 response

  1. Noé Domínguez (Dec 10, 2016, 5:08 am)

    I like this: “bringing me new insights and much needed fresh air on civic technology”. It is good to hear from you that there is still valuable research to get done. :)

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