Structuring research activities, or Cornucoping

Posted on July 18, 2007

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I cannot recall a time during which I have been able to work in as concentrated a manner as I have been able to do here. Each day I read several articles – far too many to write about on the blog – and write a few pages for the various papers that I am working on. The only limit is the amount of energy I have to keep going till late at night. Still, it is a limit and I think that I will have to start thinking about structuring how I use my time.

I guess that having a more haphazard approach makes sense right at the beginning of the research. It avoids the possibility of falling into patterns set by false presuppositions. In my case it has meant a broad reading regiment which includes various scientific approaches to superstition, similar work on religion, various fundational work in what might be termed the sciences of cognition as well as work focussed upon heuristics. In all that there have been several papers that seem particularly relevant and which I will have to go back a number of times to fully appreciate. I expect that something like order will to a certain degree naturally emerge out of the ideas that get built up on the basis of this reading allowing me to start working in a more directed fashion. Already something like this is happening due to the direction to the reading that is forced by the particular papers I am writing, for which I have to go back to particular topics to substantiate the points I wish to make.

I am still amazed by how different these working conditions are to what I had been coping with for the last few years – the painful cost of it being that I do not get to see my family much.

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