Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Presentations - Tim Ingold, Patricia Churchland

I was in Perth for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year to catch up with family. The weather was hot - at least 30'C everyday. I was up early as Perth is 5 hours behind NZ. Comparatively cooler in the morning to work off the good food dished up each day by my mother and other rellies, with 20 - 30 kms bike rides. Thankfully, some small hills and mostly on bike trails to explore area around the Canning River.

During the afternoon, when temperatures made it too hot to be outdoors and my parents, babies, pets  etc. were having their post-lunch siesta, I caught up with a range of youtube videos on topics relevant to my research projects - i.e. trades learning and how people become trades people. Usually, I previewed the video on afternoon. Then spent another afternoon working through the details of some of the concepts presented using Google Scholar and the presenters' webpage. Then drilling down to salient concept and to write up notes etc. with another more selective video watching session. So each of the following presenters took up a good 5 - 6 afternoons.

First up , caught up with a few videos with Professor Tim Ingold who has a chair in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. There were several videos reflecting the evolution of Professor Ingold's work. One I watched through was on'Thinking through making' recorded in October 2013. Although only about half an hour, the presentation covered many of the precepts of Ingold's work, with text version covering for example in 'Toward an Ecology of Materials'. Annual Review of Anthropology' .

Then, the work of Professor Patricia Churchland from the University of California on neurophilosophy, leading to a collection of videos from Serious Science - which I will park for another occasion to view. Also a longer video on free will and self control related to her work on neuroethics.

I find videos to be a good way to better understand the writings of researchers, especially with topics requiring effort to build up a foundation in and then to work through complex concepts. Viewing the video brings into focus researchers' / writers' standpoint. Good presentations often include examples not always detailed in articles. So, videos are good supplements, especially if ever being able to watch f2f presentations from illustrious academics are out of reach.

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