Norway to the future
Monday, June 14, 2004
Bowie, London and lagers in the park
Looking at my posts the last months, I can see that writing only about future trends and science news is giving me a writers block; it demands a certain plan from the start when writing, and for one who has no idea where a newly started sentence will end, this is not the way to go.
Over to London. On Friday, that is. Finally, it's been almost five years since my last trip there. My first trip was in '97, I was attending IB, and the teacher dubbed the trip "The Cinderella trip"... We were a bunch of bright, just-been-allowed-to-drink, horny teenagers, and this teacher had us be back at the hotel by midnight. We were protesting, no compromises. Midnight. No two o'clock reasonably early curfew we might have respected. While we had some great days, I remember lying in a park in Stratford-upon-Avon just before attending Henry V at the theatre, drinking cheap lagers, trying to kill the headache from the day before. Two and a half hours of a WW1-staged Shakespeare play was a bit too much that day... I remember the flowers, this was in September, just after princess Di had been killed; I was thinking more about what all the money could have been used for than mourning her death.
The second trip was in '99, with the shipping interest group at my business school. We were a bunch of bright, heavy-drinking, horny twentysomethings, and this time there was no curfew. We were, however, supposed to visit a number of companies, often very early in the morning. I remember wearing an old suit, sunglasses, smelling last night's Jägermeisters each time I took a breath, drinking cheap lager in the park, going to Hippodrome and thinking that was the coolest place I'd ever been.
This time there will not be curfews nor company visits. Only the predicted severe hangover from the Bowie concert on Thursday; and until then, worrying about whether it will rain cats and dogs that day (lousy spring in Bergen nowadays). I'm visiting some friends, with some friends. I will finally get to visit British Museum, and have some lagers in the park.
My thesis is progressing, albeit rather slowly. Several reasons for this. First of all, I find spending time with my girlfriend even funnier than reading about complexity theory (and I really like complexity theory -- and I am seriously not ironic here). Second, since I already have a job, the incentives for finishing off the last tiny part of my studies are not too great; I do of course need the title (Siviløkonom falls somewhere between a bachelor and a masters degree), but I don't need it for getting that essential first Real Job. Third, and bear with me on this one; I really want to spend some time on this paper. For the first time in my life, I am writing about something that really interests me, so I tend to get sidetracked into related concepts all the time while researching. I also have plenty of reading to do (not much systems theory in our curriculum), so it will be some time before the first words are written in Word. At the time being, I am structuring things in the fabulous 3-D concept mapping software used at Ray Kurzweil's page, called The Brain. I hope I will be able to export the information there to another mind manager program when structuring the thesis itself, but it will in any case be a nice reference for use now and later.
And what am I writing about, you ask? Still without a research question, I tend to give a new explanation every time I talk to someone about this. The broad topic is learning organizations, more specifically I am writing about how tacit knowledge evolves through self-organization in a complex adaptive system. Or something like that. With related subjects being everything from Artificial Intelligence, Chaos Theory, System Dynamics, Evolutionary Biology, Emergence, to practical applications through the use of collaborative software such as wikis, blogs and instant messaging, this will take some time, but the path is definitely more relevant than the goal in this case.
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