Let me just tell you, it’s weird to be publishing my assignments here for the world to read—not to say the world is reading. They often feel quick, raw, under-developed, and under-explored. But I said I would write publicly. That I would write in a way that works to continually reveal the process of knowledge creation.
You should know, Knowledge creation is a mess.
This is one of those things that goes without saying but really needs to be said. It isn’t clear or straight forward. In a community of scholars, people don’t all agree. Hell, people don’t even agree on what the point of scholarship is. Ask an engineer about social scientists and they’ll likely laugh at your use of the word scientist. Ask a social scientist about truth and you may hear about how it’s situated (you may hear grumblings about subjectivity and objectivity). We silo, we argue, we create meaning by writing, and posturing. It might be helpful to think of two peacocks, vying for the attention of a female. All the drama of masculinity, aesthetics, sexism, colorism, come to the forefront. And one might ask why? Depending on the field of scholars you ask, you’ll get a different answer. If you meet someone who can talk about the different answers from different fields, you’ve met a strange bird who enjoys creating and crossing bridges between silos.
The story goes that the world is too big and too messy not to be siloed. Especially when you’re concerned with biting off problems small enough to finish in a short period of time, small enough to empirically validate, but still big enough to feel like your work is important enough to justify being a scholar.
But siloing is SO DANGEROUS. This is where my clear lean on things comes out. How can you know about the context of your work without looking outside of your silo. If you don’t look outside of your silo, how can you understand the society you’re working within.
Every time before I publish something I wrote for a course, I read over it with a sense of worry. I dread that I am saying something I don’t really mean. I worry that the shortness is extending itself to gross misinterpretation. I see how I jump over things that I care about, things that I think need to be explained, in order to talk about something else.
But there is only so much time in the day. I hope that these short somethings are better than nothing at all.Writing in public is important. After all, Knowledge creation is messy.