I’ve decided that for my organization system for my research, I’m going to use primarily Scrible. I love how easy it is to use and its annotation system helps me to take good notes and stay on task as I’m researching. In terms of organizing my sources, it allows me to tag them with different categories. So, for example, right now my research is focused on the human psyche, which I can tag so as to differentiate when I start going into the manifestations of infinity. Once I actually start writing, I think I’ll use Gingko to organize my thoughts a little more clearly, but for the research stage, I think Scrible is absolutely perfect.
I kept annotating my source from yesterday, as well as finding and annotating two new sources. Right now my focus of research is on how the human mind relates to the world around it, specifically the concept of a mental universe and its stem from quantum physics.
I found one really good source today about the science of notices, which is the study of knowing and understanding. I think it will be a great way to look deeper into the human mind for my topic. I plan on continuing to annotate it tomorrow.
“Cosmology.” Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 29 Apr. 2016. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/cosmology/26473. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017. This source explores the concept of infinity in relation to the universe, specifically its expanse and the different theories on whether it is finite or infinite. It also looks into the infinity of time. Though I won’t be diving too terribly deep into this area for my thesis, the depth of knowledge of this journal definitely helps me to better understand the ideas of infinity in space and time.
“Infinity.” Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1 Mar. 2016. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/infinity/384399. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017. This is one of the most helpful sources I’ve found to date. In this journal, the author breaks the concept of infinity down into three broad categories: physical, metaphysical, and mathematical. This categorization makes the most sense to me, and each type is broad enough to merit its own depth of research. However, I think if I do an foot-deep amount of research on all three, as opposed to a mile-deep on one, I can get a good lens through which to make an educated statement about humans.
“Judaism.” Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 3 Nov. 2016. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/Judaism/105859#. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017. This source details the background of the Jewish religion, which is also a partial background of the Christian religion. It has a brief section on the implications of an infinite God and how that plays into religious beliefs. This is helpful in terms of my topic, but I chose this source and find it valuable mainly for the insight into religious practice and belief for the Judeo-Christian world.
Seltzer, Leon F., Ph.D. “Contemplating Infinity: 6 Sets of Illuminating Quotes.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 29 May 2014, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201405/contemplating-infinity-6-sets-illuminating-quotes. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017. If following the three-category approach to infinity that the academic journal “Infinity” proposes, this deals with the metaphysical realm. It discusses mainly the infinity of human thought and emotion through the analysis of quotes about the infinite. Though it won’t necessarily serve as a research source, it’s a thought-provoking article that can provide ideas of where to turn.
“Western philosophy.” Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 11 Aug. 2015. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/Western-philosophy/108652. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017. This source deals with infinity through philosophy by following philosophy’s history. Throughout this history, we can see different philosophers take on the concept in terms of religion (Nicholas of Cusa), physical paradoxes (Zeno of Elea), and many other approaches. This strengthens both the theoretical and physical side of my topic and makes for a thought-provoking read.
Zammit, Victor J. “How Different Religions View the Afterlife.” Afterlife Evidence, 2001, http://www.victorzammit.com/articles/religions3.html. Accessed 14 Mar. 2017. This source gives me the background information I need for the religious aspect of my thesis. While much of it I already know, having it in a source gives me somewhere to cite from and can help to validate an argument. While I was at first a tad wary of the site, I think it’s just a victim of bad web design, because it is the website of the author of a well-read and well-received book on the afterlife and therefore, I believe, a reputable source.
I talked with Ngan about my proposal yesterday while my topic was still in a pretty vague place. Since then I think I’ve settled on a more grounded topic, which is to look at human nature while using the concept of infinity and its manifestations in society. So, in addition to those asking how we have manifested infinity into something manageable, some of my guiding questions now look like: Why do humans feel the need to compartmentalize grand ideas into these small scales? Where else does this occur in our everyday lives? I think this new scope will bring my topic back into reality a bit and give it more real-world applications.
One thing that stuck out to me about this reading was the part about note-taking and such while reading sources. I must admit, I’ve never been the best at taking notes because I get frustrated with how much it slows down my reading, and prefer to internalize the information as I go. Thus far, my method hasn’t failed me, but I’ve also never approached a research project of this caliber before. I know that going forward I will need to push my research skills and take measures that I’m not used to in order to produce the best result possible.
I also found the part in section 6.6.3 interesting about summarization and how to do it properly. Of course, I know that when summarizing or paraphrasing from a source, I still need to cite it, but I don’t know that I had ever taken the context into as much account as the book suggests. Furthermore, seeing how all of my sources relate to each other will be interesting and possibly quite challenging, as my topic covers a broad scope of things. However, I think that drawing these connections is in and of itself the basis of my thesis.
After reading this section, I think that, when applied to my thesis, I will be using both primary and secondary sources in my research. I’ve already looked at some of Aristotle’s work with the concept of infinity, which, if I’m not mistaken, would be a primary source. Furthermore, one of the books I’m looking at, A History of Western Philosophy, would be considered a secondary source as I analyzes a lot of teachings from the ancient philosophers. All of my other sources at the moment are from the databases linked through our library’s page, which cover a wide range of topics.
In terms of the philosophical and theological side of my thesis, I’m not sure what experts I have access to. Like I said in another blog, Coach Anderson recommended a friend of his for the mathematics of infinity, but I’m not focusing on that lens of research for my actual thesis. My dad can probably link me to some theologians through his work, and I’m sure he himself has some valuable information that is applicable to my research.
One part of this reading I found intriguing was the part about looking beyond “predictable” sources. The idea of looking at plays when studying economy, as the book says, seems reasonable once it is suggested, but I don’t know that I would have ever come up with that on my own. It makes me wonder what sort of “unpredictable” sources might exist for my own research.