Friday, February 29, 2008

Three or four lectures worth of slides to study.

I have a mid-term exam later today. I have been reading the lecture slides that this exam will be based on. I have not read much else all night. I did scan two days worth of newspapers and recycled them. I also attended on Thursday a meeting with consultants from the Ontario Graduate Schools Council. There were a few other students I know there too. In fact, I did know all the students and have studied with them all. In that way my graduate school is intimate and not like an undergraduate program. I have read almost all the slides once now. I need to read them again and start to really know them and memorise them for the exam later today.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I have finished a phase of research at work.

I was reading documents at work and extracting information from these. Mostly this was copy and paste and searching and finding. I know a lot more about my workplace now. This is really a human resources research topic in the world of work through the lens of knowledge management. I was having some heated arguments with my boss a noted and long time sociologist about concepts and definitions. I was hoping to write a preliminary paper exploring measures of knowledge but am not sure I have the freedom or material to write this now. May be I can rewrite the abstract or write something different. It would be nice and productive to write something towards my thesis but writing has to be based on research or at least theory. I was hoping this could be a background literature study where I would become aware of concepts in knowledge management. I am sort of torn now between background research and real research and wonder if the time is right to do this paper in the sociology of work. May be a little more political theory and less technical theory would work. I have until Saturday to submit my abstract.

I am now realising I could just document what I have done this month and add background summaries of our problem about the baby boom.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

LaTeX on blogger has now failed.

This was the original software

Now it has failed because the server has been taken off line that produced the graphics files.

Today is a full time study day again but I will sleep.

I have just been reading a basic numeracy book in French. I also have been memorising my school lecture slides for our mid-term this week. I want to catch up and really know these notes for the test. I have also sent an email to my future thesis supervisor about a paper I am submitting this week to the American Sociology Association 103rd annual conference. This year the theme is "the world of work." I am modeling a workplace in a computer simulation so this is good. This paper is an early problem definition phase paper where I will explore variables and boundaries. So today I will read more of Lost knowledge. I will also study some XHTML and HTML for a work place job I applied for. I will read the second chapter in the health and safety book.I will also read another paper on cyber feminism in the Nordic countries. I should also read some Rao on survey errors and some more about managing knowledge. Then to relax I will read Harry Potter in both French and English

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I am doing thesis work at work the past month now.

I have spend about half a month now doing research that might end up in my thesis. It is starting to seem like a really good position to be in. I had a good day at work today. I am also slowly progressing with more reading and that was missing the past school term. Lots of borrowing books but not enough reading the books.

Monday, February 18, 2008

All tasks not completed by 1 AM.

I am deciding to leave the tasks of reading the second chapters of books aside now. This means overnight now that I will read no more about health and safety. I will stop reading about cyberfeminism. I will not read the Dummies book at all. I will continue to read the chapter in the GIS book for our term project. I will read the Adobe InDesign CS 2 Classrooom in a Book but only finish the chapter I am reading or this task may be scrapped, as well as, the scrapping of other tasks as stated above. I will now focus more on writing and not drop any of the writing tasks. Already having read some of the GIS chapter, I have developed some ideas for writing our term project so should get to that soon. I still hope to stop all this studying by 3 AM and play an on-line game. I also hope to go into work early to work on job applications. Thus I need to start to prepare for work around 4:30 AM this morning not 5 AM as I usually have done these past four months. This means my made up on-line gaming reward is going to be cut short but I will still try for the in game goal of earning one million game dollars.

Going into work early or overnight now, I will work on my resume more and the cover letter for a job application coming up at work. The resume is near its third or fourth final proof read and correction. The cover letter still needs to be started. I am passing up on one job application that closes today.

Another task completed. Chapter one read in the occupational health and safety book.

The book's first chapter ended with a brief look at the hierarchy of health and safety programs and the detailed internal and a broad view of external responsibilities and the detailed internal accountabilities involved. After the historical straight ahead view, the chapter covered management theories, organizational design characteristics, organizational design relationships with organizational elements, organizational design structures, internal and external responsibility systems then the external provincial and federal systems in Canada.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

One task for tonight completed. Chapter one in a book read.

I have completed reading the first chapter in the book about cyberfeminism. Here is the citation for this chapter:

Sundén, Jenny. On Cyberfeminist Intersectionality in Elm, Malin Sveningsson and Jenny Sundén. Cyberfeminism In Northern Lights : digital media and gender in a Nordic context (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2007).

This covered the place of feminist studies in social characteristics and looked at the concept of Intersectionality before giving some examples of robots and then looking at these through a gender, sexual difference lens. The author suggests a wider view would also take into account race and class as most robots come from Japan or the USA.

The point of this book is to show the Nordic perspective of cyberfeminism rather than the American perspective as the unquestioned and only perspective. For instance in Nordic countries and this is true in Estonia as well there is no gender in the languages. There is no s/he and it. There also seems to be on the surface a high level of gender equality in Nordic countries with many women leaders. But these leaders are still only handling women's ministries in the government not finance or defence where the power is.

More from the book about occupation health and safety. This time the reading was a survey of management theories.

More from the book about occupation health and safety. This time the reading was a survey of management theories and the relationship of these theories to health and safety management programs.
Dyck, Dianne E. G., ibid
The next section of this book in chapter one was a survey of modern and historical management theories. I thought through each example reflecting on my own workplace. This gave me an idea of using health and safety as a sub theme or main theme to thread through my thesis as this would attract some funding from workers organisations.

The history of workplace safety law and action

I read the 10 or so pages on occupational health and safety at work history in Canada and the USA. This covered the development in the past 100 years or so. The book is:

Dyck, Dianne E. G. Occupational health & safety : theory, strategy & industry practice (Markham, ON: LexisNexis Canada, 2007).
The coverage included Germany in the early days and also covered a famous fire in the New York City's garment industry where 146 workers many of them young Italian and European Jewish women immigrants died in a fire. They could not escape because doors were locked. Also fire ladders and hoses could not reach the ninth floor so some jumped to their death rather than die in the fire

Tonight's goals.

I will plan my studies out tonight. I intend to read three chapters from InDesign CS2 for Dummies, one chapter of Adobe InDesign CS2 Classroom In A Book and use InDesign. Related to this I will also fix my resume and send it to work and write a draft for a cover letter for a job opening as web master at work. I will also finish the chapter I am reading in Cyberfeminism in Northern Lights and read one more chapter of that. I will also read three chapters of a health and safety at work handbook.

If I can get all this reading done by 1 AM or 3 AM I will then play an on-line role playing game and try to make 1 million game dollars by mining in space. Then I am off to work early in the morning Monday.

I will also plan to write two pages of my term project, my presentation slides for two weeks from now, and start more work on the thesis outline. I will also study for my mid term occuring in about two weeks from now

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I am submitting a paper to a workshop in the USA.

I will have to get a passport to travel to the USA to give this paper. It comes out of my thesis topic and is a study of knowledge measures. My father a professor helped me by proof reading the abstract last night. He suggested one change.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Random walk proof

I found a proof of random walks of three or higher dimensions being non returning. Here is a Harvard cite for this paper.

LAWLER, G., 1996. Cut Times for Simple Random Walk. Electronic Journal of Probability, 1, pp. 1-24.
I was supposed to find this last year and we covered this proof but did not actually do it in class last year in SYS5120

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I went to hear Ignacio Chapela at the GSAÉD Interdisciplinary Conference

I attended the annual graduate student interdisciplinary conference this evening.I am kind of kicking myself for not having written a paper for this conference now that I have attended it. But I am too over worked to write a paper right now. I am an exhausted scholar and an exhausted worker. Here is the summary or abstract of the talk I heard this evening.

"Reason Exhausted: Science, environment and the end of progress"

The 21st Century will be marked by the ecology and politics of exhaustion. The manic euphoria of Western Civilization for the techno-fix against unresolvable environmental limits belies a stage of development in our relationship to the environment in which such solutions exist only as childhood memories or false propagandistic advertising. I will first probe the limits of our technical engagement with the environment, aiming at disentangling reality from corporate advertising, to show that no amount of virtualization of the world can purchase for us even temporary suspension of basic thermodynamics, geological cycles and historical sense. Such an analysis reveals the exhaustion of the mythologies of Progress, with obvious consequences for the 20th Century narratives of Sustainability and Rights. From this basis, I will then pursue the role played by the scientist, writ large, in the development of such a unique historical crisis. I understand that the current erosion of independent rationality (corporate, governmental, and religious takeover of institutions and their products, particularly the Public University) reflects not only the limit of physical exhaustion of so-called natural resources, but also the end of rationality as a cultural resource in itself. As others have pointed out, this double exhaustion marks the end of a 10, 000 year old story, and the beginning of an uncharted time for humanity and the world. I will attempt to engage with the audience in an exploration of the options available for young people in such a pregnant historical moment.

Thesis work begins unofficially.

I met with a professor who needs some modeling of East Coast Fishery communities. I am yet to open the data CDROM and start to look at this problem. For my thesis I am doing work at work now reading about my workplace and its reaction to the baby boom. This could be considered background reading as I learn the basics of the environment of the system I will model.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Reading John Nash's working papers

John Nash is a professor who is retiring from the university of Ottawa but is willing to supervise my thesis. I read these short working papers of John's Nash's now:

Nash, John C., Smith, Neil, and Adler, Andy. Audit and change analysis of spreadsheets (Ottawa : Faculty of Administration, University of Ottawa, 2003).
This concerns me at my workplace as I work with Excel spreadsheets at work and must verify numbers in these computer files when they are displayed on my workplace screen as spreadsheets. Because their tool is designed for Open Office and we do not have Open Office at work, I can not actually use the tool these authors created. But I did mean to try out there tool but after reading their paper find out they did not complete the project because they wanted to run the software from a server rather than on the worker's machine.
Nash, John C., Calof, Jonathan and Nash Mary M. Statistical process improvement, open-source software, and E-Commerce (Ottawa : Faculty of Administration, University of Ottawa, 2003).
Nash, John C. and Nash, Mary M. Issues in finding and managing duplicate or equivalent files (Ottawa : School of Management, University of Ottawa, 2006).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

In the Field by Robert G. Burgess

I picked this book up at my landlord's free books library in their office. I am almost finished reading the first chapter. This is a good read for preparing to do my thesis research which is in the end, a bit like field research in a sociological tradition. I am both insider and outsider in my opinion. Although the thesis will mostly involve systems modeling and simulation and not be a sociology work. I should check out this book with some senior sociologists and see if it is a good book. Perhaps I could try to check a citation index perhaps Google Scholar will do for now.

Knowledge management: the background research for my thesis begins

I am reading a fairly randomly picked book on Knowledge management. It does though use the perspective of the researcher affecting the subject in some chapters so this would be true to my past statistics work in government.

Facebook use the big Internet time cost in 2007.

From the day I started to use facebook last Spring to now I have used facebook quite a lot probably everyday continuously since I signed up. It has connected me to many old friends and kept contacts alive with coworkers I would have forgotten. Unlike email I have found no embarrassing results. I have also found as I say many old friends although email still connects me with the past as well. I find out people are dead via the internet now. I have even stopped capitalising the word internet now.