Monday, December 1, 2008

Truth

Is it possible to have total, absolute truth?

What is knowledge but a set of ideas that someone else came up with because they based it off someone else's set of ideas, who based it off of someone else's ideas, who based it off of....

Are our attempts at creating notions of unbiasedness, of scientific objectivity, an exercise in futility? Every person, in speaking, thinking, creating, communicating, imparts on their creation apart of themselves. How naive are we to think that there can be some ideal, some "ideal type" as Weber calls it, of truth?

If truth, then, is a spectrum, who has the rigtht to judge what is "more true" and "less true"? Is who we deem has the right a reflection of our values in society?

Let's be a little more concrete here: Medicine. Who's account of a person's condition is more "true"? The doctor's diagnosis, or the patient's story? If within the discourse between doctor and patient during consultation results in an agreement of outcome, is that the ultimate "truth" that should be considered? If they happen to disagree, is it the patient's prerogative to believe in their truth, or the doctor's? Should we judge quality of healthcare based on happiness and satisfaction of the patient, or the seemingly "unbiased" diagnosis of the doctor? What gives the doctor, or the patient, the right to claim "truth"?

If objectivity is an exercise in futility, then is it the process towards objectivity that is important? However, if objectivity, or truth, is not even an achievable consequence, then is the process, the procedure, the pathway towards a perceived objectivity even worth trying?

It's a paradox really: my questions beg the truth, even though I claim there is no such thing.

**side note**
We're reading Foucault in theory, and studying medical research in Health and Aging. I can't help that these things are tossing and turning in my head. Haha. Maybe a real personal update should be coming up next. I do need to get in the habit of posting. Sorry for taking so long!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More on collective effervescence

http://blog.mlive.com/a2politics/2008/11/update_obama_supporters_clog_t.html

http://www.michigandaily.com/content/elation-diag-obama

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Collective Effervescence

I have to say, never have I been more proud to be an American. I feel like its really shocking for me to say this, since I've never defined myself as an "American" (side effect of living overseas), and have always felt comfortable to observe patriotism from a distance. I don't have strong political leanings either way, and am wary towards anyone with a strong fervor for their nation. But tonight...I don't think that anyone can deny the magnitude of what happened tonight.

What I just experienced was more powerful than any political figure, any piece of legislation, anything political. Tonight I feel like something transformed the political, and made it real.

Tonight I felt the spirit of hope and change. It sounds cheesy, I know, but I don't think I can compare what I felt tonight with anything else. People spontaneously rushing through the streets, waving the American flag, singing the Star Spangled Banner, hugging, kissing, and crying with everyone around them, honking their horns, shouts of "YES WE CAN"....to be a complete sociologist at the moment--a true vision of collective effervescence.

And then hearing, that this was happening everywhere. This is not a phenomenon that was isolated in the little liberal town of Ann Arbor...it was in Chicago, in Dallas, even all around the world! That a single man, and a single hope for change, can unite so many people, cut across all strata...what an amazing power...

Nobody thought it would happen. And look at tonight. Look at what this inspired. Think about all the possibilities. If we can harness this feeling, this hope, this optimism, perhaps that is the answer to all of our troubles.

I can post about so much more (the speech, the votes, the progression of the day), but I really just want to leave with one thought.

Think of all the possibilities.

Yes We Can.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Inspiration

video

coming back from dance rehearsal today I all of a sudden felt very inspired. There are just certain songs, movement, emotions, that really move me. I am so grateful to still be dancing and that dancing is still the medium through which I get my release.

When I got home, I just felt the need to let energy out. I just turned on the music and let it carry me. It's been a long time since I've done this, and it really felt so good. I watched the above video again--I must have watched this video 100 times over the summer; it just got me. That a feeling so raw and emotional can be conveyed visually like that is just amazing.

I just sometimes have to remember that that is what it is: a release. Dance is supposed to be the fun part of my life. Once I start getting my head wrapped around logistics and performance and reasons for dancing, I think I lose sight of the ultimate point of dance. I dance because the music and emotion move me to...not to prove something to other people, to be in the spotlight, to perform, or to get ahead. I've stuck with dance (and not theatre) because it has always been that medium through which I gain clarity.

I'm just grateful, happy, and inspired to dance. I hope that never changes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Sign


Today was a pretty normal day till I got back home, and on my doorstep was this!

I take it as a sign that I'm somewhat in the right place when little things like a new book make me excited.

I promise I'm still cool. Maybe.

(For those of you who are dying to know (I'm sure that's everyone) this is going to possibly be a book that I will write my final theory paper on, as an extension of what my undergrad thesis was about. Don't know what my undergrad thesis was about? Shame. One word: doctors. :) )

Sunday, October 26, 2008

First Entry

So I've been thinking for awhile to start a blog about grad school, life, etc. For a couple reasons:

1) to keep those I care about in the loop with my life. ie. the mass email rationale. I could just mass email, but for some reason I feel like blogging is more....creative? (and clearly more self-centered...HA). And I would blog a lot more often than mass email.

2) To give me something "productive" to do when I'm not being productive, instead of wasting my hours away thinking of a new name to google, or zoning out on Facebook, or staring at words...

3) Because I used to blog a lot, but don't know why I stopped. So...I'm starting again!

Right now, Weber is jostling for my attention, so I think I need to give him some positive reinforcement, and then head off to bed to prepare for a terribly long Monday tomorrow. I just needed to get this post up because I have been putting this off for quite some time now. I feel like I build up the expectation for myself for a first post and end up having nothing really witty or groundbreaking to say and therefore let myself down. (Heck, I put off making a blog all summer because I couldn't even come up with a TITLE.) But now that that's out of the way, the second post will be an easier obstacle to overcome. (hopefully, or this blog will be terribly uninteresting). Till next time then! :)