Thesis Proposal

Once again, in the spirit and method of open source, I’ve posted my thesis proposal as a PDF here if you want to get an idea of what my project is about. It is a rough, working draft and is NOT for citation! I have published some of this stuff elsewhere, so if you need to cite it, you can use that.

Like my whole approach, this posting is experimental. An academic is nothing but reputation, and reputation is built through ideas and writing, but protected through copyright, and exclusive IP regimes. If I let you in on my ideas now, before they’re “published”, or even finished, what will happen (my skeptical colleagues want to know)? Will I be ripped off? Will someone beat me to it, and publish my ideas in “proper” academic style (say in the more prestigious, closed journals)? Will my work (and therefore me) become redundant?

I guess we’ll see. The key thing (for me) to remember is that my work isn’t “mine” but a recombination of existing ideas (at best!), perhaps offering an original – or fresh – perspective. I remain in debt to all the ideas swirling about, copulating, percolating and ripening in the ether long before I thought I had something to contribute. And goddess forbid, if someone cared to rip off my ideas, that would mean someone cared. And that, to me, is the point.