Friday, September 21, 2007


I might be on the down slope in this second chapter. I've been writing about scale, aerating the idea of "textual altitude." I begin with conventional notions of scale, like those we find in traditional, basic cartography. Drawing on a couple of geography resources, I brush the term in two different directions: representational scale and conceptual scale. Next, I bring Latour on board so that he will help me account for the problems with the micro/macro debate. Latour urges a flattening out of the social so that associations are rendered traceable (without jumps up or down or the proliferation of tiny, temporary, bridges of convenience). Latour is especially on point for what I'm trying to set up where he distinguishes between the Orders of Magnitude, a variation of scale that is useful for measuring, and panoramic vistas, which are appropriate for traveling (186). Right, his replacement of panoptica with oligoptica pertains to scale, too, and I include it briefly, as well. I'm surprised (the sort of surprise that turns into: What now?) by the correspondences between what has shaped up in the section on scale and what shaped up in the section on abstraction. Both chunks scream certain unavoidable ideas at me that will return later in the diss as-conceived (esp. in C. 6). Can't worry about this yet. It doesn't have to be settled until, oh, March or April. One challenge of late is that in my quasi-outline I fancy holding to just ten pages on the concept of scale (same for the other three concepts I snake through in this second chapter). But ten pages won't be enough unless I discard a few citations, do away with some of the references I'd hoped to include. At nine pages into this section on scale, I have dealt only with the traditional cartography and Latour. I was also thinking I would bring aboard the network studies conversation about scale-free networks. I can't accomplish this and keep to ten pages, but I can attempt it while keeping the section down around fifteen pages. So that this seems like a good idea, I only need to remind myself that what I've been writing will be different later on, after the ruts and pockets are rolled smooth.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at September 21, 2007 1:30 PM to Dissertation