Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm not sure when I started wanting to become a blogger, wear a cape and ride in a hot-air balloon, presumably careening and caroming across the globe in search of adventure and moderately amusing anecdotes. [note:You are not Cory Doctorow; results may vary.] It was probably some time in high school when I started digging into the strange nooks and crannies of internet weirdness. I was happy to find that wow, there were people out there who spent time finding out about interesting things, and then writing about them. It was something I felt like getting into, but didn't really have time for.
What actually got me started was admission into the fantastic Princeton-in-Asia program, where they had a special optional workshop during orientation on "Blogging," which was partly useful but mostly encouraging. They wanted us to reflect on our rather unusual circumstances, which in my case is teaching English in Cambodia for a year at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

I came to the conclusion that my PIA blog ought to focus on my experiences of travel, teaching, and cultural ridiculousness, and keep to a minimum speculation on what Theodor Adorno might have thought of Guitar Hero (which is probably going to be one of my first big posts here.) Now, my volume is probably going to be rather low over the next year or so, as I will be travelling to areas with lackluster internet, as a statement of interest and purpose, here are some things that interest me:
  • Strange and awesome historical oddities
  • Collections of Curiosities, in both the early modern and postmodern style.
  • Cold War/High Modern social inquiry (up to and including atomic war planning) and design (gotta love that Bakelite!)
  • Speculation about coming social trends, as well as antiquated visions of the future and "modern society,"
  • Media theory (mostly German influenced) and media Archaeology (Dead Media, etc.)
    • Possibly a confluence of more than one of these interests, I did a lot of research last year on radio and the contemporary academic study thereof, particularly regarding the Orson Welles broadcast. No, it was not a psychological warfare test, though I can blog later about why some people think so.
  • 'Conditions and constraints of content creation,' be it music, history, or science
  • Anthropological study of magic (though this is an area I'll admit I need to read more in)
  • Games and Gaming, considered as objects worthy of study (I'm not quite sure if I can use the term "ludologist" entirely seriously yet.)
  • Grand Strategy and the debate over "4th Generation War"
Now, I'll probably not cover all these various and sundry topics, but this is a good start, and interestingly a good way to look at these varied interests and think about what connects them. Maybe I'll comment to myself.