Wrapping Up and Remembering Rabaa


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The Quest for a Better Setup: Part One

Last summer, I spent most of my time working on an analysis of changes within the Grim Dell during periods of rainfall.  In the very last week, I embarked upon a microcosm project. I followed the setup of a previous lab member, freezed my samples and analyzed them during the 2013-2014 school year.  My results were generally inconclusive, and during the school year I had a lot of time to consider the ways that the project could be improved.

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The Quest for a Better Setup: Part Two

Buying the filter was fairly straightforward and we already had a peristaltic pump. Smooth sailing there.

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Writing a Literature Review

Part of my research work for the summer has consisted of writing a literature review.  This entails reading over articles pertaining to my research question, writing summaries, and integrating the information they contain in order to situate my own research question within a broader academic context.  The impact of media coverage on various facets of public policy and politics has been studied extensively, but many questions about the full effect of media coverage remain.

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The unpresentable, and various forms of abstraction

Barnett Newman’s Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1950)

Project: to articulate and express the sublime feeling via experimental short film. Abstract here.

One element of the sublime, especially in contemporary understanding, is the idea that it is “unpresentable.” The sublime exceeds human understanding, and defies any attempts to represent it in any medium; it’s inconceivable and therefore impossible to depict or describe.

This goes back to Immanuel Kant, who explained the experience of the sublime as an encounter with our own limitations — the realization that an experience is wholly outside your ability to understand it. “We are made aware, Kant observed, that sometimes we cannot present to ourselves an account of an experience that is in any way coherent. We cannot encompass it by thinking, and so it remains indiscernable or unnameable, undecidable, indeterminate and unpresentable.” 1

Probably the best-known expression of this idea is an ancient one:

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
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