Werner talked about the book he recently wrote on Abu Ghraib and its consequences, and ended his lecture with his vision for the sociology of the future. Among other things he talked about the importance of using different languages, next to using English as the main academic language. Recognizing the value of expressions and words that are language specific, as well as arguing that creativity and new ideas comes from where languages overlap. In the same manner he talked about eclecticism, and the importance of being eclectic, in what you study and what you do. This creates the best foundation for new ideas, productivity and creativity. To put it in Werner’s words (though I cannot quote him as I don’t remember it exactly): New things don’t happen in the center, they happen in the periphery, where everything overlaps. I could relate to this last argument very well.
I think we live in a very eclectic world, everybody is a specialist in several different things (and I mean this more in an informal way). Especially as students we are enjoying the luxury of a lot of time, and nearly unlimited things on offer to spend it with. It creates a pressure, knowing there are so many things out there you could, or should, be doing. At the same time it’s a great life, every moment you are in for something new, possibilities are endless, and the world will never be a boring place. Sometimes I think I am doing too many different things, in terms of what I do, want to be doing, who I meet, where I travel, what I watch, what I read, there seems to be no end to what can be interesting. Sometimes it drives me mad, going from one world to the other, there is simply too little time to take it all in. I think this is something everyone is dealing with, everyone in his/her own way and with different outcomes. For this reason I thought the conference was great, it showed how everyone, though most of us still students, are specializing in something different. For me the conference was about sharing this interest and this knowledge, get some (aspiring) sociologists together and have a good time.
The other presentations were of a very diverse range of topics. On BDSM subculture, interpretive sociology of Law, analyzing „sextremism“, and the commercialization of YouTube (which was by me). Along with offering us this stage, the conference offered a challenge as well, one that all of us face from time to time. How to communicate your ideas in a clear way, and keep the audience attentive? You can watch TEDx videos all you want, presenting is something one could not get enough practice in. The food was good too. All in all, a day could not be spend in a more productive way. I’m thankful for the organizers and everyone who was there!blog comments powered by Disqus