"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time..." -- Kerouac

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Your final papers should be around 10 to 20 pages. I tend to be more interested in thought than research. Mind you, I'm mot interested in unsupported thought. Back up what you say with evidence. But huge, heavily footnoted research projects are probably not necessary. There are, on the other hand, a lot of opportunities to do orginal research by interviewing the key players.

Those of you you have been rocking out on your homework blogs and in class should not worry much about the papers, except as a way to bump from high pass to distinction.
Those of you who have been lagging a bit might want to use a home run paper to get yourself back in the game.

Do you need help with topics? I'm available. I plan to re-immerse in course-related stuff over the weekend, so email me or post comments to this blog.


At 4:54 AM, Blogger Holly said...

Just a short FYI - Rapaille has a book coming out in May 2006 called "The Culture Code." I've found lots of interesting stuff about him and his work. Fascinating!

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Nile said...

Question...when is this paper due??

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Mattyd said...

Matt here. Have you read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink? It's a remarkable book dealing with human beings’ ability to "thin slice". It examines the means by which people make snap and accurate judgments about varying aspects in life, and how examining a person's reaction to situations can accurately predict a remarkable number of things about their future. For example, one psychologist was able to determine with 95% accuracy if a couple would remain married in 15 years after viewing the couple talk for only 15 minutes.

For the paper, I'd like to take a look at the physical attributes and aspects of blogs in terms of what makes a blog appealing to a reader on a surface, content free level. And I'd like to duplicate a study outlined in Gladwell's book to help me. Gladwell discussed a study in which individuals were given 2 second, 10 seconds, 2 minutes, and 15 minutes to view videotape showing a teacher at work. Subjects were asked to rate the teacher's effectiveness and skill. Regardless of whether the subject viewed 2 seconds or 15 minutes of footage, the outcome was almost always the same. The opinion of people did not change despite viewing a longer period of videotape. This highlights a human's ability to think slice, or make a snap and highly accurate judgments on a very, very small bit of data. I'd like to conduct a less scientific form of this test in terms of people's reaction to blogs, using 20-40 people I know as test subjects. I'd like to determine whether physical structure and appearance plays a role in a blogs popularity, and to what degree it does, as well as identifying some of the aspects of a blog that appeal to readers on a surface and subconscious level.

Will this make for a decent paper topic?

Perpetual Perpetuity

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