Learning Goal: I’m working on a literature writing question and need an explanat

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Learning Goal: I’m working on a literature writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.This week you need to read two readings relevant to this discussion board:1) the brief except by Sheldon Wolin from his book called Politics and Vision, (in your Coursepack) and2) a paper by Michel Baranger called Complexity, Chaos, and Entropy (click on Learning Materials in this Module).Neither of these readings is particularly easy, but they both have lots to say;and taken together they speak volumes to what we’ve been trying to do this semester.When you read them, think carefully about the implications for interdisciplinarity and methods of inquiry. One of the lectures that’s been posted for this week: “Other Methods” (in Course Documents/Lectures), is important for this discussion as well. For this Discussion Board, you should pay close attention to both readings and the lecture on “Other Methods.”Very simply, here’s what you’re going to do in this discussion: invent a method. Given what you’ll have read by Wolin and Baranger, and what you’ve seen of “Other Methods,” you need to, in your contribution, name your method and then explain it. This little exercise will be evidence to the rest of us, and to yourself, of your genius. (A careful reading of Wolin will explain what I mean.)Baranger’s explanation of complexity theory should inspire you to think that there just might be lots of ways, other than using surveys and interviews, to investigate our world. If you’ve read any books by Brian Greene, you’ll know that we’ve come a long way in a short time in our understanding of the unvierse: there are mathematical proofs that tell us that there exist at least 11 dimensions (we know of four); not only do we know there are black holes, we actually create them in particle accelerators; besides the Higgs Boson, we might also soon find a graviton, also anticipated in mathematics, which would be evidence of the existence of universes (the same math tells us that there are as many as 10 to the 500th power of them!). This is all part of quantum physics, space-time, topology, String Theory, M-Theory, and so on… And, of course, looking in the other direction, we’ve got the genome mapped. It’s an amazing time to be here, thinking about the world and ourselves in it.Think back to the distance between us and those nomads with whom we began our lecture on the Philosophy of Science. Remember how I asked you to think about how our thinking changed over the years. We have indeed come a long way from their hunting and gathering for survival to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, and Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem (all ideas produced in the 20th century that upset all of what had come before).Wolin is much more tentative. His account is a cautionary tale, describing the utopian dreams of some of the philosophers and social scientists of the 19th and 20th centuries going seriously awry. As we dream of futures unlike anything we might have been previously able to imagine, we also need to temper our enthusiasm with the possible consequences of our vision.With all of that as a pretext, we want to begin to see what the connection between method and interdisciplinarity is. In fact, one of the greatest contributions that interdisciplinarians can make to the way we think about the world is to create new ways of thinking about the world, new ways of asking questions — to invent new methods of inquiry. We can think outside the box, the box being in this case the very methods of trying to think outside the box! And here we are. Please don’t invent a product or a gadget. And think through both articles: one inspires imagination, the other is a warning. But above all, don’t content yourself with conventional wisdom or common understanding. We want to do more than achieve “common ground.” We want to find ourselves on UNcommon ground. The sky’s the limit. Allow your imagination to soar.I can’t say anything more than this. It will be entirely up to you to figure this out.And now… we’re waiting to hear from you. Reply to these Instructions (give your Reply a title: The _______ Method), and then give us your (minimally) couple of paragraphs to explain your new method of interdisciplinary inquiry. I’m not expecting anything other than your one entry (your grade rests entirely on that), but if you want to, you’re welcome to reply to others. (By the way, it would be very useful if your two good paragraphs clearly referred to anything specific in the readings and the lecture that were useful to your purpose.)Since you are free to think (way) outside the box, I can’t really give you any limitations on what you invent here. Your thinking isn’t even limited by the known universe, since there might be as many as 10 to the 500th power of them!!!Again, remember to be professional in your presentation. Let’s see some genius!

 

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