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slow becoming

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I am at the British Library, and I am reading Jenkins (What Happened before YouTube). I am looking for definitions of participatory & collaborative culture. I do not know if I am going to find what I am looking for in this article. Suddenly it strucks me: this is the hardest part of research; to look for without knowing where. This constant vagueness of possible routes that could lead towards something, or not. Like an intuition that has no form yet. Like a world of impalpable possibilities, with no certainties.

This state of flux is nothing else than normal life: fluidity of possibilities. And yet, in the modern world in which we live we want to “see” things before starting them, we need to control them, be efficient. There is very little efficiency in research. Organisation can help, but luck and sudden grace have a big chunk too. No one admits this. It is in the “in between” that things happen, because connections suddenly are created. We cannot plan for creation, we need to let it happen. Although I always struggle with time in my life, and the idea of spending a day at the BL without any certainties that I will find the quote that I need infuriates me, I have to admit that the PhD will have taught me something: more than patience what counts is to have faith in the becoming… To let go of efficiency is to let go of control and embrace “affected experience”. Why have we not been taught to see life as a constantly changing dynamic experience? If our success criterias had nothing to do with the time it took us to get there but with the qualitative feeling of growth we would be less stressed and,maybe, more aware and “alive”.

After slow time, slow food and slow internet I suspect I am embracing “slow becoming” as my new mantra!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011


  1. On September 25th, 2011 at 20:02 Marcus wrote:

    hi sandra, thanks for that posting! i am sitting here starting to write “just” a master thesis, nevertheless, the “have faith in the becoming” part is really encouraging ! good luck with your PhD…

  2. On September 26th, 2011 at 23:58 Sandra wrote:

    Thanks Marcus!
    … and have faith in your master thesis!!!

  3. On October 7th, 2011 at 19:49 Diana wrote:

    Very well put Sandra, thank you. I’m about to start a PhD and the “vagueness of possible routes” I can feel already will be the most difficult thing in the next four years. I will keep and refer to your words during the process and “have faith in the becoming”!

  4. On October 17th, 2011 at 13:48 Sandra wrote:

    Good luck with it!!!
    The only thing I have really learned in this 5 years: it is not a question of intelligence but of stamina. I think PhD is the marathon of the mind: you will get there if you want to and if you train yourself not to be discouraged! There are ups and downs… it is all about keep going (even when it feels like walking rather than running).

  5. On January 13th, 2012 at 18:39 noma wrote:

    “Connections suddenly are created” i totally agree in fact if you know from the beginning what are the little roads and all the secrets that will lead you to your “becoming” well this just won’t be research just putting it in an esthetic form. But to really evolve, really get to something different it is the unknown, unusual, untraveled road that will almost lead us to new questions, new answers, new visions… ( i fell very happy to discover this blog, i was preparing to write an introduction for the thesis well a personal part which resume the PhD from a research work point of view… me and my PhD i though! i get in the internet to see whether someone thought this way and i get ur blog link!!! good luck for the next )

  6. On February 3rd, 2012 at 11:48 Sandra wrote:

    Thank you! It is nice to see that we share the same insight! Feel free to post your PhD introduction here once you have written it… every little bit helps… ;-)

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