first "Consciousness: The Webcourse" posting
my intro to the course:
Hello! I'm really looking forward to this course, and to meeting all of you.
As for my background, I have a bachelors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, but in retrospect it was the wrong thing for me to have studied. Though I have interests in sustainable development technology, I'm no longer pursuing that seriously. For some reason I was trying to be practical with my education even though myinterests lay more in the arts and in the mind.
I've always had an interest in the internal world. Starting my last year of college, this interest became most salient, and I've been trying to re-prioritize around it since. i have a minor on-again-off-again personal meditation practice, though I have never studied any particular
form in depth. i was raised christian, but it never took with me. The Dao Te Ching became an important book to me in high-school, but I never went beyond that book into Taoism, although for the last few years I have been studying Tai Chi.
Tai Chi began the year after I graduated college, when i went to China to teach English for a year. When I returned home, I decided to try my hand at producing documentary videos. So far I haven't had any astounding success, but I'm getting by for now, and considering graduate school in either digital media art or consciousness studies. At present, I am working on an educational video for the PEAR lab at Princeton University.
Currently I have two goals for my interaction with the outside world. I would like to produce 2 kinds of media. The first is interactive installation art that provokes contemplation of consciousness. Some works that have inspired me in this direction are the light installations of James Turrell, and a piece by Anthony McCall called "a line describes a cone". The second goal is more related to "social issue documentary" - I would like to help produce popular media literacy materials to aid the faltering democracy of my homeland (step down from soapbox).
I'm recently engaged, so you could say I'm enjoying life, even if I'm drifting a bit as far as a "career path" or "financial stability" goes.
I am 28 years old.
My own interest in consciousness as a field of study has not been systematic in any way. I want to learn about how it is being studied, and where my interests lie in relation to the field. I am also considering graduate study in the area, so I need to understand my weaknesses and the gaps in my understanding, and where I could bestfocus in future study.
I'd like to get a grasp on the different approaches to the field and get some sense of the layout of the different schools I might attend in the near future.
I'm also pretty sure that I'll get a lot of inspiration from this course for art projects. lately I've been doing some tinkering in first-person storytelling/autobiographical video. I'm looking to develop that morewith this course.