June 2, 2006

The Grand Theory of Everything

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. That's what I do: I think, and then I write about it. It can be a problem, especially in times like this, when it creates a ton of work for me.

I've been thinking a lot about rewriting my senior thesis. If you haven't read back that far, my thesis was a 90ish page document that covered 2000+ years of world history (as it related to Christianity and Christendom) and mostly talked a lot about postmodernism. It was a really long read, very dense, and vastly (in my current opinion) incomplete. After my experiences since finishing, after some more reading of other dense material, and after life in general, I've determined that the paper is not only incomplete and (in places) incorrect, but also horribly un-readable. It's packed with scholarly college-talk that means nothing to anybody in the real world. An example:

"Furthermore, the ethoi that define these cultures are never static, and they never completely die when new ethoi arise. An ethos might advance much farther in one geographic area than in another. Different geographic areas may reach the apices of the same ethoi at different times, making a full study of ethoi exceedingly opaque. All this to say that the world is never uniform at a single point in time, and as such, one cannot study ethoi as purely sequential or temporal phenomena, and must set aside chronological biases in order to fully grasp the implications of the term 'ethos.'"

I wrote like a nerd, it was awful. I keep thinking that it's high time to rewrite for content and, more importantly, style. And yet ... it's so much work! I mean, the first time it took me a full two semesters to put together, and then I only barely made my deadline by pulling a few all-nighters. Not to mention all the caffeine I consumed during that period.

On top of this, I have this personality defect that compels me to go all-or-nothing (and yet get it right on the first try) for anything academic. As I was beginning the editing process today (to see where everything stands), I started creating a list of "ideas I'd like to explore" in addition to all the stuff I've already written.

Which means that my little thesis would turn into this grand theory of everything, my every theory and thought combined into one document. The problem is that I can justify it; one of my main points in the text was "holism," the theory that everything is, essentially, linked. It's chaos theory (remmeber Jurassic Park?) for sociology; everything affects everything else.

In other words, my rambling mind saunters from one topic to another without ever breaking for air.

And so I ask you; if I wrote a book, would you read it? I think that it might be interesting, and I'd certainly try to stick to a more readable style (like what I use in my blogs, not that academic horror you saw at the beginning of the post). It's certainly been a dream of mine, to write a book, but all these doubts keep creeping into my head; nobody would read it, I should just wait until I do a PhD before I tackle something this big, I need more experience to talk about all this stuff ... the list goes on.

But would you read it?

1 comment:

Greg said...

I'd read it.