Saturday, August 04, 2007

With an opening like this, I was predisposed to enjoying the paper that went along with it:

It is with some regret that I submit this thesis for storage in Avery Library. It is a dingy underground hole that refuses to lend the books, even though it is generally impossible to make photocopies with the broken copy machines. Perhaps that doesn't matter, since so many of the books cannot be found after checking the three separate places where they "normally" might be and spending an inordinate amount of time checking with the librarian. It has been nothing but a source of irritation, aggravation, and general frustration. I hope that nobody every finds it necessary to descend into that pit in search of my work. Perhaps one day Columbia will be enlightened enough to digitally archive theses and dissertations, making them available online.

I wasn't disappointed. It is a thoughtful and entertaining look at how people interact with the social places that surround them, and the redevelopment of Times Square in New York City - Visual Order in Times Square: The Social Regulation of Urban Space (pdf).


Stephen Pitts said...

This is definitely a way to get someone to keep going... It reminds me of Saving Private Ryan...

Private Jackson: Sir... I have an opinion on this matter.
Captain Miller: Well, by all means, share it with the squad.
Private Jackson: Well, from my way of thinkin', sir, this entire mission is a serious misallocation of valuable military resources.
Captain Miller: Yeah? Go on.
Private Jackson: Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare.
Captain Miller: Reiben, pay attention: now, this is the way to gripe. Continue, Jackson.
more here

I guess the only question that remains: How did become digitally published?

William Slawski said...

Hi Stephen,

I decided to start this blog up again with a slightly different bent to it. Good to see that you've found it.

Nice one from Saving Private Ryan. Love that line about "serious misallocation of valuable military resources."

This paper didn't find its way to the Web through Columbia, but instead through the personal website of the author:

Residual Space and Other Urban Theory

The web has made it easier to publish inspite of institutions that don't quite get it.