Settling in London

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the delay in posting, I was waiting until the end of LSE’s Welcome Week so that I would have a better idea of my course schedule.  

First I’d like to give an overview of my Master’s requirements.  I’ll be taking courses during the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, which run from September – December and January – March, respectively.  During this time I’ll also be working on my 10,000 word dissertation, which is on a topic of my choice and is due at the end of August, 2017.  During the next two terms I’ll have to take three units of courses in philosophy – this can be any combination of full-unit courses (taught during both terms) and half-unit courses (taught only during the Michaelmas or the Lent Term).

I have until October 10th to finalize my course selection, but my preliminary choices for my three units are below.  Note that I have two options listed for one of my half-unit slots because I haven’t decided whether to take a course in Psychology or to stick to Philosophy and audit the Psychology course.  I’m thinking about this course because it considers societal opposition to scientific development, which is very relevant to my proposed dissertation topic (which at the moment vaguely involves non-scientific influences on science).

1 Rationality and Choice (Full-Unit Course) – Department of Philosophy

An examination of probabilistic thinking in risky or uncertain circumstances, solution concepts for games, and bargaining theory

2 Set Theory and Further Logic (Full-Unit Course) – Department of Philosophy

An introductory course in both ‘working’ and ‘conceptual’ set theory for their applications in logical philosophical reasoning

2.5 Evidence and Policy (Half-Unit Course, Michaelmas Term) – Department of Philosophy

An examination of how rational thinking and the interpretation of evidence can inform policy decisions which bring about intended outcomes (and how misinterpretations and poor evidence can inform policy decisions which fail to bring about intended outcomes) 

and 

3 Science, Technology and Resistance (Half-Unit Course, Lent Term) – Department of Psychology

A psychology course examining public resistance and public engagement with science, and public impact on such scientific developments as nuclear power and genetic engineering

or 

3 Physics and the City: From Quantum Jumps to Stock Market Crashes (Half-Unit Course, Lent Term) – Department of Philosophy

An exploration of the philosophical implications of similarities between quantum physical theories and financial theories (as many modern models in both fields examine meta-effects of many, singular, random moving parts, whether theses parts are atoms or stock prices)

[above course descriptions paraphrased from the LSE course guide available at http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calendar/courseGuides/]

In addition to selecting my classes, I’ve also used the past week to get more accustomed to London.  I’ve been getting used to my neighborhood, which is a pretty non-scenic array of large housing complexes north of Kings Cross station; I’ve been scouting gyms to join (the LSE campus gym is expensive yet unimpressive and I’d like to find a gym with a pool); and I’ve been meeting my classmates and flatmates.  I was relieved to learn that many of my classmates similarly come from backgrounds of little or no philosophy exposure.  As for my housing, I’m super excited to have a kitchen and a private room again – as fun as traveling is, I can only handle the “social proximity” of 10-bed hostel rooms for so long before I need my own private space to exist in.  

And as for the future, I can’t wait to start my studies tomorrow, to get to know London better, and to do my very best to score tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which appears to be sold out through 2017, but I’m not giving up yet (on a side note, Pottermore informed me today that my Patronus is a Siberian cat, I’m not sure what to make of that).

Cheers!

Ashley

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