Hi-Low Density Field Research




Went to field with the bat girls along pipeline road. First time out here in the evening. They were disappointed. The intense rain is maybe keeping the bats in hiding. Caught about 8 bats in the evening, all AJ’s and some other species name that starts with a soft C? Both are wicked fruit-eating bats. They sometimes look cute and fuzzy, sometimes the visual description of evil.


——side note, earlier today two evil dogs chased me around town earlier today and one tried to bite, until I brandished my tripod like a giant clobbering club——-


I’m intrigued and sort of horrified at the amount of work put in by these field biologists, and how little quantitative data is retrieve. This data is quite low density, they probably only take in a couple hundred bytes of information per hour. Unfurling and setting up tangled nets in the middle of the dark jungle every evening in order to get a few dozen bytes seems insane. This must hint at the values of the overbearingly-dense qualitative data beaming into the field biologists at every moment; for if this wasn’t extremely valuable, this type of research could not continue. The high-fidelity collectors and analyzers already built into the scientists have to be doing the most powerful research in the field.


While waiting around for bats, the girls asked me about what exactly I do, and what my research is about. For someone in the early drafting stages of his PhD proposal, this was one of those on-the-spot questions that can be tricky to elaborate on. It was super useful for me to chat about it. I busted out a (what I thought was pretty) well-formed history of the media theories building up to my Digital Media program, my research in computer vision, and how I planned to tie digital performance studies to digital behavior analysis.

A thesis seems like one of those things that makes more and more sense, the more and more you talk about it. Everytime you let those words out into the air, and they solidify into the past, you polish away the layers of bullshit that you were previously worried your arguments rested on.


Note to self: being a digital designer, I need to not worry when I’m not doing digital things to their uptmost-when I’m not exploiting the medium as well as possible. Instead, consider what factors are pushing me to do the opposite, or sub-optimal. Like why am I writing this diary in pen and paper? Think about all the reasons why. Diminish the annoying feeling of not being as digital as possible, just analyze one’s activities as effectively as possible.



Heavy rain, taxi down canal, smooth salsa on radio “Vamos… Vamos.. un otra vez.” Feeling sleepy. Pick up others. Smooth temperature. Wearing button up shirt. Feel like a god.