My name is Aaron. I am a student of ecological sciences at the University of Illinois, in Urbana Champaign. I also study Arabic. A few months ago I found myself wanting to have documentation of my activities in a more concrete way, so I could reflect upon them and encourage myself in these endeavors. So I started this site. I hope it will make these things more accessible to others as well as clarify my own direction and purposes. My interests are varied and mostly undeveloped. They include, and of course are not limited to:
I can be contacted by email: adivsin [at] protonmail [dot] com.
I am close to finishing my second year of my ecological sciences program, and I am beginning to feel more sharply the gaps left in my education by my university. The strong focus on simplifying technical facts for easy assimilation has made me feel doubtful about my ability to truly understand the science, and the complete segregation of historical, economic, and political analyses from the scientific ones has left me dissatisfied in general.
But, having gotten a job in an agricultural-ecological sciences lab for this summer, I feel the need to begin an independent research project in these underdeveloped areas now. I have been considering this for some time. I want to study and understand the connections from our modern agricultural system to class society and environmental degradation; this, and the changes of these systems over time. I have prepared a very diverse, but short, reading list in these topics and auxilliary subjects.
While this has yet to really organize into a coherent project of inquiry, (not to speak of analysis!), I believe it could cohere into one over the course of the following months and years, given proper direction and organization. Notes on these topics and prelimiary reports of my own thinking and analysis are going to be essential as preparations for any future projects in this area. These notes and reports will all be gathered here, in this page; there you will find notes and essays on these topics. Truncated summaries of books I have read will also appear in the "reading list" page, as well.
If you are researching similar topics, please do send me an email so we can chat.
Posted 26-Mar 2023
I am trying to watch movies in a more systematic and interested way this year. This link will host a page of all the movies I have watched recently, and my thoughts on them, and a simple timestamp and star review as well, in the same model as the reading list.
Posted 28-Jan 2023
Posted 5-Nov 2022
So far, like an idiot, I have used Goodreads to track what I have been reading. I do not make particularly good use of the site though and there is no reason not to transfer my data, and notes/summaries to there. I hope to start including longer-form notes on the important books in links also in this page, including, for example, the WEBDB notes.
Click here to access the reading list
Posted 26-Sep 2022
Unfortunately I do not have much to offer in way of interesting criticism or analysis yet - I think before I do I will have to read Murakami's original story and rewatch the film. However, I was so moved by this movie I feel like it is necessary to make an immediate recommendation and lay out some of my initial feelings.
The only Murakami I have read was "Kafka on the Shore", interestingly, for a high school english class several years ago. It was very strange and although I did like it I felt that when I eventually come back to it I will find that opinion embarassing, and the book lackluster. I mean basically that it appeared to me at an eventful place and time, and "objectively" it wasn't so good. I was worried at the beginning of the movie that it would be stuck in this same kind of misogynistic mystification, but I think it goes beyond this stunted kind of view.
It is an extremely quiet and slow and reserved movie; it is fantastically rich and subtle. The moments of emotional rupture and exchange are perfect or almost perfect. You should go see it soon.
Posted 17-Apr 2022
I have been reading Henry Dumas' collected short fiction, in an edition edited by Eugene Redmond. The few stories I have read of this Dumas collection have intrigued me and I hope to write a review of them when I am finished. For now, I have combed through John S. Wright's introduction for musical, literary, and anthropological references. Without having read any of them, I think there could be something in persuing them. Here they are, arranged categorically:
Posted 16-Dec 2021