today i successfully defended the essays orally, before my entire quals committee. meaning i've got another masters degree, and i now have permission to begin working on my dissertation.
it was actually a lot of fun and very helpful -- i mean, how often in your life do five experts in your field evaluate and comment upon 60+ pages of your latest, greatest, thinking about your favorite subject? if you get a phd, maybe twice. everyone enthused about my essays, but everyone also had comments, questions and criticisms. they were all right on the money, and all very helpful in orienting me towards greater synthesis in my own thinking. peter monge urged me to take a step beyond my essays in merging network/evolutionary theory with my aesthetic/cultural subject matter. larry gross warned me against casting everything in terms of absolutes and binaries. francois bar, marita sturken and joanna demers -- my other three committee members -- had equally helpful and provocative insights. i think a good time was had by all. the whole process lasted maybe an hour and a half.
so what happens to this web site now? well, i'm getting about 200 page views per day, and continue to receive emails from people looking for help, opinion, and further information. apparently, this site is a valuable resource for all kinds of people looking for information on this subject matter. so i guess i'll keep it going (that is to say, keep paying the $9/month to maintain it), and continue to build upon it as i work on my dissertation. i should probably go get a creative commons license for the site, so people can feel free to repurpose my stuff as they see fit. it would be great to see other, similar sites popping up in other fields as well. we shall see...
in the meantime, please feel free to peruse my notes and follow up via email (or the comments function) with any relevant questions or observations.