My Other (Unofficial) Advisor (3)

I’ve also been maintaining a relationship with Michael Rosenfeld, the person who taught my sociology / identity class last term.  His office hours are a little less competitive than Mehran’s.

One interesting thing is noticing the difference in topics that I talk about with Mehran versus with Michael.  It seems like Mehran, my CS advisor, talks more about social issues with me, and Michael, my Soc advisor, talks more about CS issues with me.  I do engage each of them with their respective subjects, but the interdisciplinary aspect continues to intrigue me.  Partly, this is because they each had broad backgrounds.  In the days before personal computers became powerful, anyone who wanted to do social science work with large data sets needed to know how to work with a Unix database server, and Mehran had done debate before he got involved with CS. 

Michael also acts as more of a moderating force on me.  Perhaps because he had me in a sociology class (so there was more of an opportunity for me to voice my radical views) rather than a CS class, Michael seems more ready to voice the “well, ‘Everything is Free’ might be a nice catch phrase when you’re rioting on the streets, but I’m not sure how viable it is for a real social movement” opinions (but… but… “everything is free” is a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, statement about the information age?).  Since I deal so often with the radical opinions – through debate and many very-opinionated organization and people – it’s always good to hear sensible moderates.

The other interesting thing is the name.  I’m still not quite used to calling Michael by his first name.  It might be out of a habit of calling him either “Professor Rosenfeld” or “Hey You!” or it could be that Michael is my dad’s name.