PhD Thesis

February 3rd, 2006 by Potato

So despite spending so much time on my MSc thesis — and suffering so much because of it — I’ve actually put some thought into what I might want to do for my PhD thesis. And I think I know what it is that demands my attention. It’s a grand question that has plagued the world for too long now, causing needless suffering and loss of life. The matter is a little outside my area of expertise, perhaps you could even describe it as a humanities subject, rather than science, but I still think I’m qualified to study it. Two factions, seemingly at each others’ throats since time immortal, who just can’t seem to find common ground for peace.

I’m speaking of course, of the epic battle between Pirates and Ninjas. What is it about Pirates that Ninjas just can’t leave them alone? Why must they fight incessantly? Could not a graduate student, with enough free time and caffeine find some common ground for peace between these great people to flourish? And what of the people who don’t easily fit into either camp? Those parrot-loving, verbal ticking (Yarr!) people who have a penchant for black pyjamas? Or the more flamboyant one-eyed ninjas, trained to be deadly weapons stalking the night, but who also enjoy a liesurely saturday afternoon cruise? Can we not bring them all together to have peace in our time?

I intend to start at the beginning, and research the source of the great pirate-ninja feud. Such things often turn out to be caused by a minor, often accidental, slight by one group, that is then escalated out of all proportion by stubborn hotheads on both sides. Then, after these wars rage for the long enough, simple momentum keeps them fighting, though no one knows why. The middle chapter of the thesis will focus on the modern pirates and ninjas, contrasting them both with their historical versions, and also with each other, as a basis for finding some common ground. The final phase of the research will be more hands-on, as I attempt to apply what I’ve learned to the real world, by bringing together various groups of pirates and ninjas and acting as an arbitrator. We shall see if my skills will be enough to bring about a truce in our time.


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