A Meeting to Put Things In Perspective

Last week, I met with my advisor, Chris Dawes. As a political science professor here at NYU, he isn't a tech wizard nor is he an expert in live comedy or interactive performance. He knows the intricacies of politics, elections in particular, and it was through talking with him that I finally was able to find the right direction to in for this project.

The most important question that he brought up was not "What is your purpose?" or "What are you trying to achieve?" It was, "What are you trying to measure?"

This simple question helped me orient the project much easier than when I had been grappling with more overarching questions pertaining to purpose and results.

Furthermore, because his specialty is voter behavior, he gave me some very interesting insights into what actually gets people to go out and vote, mainly the ability to show others that they have done so (thus, the "I Voted" button on Facebook last election). It's not so much a question of appealing to people's sense of civic duty, but their FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) it seems. 

In addition to some studies and academic paper recommendations, my discussion with Chris was supremely helpful. This was the perspective I was sorely missing during my project development phase so far and I feel it has since put me on the direction to creating a project grounded in the kind of research and political engagement I want it to. 


Sriya Sarkar