Catherine Baird, Ph.D. is an Information Technology executive, specializing in Cloud Solutions, Big Data and IT Managed Services and attained her Ph.D in Intellectual History, with a focus on Russian thought and French Personalism.
In 2015, Baird converted her doctoral thesis into Revolution from Within.
I am a pragmatic, original thinker who loves to solve problems, and I’ve actually found a natural synergy in these disciplines. History requires the rapid consumption of enormous volumes of information and the analysis of very complex, interrelated activities and events. Computer systems are modeled after people and so they work very much like political, economic, social and other functional organizations. Really, there is nothing we do with technology that we can’t do ourselves. Computers just make the process faster and repeatable, sometimes with a higher degree of precision. Of course that comes with its own mixture of risks and rewards and I’m so appreciative of my training in the Humanities because it gave me a very deep grounding in ethical considerations which, frankly, is much needed in the fields of business and information technology today.
It was such a pleasure to revisit my thesis and associated research so many years after completing my doctorate. I had lost track of how relevant the themes of Russian and French spiritual philosophy were to so many of the challenges we are facing today in a world propelled to “think globally, but act locally.”
This renewal has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people and a host of new experiences: on how to transform academic writing into narrative, non-fiction; the book creation and publishing process; new revelations from a field I’d lost touch with for many years and a whole host of new viewpoints, insights, and understandings.
So many scholars, descendants of ‘The 160’ and just interested people have joined the discussion around this little known chapter in history — filosofskii parokhod (The Philosophers’ Steamer) — since I left academia, and it fascinating to see so many of the puzzles I could only speculate on… answered.
It has been a rewarding experience, and exciting.