I was tempted to stop these updates, as I promised earlier. Yet, they do seem to serve some purpose, even if only for reflection, so we keep on keeping on... (For someone making better use of this than I, see here.)
Surveying my last two updates (April and June), which detail my rather eventful spring semester (in ways both good and bad), it's safe to say the summer contrasted starkly. Chalk it up to residual effects of my embolism in April, the ennui of summer (not a fan), or the ongoing lack of purpose—augmented in the middle of August by a renewed drive to find another job and a new place to live—and it was a disappointingly unproductive summer, a description which is likely to apt of the fall as well, as crises erupt at work and my well-being seems shaky.
This summer your intrepid correspondent...
- Wrote a paper on behavioral economics for a special journal issue.
- Wrote a chapter on the Kantian ethics-and-economics of work for an edited volume on the ethics and economics of work and leisure. (This was actually planned for fall but I wrote it earlier.)
- Revised a paper for the Mercatus Center on the right to try pre-approval medications.
- Revised a paper on nudge and borrowing, which was accepted for a special journal issue on the ethics of debt.
- Wrote a short piece on ethics, economics, and superheroes for Perspectives, a student-led economics journal at King's College London, to be published in early October.
- Started writing a chapter on the ethics of nudge for a handbook.
- In the last week I wrote two posts for Psychology Today: "Why Do We Accept Harmful Shortcomings in Our Partners?" and "Do We Put Too Much Weight on Shared Interests When Dating?"
Also, I cancelled my trip to Switzerland and Sweden a week before I was due to leave. While most days I feel OK, I do have occasional days when I feel out of sorts (because of thundering headache, wooziness, or distinct lack of energy). I didn't think that an overnight (read: sleepless) nine-hour flight and subsequent day of train travel that would have me arrive precisely at the beginning of a conference dinner was the best way to start a 10-day trip on a different continent when I'm not feeling up to snuff. So I let down a lot of people (including the conference organizers who had invited me, as well as my good friend in Sweden who had made plans for my visit) and lost a lot of money I would've gotten back had I gone, but I still think it was the right decision. (I would have felt better if I had used the extra working time I gained, but naturally I did not.)
Mostly, I sat around my apartment questioning what I'm doing with my life, especially with regards to work (both at school and writing). It wasn't until the middle of August that I rediscovered an old writing haunt, a coffee shop in a nearby town where I seem to be able to focus like I haven't been able to in months if not years. Since then, I've gone there every morning I can, staying for a couple hours and usually getting a good amount of work done, after which I come home and pitter about my apartment the rest of the day (rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic).
Looking ahead, before the end of the month I need to finish the handbook chapter on the ethics of nudge, write a short piece on Kant and classic liberalism, and finish reviewing the copyedits for my edited collection on the insanity defense. Past that, I need to work on organizing a handbook of ethics and economics and writing my next book on superheroes and philosophy, which I would like to have drafted by the end of the year so I can edit it next summer. (Yes, that book is "on"again, with a new direction that I like, but I've found it quite hard to get back into it with everything else going on.) In the spring I plan to write my long-planned follow-up to my books on nudge and happiness, a book exploring the concept of individualism, the contract for which (with Palgrave Macmillan) I signed just today.
Sorry for the sour mood of this update—frankly, I'm not feeling good about much these days—but perhaps when I can sink my teeth into writing a book again, which I prefer to shorter pieces, at least that part of my life will start looking up. (Stranger things have happened!)