Blame my office staff, one of whom told me the other day that she looked at this site and saw my "final update" from June. While I have been updating my activity page regularly—more to mark progress for myself than for anyone else—that final update post lingers, implying the abrupt cessation of progress. (Not yet!) Maybe I'll change the landing page for this site someday, but until then, I'll post a new update from time to time.
It was a good summer, by which I mean a productive summer during which I finished most of the items on my to-do list. I don't know if that means I accomplished more or simply planned less, but I choose not to dwell. (That's what psychiatrists call growth.)
When we last "spoke," I had finished my production work on The Illusion of Well-Being: Economic Policymaking Based on Respect and Responsiveness, which is now available and the subject of a dedicated page on this site as well as several blog posts:
"There Is Little Happiness to Be Found in Happiness-Based Policy," Economics and Ethics, September 10, 2014 (also at Psychology Today)
"Government policy should be based on respect and responsiveness rather than statistics," LSE Politics and Policy blog, September 8, 2014
"Basing government policy on happiness or well-being is misguided," LSE Politics and Policy blog, September 2, 2014
After that, I drafted a paper on happiness policy for the Mercatus Center and finished most of the work on the edited book, Law and Social Economics: Essays in Ethical Values for Theory, Practice, and Policy, submitting the final manuscript in early August after wrapping up a couple final details. I wrote a chapter on retributivism and economics for Law and Social Economics as well as a paper on externalities for a special journal issue and a paper on antitrust for an upcoming conference and journal symposium (the latter which I recently finished, not quite making my end-of-summer deadline). Since the fall semester started, I also revised my Mercatus paper in response to comments and submitted the formatted version of my chapter on Marvel Comics' Civil War as well as my Petrie-Flom paper on nudges in health care for the edited volume drawn from the conference.
I think that brings us up to date—as I said, it was a satisying summer (and early fall). Now attention turns to my chapter for Economics and the Virtues, the book I'm co-editing with Jennifer Baker, and my paper on moral judgment that I'll present at the APA Eastern meetings in December and also as the presidential address for the Association for Social Economics at the ASSA meetings in January. I also have three chapters to write for edited volumes—on the ethics of work, new developments in nudge theory, and positive psychology and policy—before I start writing my next popular book on superheroes and philosophy. That should take me through the end of next summer, after which I start working on a third book for Palgrave and my long-planned book on moral judgment for Stanford (for which my APA/ASSA talk will be the starting point).
Finally, I had a brief flurry of posts at Psychology Today:
- "Why You Might Not Want to Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain" (in response to a New York Times article by Daniel J. Levitin recommending the opposite)
- "The One Thing You Need to Look for in a Partner" (as opposed to listicles promoting a litany of must-haves)
- "Marvel Comics Explores Postpartum Depression in Daredevil" (written with my good friend and PPD specialist Lauren Hale)
- "A Question for Readers: What Do You Mean by 'Attractive'?" (exploring the various meanings of the term)
- "Why Self-Control Is Only Half the Answer" (elaborating on an insight from a New York Times feature on psychologist Walter Mischel)