Of blogs and brevity
I have a new rule: at least for the time being. I am going to aim for focused, interesting blog posts that are no more than a few paragraphs. The writing should be better, more people should feel inclined to read it, and I should consequently have more time for academic work, or at least non-computer stuff.
I need to adjust the structure of life so that it involves more reading. Having seminars of 14 to 28 people, it isn't really necessary to have read anywhere close to the total amount assigned in order to contribute to the discussion. As such, and especially without the possibility of being called upon to present, there is a lack of structural incentive to do a great deal of reading. For me, this might be most easily overcome by making reading a more social experience. The presence of others helps keep me focused and aids in resisting the desire to go and do something else - a desire that always becomes more powerful when the matter I am reading is not particularly compelling.
I started the copy of Haruki Murakami's The Wind up Bird Chronicle that Tristan sent me for Christmas. Three chapters in, it definitely has the oddity that seems to be characteristic of Japanese film and literature. At the same time, it lays out the oddity in a way that is intentionally structured like a mystery - it's clear that we're meant to eventually learn what's going on.
As always, speaking with Astrid this afternoon was interesting. Her personal policy of not engaging in meaningless chatter over MSN of the "so, what are you up to?" variety is one that frequently proves laudable, particularly when combined with her infrequent forays into that domain. She is in Argentina now, returning to Vancouver in about a month.
- Check out Mica's new website and leave some comments.
- Unrelated, but dramatic, footage: watch an octopus eat a shark