What are you thinking about?

Do you have any plans for changes in the New Year?


Changes you’ve already chosen or that are happening to you?


Are you at the Eastern APA?  Any news?  Anything exciting out at the book exhibit?  Are you going to other seasonal conferences?  The MLA?

Are there new directions/topics you’d like to see this blog undertake?

Anecdotes or Antidotes?


16 thoughts on “What are you thinking about?

  1. Though I’m not Christian, I’ll try to live by Matthew 6:34 as much as possible (which is hard):

    Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

    Happy new year, folks!

  2. I’m:

    trying to get some papers sent off prior to the start of the semester (1 done, many to go)

    eating too much chocolate but not really caring

    eating too much cheese, but trying to cut back

    spending too much time on the web and am ‘resolving’ to do less of that next year (though I loves this blog)

    hoping that my friends and students do well at the APA and am wishing them all good luck in this awful market

    enjoying playing in the snow with my dog


    working in my spare time on some new 21st Century Monads songs.

    overall, feeling pretty fortunate.

  3. i suppose this would get filed under “whatever” as i sit in the south of france waiting to take a train and get back to work…

    last year i started with no resolutions and all sorts of plans. i thought i knew where things were going and lots of things happened, but none of them were planned. or things i could have planned.

    this year, i resolve not to be resolved, just to keep trying harder, everyday.

    i wonder if that counts.

  4. I will be attending the after-conference mentoring workshop for the AEA Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession to see how that program can be adapted to Philosophy. The idea is to pair assistant professors with successful full or associate professors to help them publish their work in the major journals of Economics. It is focused on research and folks who are trying to get tenure at research universities. So it is a limited focus, but perhaps a very useful one for us to have as well.

    As for resolutions: I resolve to post more (and that’s not hard, since this is the first time I have posted) on this wonderful blog!

  5. An excellent resolution, Femdean! And we’ll look forward to hearing what you learn from the workshop…

  6. I’ve wrestled with the concept of new year’s resolutions for years. There is something about my personality (or background, or both) that makes the idea of a resolution congenial. Yet specific resolutions have never seemed helpful or appropriate. Therefore, about three decades ago I started the new year with one virtue in mind: Be courageous. I spent years on that one, renewing the commitment each new year. After a while, I realized how much I needed to be compassionate, so I made that commitment for about ten years. Then I moved on to generosity, and seemed to be getting somewhere–but I realized that I was losing my courage. So, I think for this new year I had better go back to renewing courage.

  7. I like introvertica’s idea. My main one, I think, is to be thankful. It makes me more sensitive socially and to the environment, and I’ve read that it has good physiological benefits.

  8. Introvertica,
    Is it courage in life’s small thing? I wonder if you think courage is required for not despairing?

    Anon, since your comment on Wabi Sabi, I’ve been thinking that understanding in that case is more like acquiring a practice than working through a text. Your remark here seems to confirm that.

  9. JJ, years ago, when I first started teaching, I would ask my students to discuss a range of moral virtues, and attempt to put them in some sort of order of importance for their own lives. I was always amazed when almost all of them would put courage last, or second last. They told me that modern living does not require courage; life is very easy these days. But to me, being a human person requires tremendous courage, in small things as well as large ones. (I recognize that the plausibility of this perception may have much to do with individual personality differences.)

  10. I agree. I wonder if part of the difference is that some people – perhaps especially the young – have their models of courage from obvious popular sources, and so think of war or great misfortunates like earthquakes, burning buildings and so on.

  11. Well said, Introvertica, jj. I’ve often wondered what it will be like to be comfortable enough to go through life without having to grit my teeth against so much of it. Courage, for me, is as important for day-to-day functioning as food.

    One of my goals for the coming year is to work on both my external circumstances and my point of view, so that certain acts of compassion don’t appear to require so much courage (like not assuming that the person who accidentally locked me in a corridor the day before Xmas deserved my accidental footprint through that plate glass window;-))

    Maybe I’ll look at some pictures of the south of France. Then again, that kind of daydreaming makes me wonder if I’m as lame as those geeks and their plastic video-game woman in that post from a few months ago. Maybe I’ll look at some pictures of Eric Bana instead…

  12. Xena, your idea that being compassionate sometimes takes courage is helpful to me. I think being generous also requires courage (for me, anyway). Coming from a working class background, I always have to remind myself that being generous does not endanger me; that giving to others can be fulfilling for both receiver and giver.

  13. Xena, I’ve been meaning to suggest you look at the “what sorts” blog – we have a link to it in our blog roll. It’s a wonderful site and probably full of perspectives on disability that you can find helpful, energizing, etc. Perhaps you know of it?

  14. Introvertica, I’m glad you found that helpful. I was hoping my messed up sense of humour wouldn’t distract too much from the positive things I was trying to say. A lot of people nowadays don’t catch the type of “whistling in the dark” that we children of the ’90’s understand as funny. Compassion & generosity are the virtues that keep courage and stoic irony from degenerating into vices like crassness and hostility.

    For those of us who are less “lucky” in financial matters generosity doesn’t have to take the form of a monetary gift. A donation of time&labour or gently used goods that are about to be replaced can be just as helpful. My daughter, who was born with the family “curse/blessing” of hair that grows at a rate of nearly 2cm/month is working on a donation of a wig or three for chemo survivors.

    JJ, thank you for pointing out that link. I can’t believe I missed it. Beyond inspiration, it may provide opportunities to work out a practical course of action to deal with the “deluge” that still hasn’t stopped after I cast myself in the “fat man in the cave” role in my family dilemma.

    *Deep breath*…*Patience*…

  15. Ain’t that so, jj. I love books, and for people like me they’re the indispensable first step. But if I want my studies to be more than a pastime I’ve got to remember to put what I read into practice.

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