Thursday, March 12, 2009

No soap! Radio!

So this is a new blog. When I come across unfamiliar blogs, I like to travel back to their first post to see how they did it, how they started. I'm still not sure what exactly I intend to accomplish here, but my imaginary readership deserves some kind of explanation, provisional as it may be.

You could probably call me an academic. At any rate, I'm working on a dissertation. Something about the function of literature now that there's nothing special about being human. That's the general idea, but the details change a lot. And quickly, too. I can barely keep up, that's part of the problem. It's not that what I'm trying to hammer out is inarticulable. (If only!) A combination of things prevent me from making progress, including laziness, which I sometimes call "sporadic bouts of nihilism." I also lack discipline, and now that I'm not teaching undergraduates, my days lack any institutional structuring principle. Maybe this blog is part confession?

Anyway, starting sometime around November, I've sort of been on this new kick about breaking old habits and developing new good habits. I quit smoking, for example, on November 4th. (Something happened that day, and it made me realize that I wanted to live!) Nicorette helped a lot, and by the time he was inaugurated, I was nicotine free.

As for making good new habits to replace the old, I remembered Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography from when I had taught it to undergrads. "Order" was where I needed to start. No more of this waking up when I wake up, eating lunch for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. So I made this chart, loosely modelled on Franklin's. Franklin's schedule only allowed 5 hours for sleep. I need more than that.

I have also made an effort to increase my writing to reading ratio. For too long I've heard myself say, now that I've read x, I couldn't possibly write a single word before finishing blank, where "blank" currently equals Theodor Adorno's Negative Dialectics but will undoubtedly equal something else when I've finished that. (Hopefully no one's reading this and is like, "hasn't even read Negative Dialectics, yet? What an asshole.") So this blog is also part writing exercise.

Beyond that, we'll see. First real post: not very interesting, so now I'll drop some philosophy on you, courtesy of my favorite self-help author/2nd favorite Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius (trans. Gregory Hays):
Everything in flux. And you too will alter in the whirl and perish, and the world as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment