Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy new year!

A very happy new year to everyone! It was a busy but good year overall. I did not read as many books as I would have liked but what I did read, I enjoyed immensely. Favorites include John Hemming's The Conquest of the Incas, Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan, Edward Wilson's Anthill and Nature Revealed, Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, VS Naipaul's The Masque of Africa, and Bhante Ghunaratne's Mindfulness in Plain English. The last book is an primer on the Buddhist idea of meditation and self inquiry, a topic I will continue to read about (and hopefully practice too, for many of these ideas are useless if one talks about them intellectually; they have to be experienced). The frequency of my posts has slowed down, but I hope the infrequent longer pieces have had enough content to sustain your interest. Travel continues to be good; I have an upcoming essay on micro finance in a developing country based on some conversations I had last week with a Grameen employee (though upcoming could mean anything from two weeks to two months!).

I am enjoying the winter break in Massachusetts, and even though it's cold and there is slush and snow on the pavements and the town and campus are mostly deserted, it's good to have some calm before the coming semester, which starts Jan 18th. I'll be teaching every day of the week, and my students will have the burden of keeping my "research program" -- whatever that may mean! -- going.