Bye for now.

I’ve been putting off writing this post, thinking that I was going to have one last burst of blogging– about the Red Sox or APSA, most likely, since I’ve certainly got nothing useful and original to say about either the current, unpleasant, stage of the presidential election or the current, worse than unpleasant, state of things in Iraq. But I think it’s time to bite the bullet:

I’m taking a leave of absence from blogging, to correspond to my academic leave of absence over the next year. I’m very excited about the fellowship I’ve been given for the next year; but it increases rather than decreases my workload in my final year before tenure. I want to focus energies on the fellowship and on my ongoing research projects. They have to be my priorities, but they’re also what I want to be spending my time on. Accordingly– no more blogging, no more New Republic.

Some of you will notice that there’s little to notice here, because I’ve blogged so little over the past three months anyways. I guess that’s been due to four things. One, I’ve really thrown myself into the history of political thought part of my research. Unlike when I’m writing about multiculturalism or constitutionalism, that material doesn’t generate spillover bloggable ideas. Two, the world in general and politics in particular has been preoccupied with things I had no specialized knowledge about and no real desire to spend my days thinking about. Three, I got tired of hearing myself talk (or whatever the electronic equivalent is)– I’d gotten into the habit of blogging about lots of stuff whether I had anything original to add or not, something that I’d told myself I would avoid when I first started blogging. And, four, the blogosphere has seemed like a less pleasant place than it used to be, with a pre-election rallying around partisan flags, the growth of venomous comments sections, and the entry or increasing prominence of some bloggers who disdain civility and reasoned exchange.

But anyway, that’s why I’ve been quiet, not why I’m going on leave. The leave of absence is to keep myself focused on the two tracks of academic work I’ve got going for the next year. ‘bye for now…

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