One of the first things I realized about blogging was that, no matter how much it is on your mind, no one wants to hear about how long it has been since you last posted or what resolutions you are making to blog more frequently. Still, I will be breaking that cardinal rule now, only to point out that not only did I FAIL MISERABLY at the “blog-a-day challenge” (learned about from Erin, still going on for lots of ETS folks), but I didn’t even manage to get a lot accomplished in my hiatus from the blogosphere. So a big fat “UGH” to me.

I had a dissertation deadline on Thursday, one which I didn’t really meet. I’ve made progress, but I was supposed to done with a complete draft of Chapter 2 (the first chapter I’m writing) by this afternoon. What I managed to produce was 20 pages of polished draft, 10 pages of unrevised, sloppy crap, and a lot of angst. I’m getting somewhere, but it’s slow and painful. Conversations with other folks in my year who haven’t even started writing are somewhat encouraging, but don’t actually get me where I need to be. Also, they are reading and “marinating in research.” When I’m not writing, I’m not doing anything else that’s useful for this chapter. I know pretty much all I need to know; now I just need to put it on the page.

This post is title “Overload” because, for the last nearly-two-weeks without blogging, I have stored up a truly amazing number of things to blog about.  It’s also because, since I started writing this post on Thursday, it has taken me WAY too long to finish it.  I shouldn’t really spend too much time writing stuff here, but this is my evening to unwind a little before getting back to work. I’ll try to mention only the most interesting bits.

I’ve found myself watching videos of TED talks a lot recently.  I don’t really know why (I found one recently through a convoluted path that included John Hodgman’s blog/Twitter account… weird.  Still, I highly reccomend Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk.  Never read her books, but she gave an amazing speech about creativity and “genius”).  These talks seem a little odd to me, and they sometimes make references to each other that remind me that they are directed to an audience of which I am not a member, but for the most part I am digging them.  Oh, Barry Schwartz’s two talks were good also.  The first of those two is a little better I think: the loss of wisdom is an argument that I find almost profound.  The “paradox of choice,” while I agree with it more or less, seems a little facile (basic argument: after a certain point, more choice = less happiness, and we long ago passed that point.  While that is true, there are a ton of available filters for reducing choices, plenty of people out there who, if one is willing to delegate a little, will help a consumer make a choice.  Beyond that, the “paradox of choice” does not seem like a societal problem in the same way that the “loss of wisdom” is…. wow that was a long parenthetical).

Here are 8 useful tips for maximizing your use of Twitter, courtesy of Mr. Tweet.  Mr. Tweet is good tool for maybe finding people to follow on Twitter, but I don’t know how useful it actually is for someone like me.

I had more to say, but I might actually end up writing another blog post soon, so I’ll leave it at this.