February 7, 2009


One nice thing about my new job is that I'll be able to work from home quite a bit. Besides reducing commuting time and costs, I'm drawn to the idea of telework because it does away with your own self-deception about your own productivity. It's fairly easy to look busy in an office without actually getting anything accomplished: the environment can, as it were, endow even something as trivial as getting a cup of coffee with significance. By contrast, you are surrounded by the trappings of leisure at home, such that slacking off comes into much sharper relief than it would otherwise. I am reminded of this Mitchell & Webb sketch:

I was spurred to this thought by reading Tyler Cowen's writings on self-deception in Discover Your Inner Economist, which I recently picked up. It turns out a certain amount of self-deception -- about your abilities, how you think others perceive you, even your own sense of self -- is a necessary part of life. There are times, however, when stripping away self-deception needs to be done; understanding your own work habits is probably one of those times.

February 5, 2009

Unemployment Blogging: The End?

I use a question mark because the job I'm getting is a contract position, and may not last more than a few months. Still, it's an awesome opportunity: I'll be working for the Energy Programs Consortium, which does a lot of consulting related to energy affordability and assistance for low-income households. (Think LIHEAP, weatherization programs, etc.) This is a topic that I've been interested in for a while now, so I'm pretty enthusiastic. If nothing else, I'm happy to replace the headache of finding a job with the headache of filing self-employment taxes -- which could very well derail my quest to become Treasury Secretary...

Le Wrath di Khan

Via io9, a literal rendering of the term "space opera":

I recently rewatched Star Trek II, and remembered how good it was, at least given the state of SF movies at the time. Now, of course, we have Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, etc., which all do a better job with acting and storytelling, but Wrath of Khan still holds up pretty well.