on the strange disappearance of jeremy freese, blogger

A few nights ago I opened up my RSS reader and saw a post by a friend. The next day I was talking to her and asked her about something in it. “That was a month ago,” she said. I hadn’t looked at the date on the post. More to the point, I’ve barely looked at the blogs of any friends or sociology fellow travelers over the past month. Absolutely nothing personal. My own blogging has also trailed off considerably.

I should adopt the conventional academic pose of going on about how I have been too busy for blogs. The start of the quarter has been busy, but blogging for me has borne oddly little correlation to my productivity with other things. Some of my most productive periods in the past have been my most bloggy periods, and blog lulls have sometimes been part of a more general malaise.

So what’s up now? I’ll put in a jump so as not to presuppose that you care.

No bloggerly discontent. Instead, the habit has been crowded out by a perfect storm of other things:

1. Recommittment to LeechBlock at the office. It had to be done, trust me. For some reason, I needed to use Internet Explorer to do something pertaining to getting ready to go to Malawi, and that set off a multimonth bender of me just using IE to circumvent using Firefox with LeechBlock. So, finally, after something akin to what would be called “rock bottom” if heroin was involved, I did what you supposedly aren’t able to do–I broke Internet Explorer in Windows. First, I did this thing that changed proxy settings blah-blah-blah. Then, I got rid of all IE shortcuts changed my file permissions so I no longer have permission to launch files in the IE folder. Am I disturbed that I need to do this? Yes. Do I need to do this? Yes.

2. Obsessive following of election blogs replacing sociology and friend blogs as my main distraction reading habit. Again, nothing personal. This election is kind of a big deal.

3. Weird healthy obsession with running every day. Remember where I committed to exercising 200 days this year and agreed to donate $25 to the GWB presidential library for every day I fell short? Right now I am at 168 days, which is way ahead of schedule. I have jogged every day for like six weeks. I’ve gone for 5+ mile walks with a friend a few times and still went jogging later. The key thing is I haven’t done any traveling. Travel screws me up. Well, that and winter, which is a-coming.

4. Facebook status updates serving the purpose, more associated with my previous personal blog than Scatterplot, as serving as an outlet for those moment where I have a brief thought and feel like I absolutely must proclaim it to the world. Are we not Facebook friends? Why not?  I thought you cared.  Facebook has many of the advantages of personal blogging, and without risk of trolly aftertaste.

5. A certain secret hobby project. To the astonishment of Jeremy-doubters everywhere, I did, in fact, complete and submit an entry. The competition is underway. I am not allowed to discuss my entry in any public forum before judging ends in six weeks. There are a number of people online who are posting reviews of the entries as they go through them one-by-one. You know that experience of rushing to check the mailbox to see if you’ve gotten a review back on a manuscript? Sure, a hobby project is not quite of the same importance as a paper on which one’s tenure depends, but at least you know there is only one mail delivery per day. More later about this, maybe. If you’ve no idea what this is about and for whatever reason are still reading, pretend this post ended at #4.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

6 thoughts on “on the strange disappearance of jeremy freese, blogger”

  1. Unless it’s the nerdquest/mechanique (inexplicably in java), there’s a decent chance I’ve come across it – although I don’t really know enough about the Freese style to be able to discern which is yours…

    also, ‘place’ and ‘put’ are the same damn word – why do people muck this up so often?


  2. thank you. alphabetically last of the last, it would have taken me a while. didn’t you learn anything from ‘AAA exterminators’?

    oh, and you gotta lotta snark, young fella. I’m gonna need a couple hours…

    None of the graduate student offices in this building have windows that open


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