To add to “lose 50 pounds” and “finish The End of Cyberspace,” my two big resolutions for this year: stop accepting requests to referee papers. Just. Say. No.
My wife is working on her book tonight (and with a February deadline, that’s definitely a good thing), while I’m taking an hour or two and writing up a reader’s report of an article someone sent me this summer. I meant to finish the review sooner, really I did.
Reviewing a paper is one of those things that you always think won’t be much work, but then turns out to be a problem: either it is more work than you expect, or you get to be the sand in the gears of scholarly publishing and some poor soul’s professional advancement by having the piece sit on your desk for a lot longer than you mean.
Then you pile other stuff on top of it, because it’s been there so long, it makes you feel guilty to even see it. You you can’t throw it away. That would be… irresponsible.
I’ve also got to put a moratorium on giving talks. I’ve got four talks in the next six months, in Ithaca, Austin, Mountain View, and Finland (one of these things is not like the other), and another that I already had to back out of because of a scheduling conflict. I think for my sake, and to preserve the already delicate sanity of conference organizers, I’d better not accept any more, no matter how much the false idols of vanity and frequent flyer miles call.