A week from today, I will be on an airplane for Jakarta, Indonesia. (I am giving my students their final tomorrow.)
There, I will meet up with Anne, my girlfriend, and we will travel from Java to Bali, probably via Sulawesi. We plan to have a holiday and perhaps visit a Balinese water temple. I plan to start writing The End of Abundance, a book I have under contract at the UC Press and which is due Sep 2010.
On Jan 18, we fly to Darwin in Australia. (We know this b/c the Indonesian government, in its infinite wisdom, has a 30 day visa limit AND requires an outbound ticket on arrival.)
I was planning to go to a conference in Adelaide to present my ongoing research into all-in-auctions (lab experiments finished last week), but an old-timer told me that they were accepting all papers to get the registration fees. Since those fees were $700 (not including dinners!), I had to see his point. Unfortunately, my "participation" with cutting edge academics has been curtailed by the lack of a spare $grand. Oh well, more time for the Great Barrier Reef (before it dissolves)?
I do intend to visit a lot of Aussie water people (farmers, engineers, politicians and academics), so stay tuned for chats.
After Oz, we're going to New Zealand to... see hobbits? No, to do many things, I hope.
If you are in one of these countries and want to meet -- or know someone I should meet -- then email me!
We will come back to Berkeley in April for a few months. I am not sure what will happen after that. My book should be written; my postdoc runs out in July; we may go to S America, Africa or Europe. Maybe the book will make me famous -- enough to affect water policy -- or maybe it will just sit on my CV.
(You know, I think that I may have had some impact on the water debates, but it's terribly difficult to know if I am; it's not like I am baking bread and can measure the number of loaves or happy eaters. Water policy is a mental construct of multiple dimensions, the colors and shapes of which nobody sees the same way. It's like nailing Jello-o on the wall; you make a mess and it looks gross -- even if you manage to make it stick.)
I am sure (at the moment) that I will keep up this blog. My focus is going to shift, obviously, as I travel, and I hope to share the things I find on the way. (Don't even ask why I work so hard on this blog -- there's no obvious money or career impact, so I MUST love it...)
Oh, and I have NO idea how I will make money after July. I'll probably look for a job(s), part-time, in some field where water policy expertise is useful. If those two places are not hiring :), I may work at a cafe.
Seriously, I have no idea.
OTOH, it's all fun and games for me. I don't know if I will continue in an academic sphere (odds are bad), I do want to teach, but it's a grind if I try to make a living at it.
Frankly, I am getting a little tired of the dysfunctional politics at the state and national level. I am considering two options:
- Drop out and go live in the wild, drinking strong coffee, reading books and writing long letters; or
- Run for Congress, as the most honest, in your face, representative ever.
Bottom Line It's good to have a master plan, but don't get all attached to it.