Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics


Posted by shannonclark on May 27, 2003

Return from Wiscon, summary 1
or I return with a writing idea, but not one that is fiction

Okay, first a quick summary, I am now in a mode of recovering from seven straight days of conventions, first the MetaGroup’s conference here in Chicago, then Wiscon. Needless to say for anyone who has been to even one convention, I slept a lot last night and suspect this week will be a period of adjustment.

Wiscon was both great and difficult this year, something in the vibe of the convention was different, perhaps tinged as well by my own lack of sleep before the con. I went to Wisonc with the intention of having fun conversations with people (did this), of spending a weekend thinking only of writing and fiction (did not do this, see below), and hopefully being inspired as I have in the past to get some of my own writing done, and to take that away with me and get even more done in the weeks and months after Wiscon.

First note, I will almost certainly be doing a lot of writing as a result of what I thought about at Wiscon. But, this will not be fiction.

While at Wiscon, I was interupted by business calls far more often than I should, however that is not what I will be writing about. That, while annoying, I was mostly able to deal with and/or ignore until today. Instead yesturday at Wiscon I had one of those “ah ha” moments that come only rarely, and I now have to spend the next weeks (months and perhaps years) exploring the implications of my insight. I’ve started to try to explain it to a few people, and I have started to write it up, until it is more fully thought out, and until I have a better grasp of it entirely (and have checked whether indeed I am the first person to think about things in this way) I will not be posting my insight in detail here (or elsewhere online) but the quick and simple version is that I may have come up with a fairly radical, but simple, way of rethinking about all of Economic theory, the type of thing that might mean I should finish my BA and enter into a PhD program in economics with the intent of writing my PhD thesis on this idea, it could be that serious.

Indeed, if I am right and noone has yet thought in the terms that I am proposing, it may offer some serious insights and new directions for Economic theory to persue, ones that I hope could turn help make the science of economics better and more useful.

My first task is to write it all down.

Then I will be doing some fairly heavy and serious google searching and literature searching to confirm that I am indeed thinking about things in a new way (I’m pretty certain that I am, the basis of my thinking is quite recent works so there has not been a lot of time for someone else to come up with this insight).

After that, my plan is to meet with some friends who are economics professors, probably by means of a road trip out of town for a day, and after meeting with them and getting their feedback, also asking them what they suggest that I do next. I think that there are many simple, and some complex steps that could be taken with my ideas, there are some papers that might be possible to write quickly and see if the theory can be used to demonstrate real solutions to complex problems. Then the full theory would probably have to be written up in a book length form (or at least a long form journal article) – whether I can get such a thing published without having a degree in economics is a question. It may also be that the ideas I have should form the basis of a PhD thesis (possibly putting me in the odd position of having my dissertation partially done before taking any graduate classes, though I’ve often assumed that this is how I would likely get a PhD if and when I ever do).

So, while I did indeed have some great times at Wiscon working on my own fiction, and talking with many other people about their fiction and other writers, I also was distracted by non-fiction thoughts.

More about Wiscon after I make more progress on the 400+ emails and many many messages and tasks waiting for me at my desk.


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