The Decline and Fall of AIS
So I'm not writing much on this blog these days, and I figured I should at least note why that is.
One of the two big reasons is simply that I have much less time than I did from 2005-2009. Working full-time after a not-quite five-year stretch of consulting has had its benefits and drawbacks, but one consequence is that upwards of 50 hours per week (including transit) previously at least somewhat available for free-form cogitation is now accounted for in the service of New York City. And while I'm not exactly breaking rocks out there on a daily basis, I do find it much more physically and psychologically draining than I did working at home. Many nights I don't even turn on the computer after I come home... though the misery of the Phillies over the last month or so has contributed to that as well.
The other big reason is because, when I think about what I might want to write in terms of topicality and tone, it's all ground I've covered before: the matched-pair dysfunction of our governance and political systems; the difficulty in getting a profoundly flawed punditariat to engage with issues and shrug off historical amnesia; the vacillation between appreciating what the Obama administration and Democratic Congress have accomplished and profound disappointment in their moral (more than political) failures; and the underappreciated importance of human capital as an economic input. Then there's the linking-to-stuff-other-people-wrote mode of posting, in which I mostly quote and add perhaps a word or two of commentary. That's pretty boring to me at this point; the only thing more boring is the horse-race view of political races that one can find pretty much everywhere else on the internet. I could shift focus to writing about books and movies and music, all of which I've found myself more into--or maybe just getting more out of--since starting the job. But for the most part I doubt I have anything particularly of interest or importance to say about those subjects.
(A third, more minor reason is that, working for New York City, I feel much less free to opine here about politics and policy in the five boroughs. Probably it would be fine, but there seems no reason to risk it.)
So that's why it's been mostly radio silence here over the last few months, and why it's likely to remain that way, with perhaps the occasional exception, into the indefinite future.