2021 in Review

Like most people (I assume) I can’t believe that 2021 is almost over. This year has really flown by and I am feeling very burnt out. I feel like I am getting less and less done and yet at the same time being more and more overwhelmed by what I do manage to get done.

Because of class cancelations (don’t get me started on how CUNY has handled the pandemic!) I was only able to teach 10 classes this year and I have to admit that it was nice not teaching as much as I usually do (I average around 13-14 a year and last year I did 17!!!). I am looking forward to 2022 and being able to teach the Neuroscience and Philosophy of Consciousness course with Tony Ro at the Graduate Center (in Spring in person!) and possibly even a class on David Chalmers’ book Reality+ (in Fall), though I am not sure if that will go through or not (I hope it does!)…but I have to get through my three classes in the short 6 week winter session first (starting in January)!

I also had a lot of fun with Consciousness Live! in season 4, doing 18 conversations! This was less than I planned and less than I did in 2020. Even so I did start to find it a bit overwhelming towards the end and I felt like I was underprepared for some of these conversations. I didn’t even get to schedule all of the people that agreed to come on and talk to me! If there is a season 5 I think I need to do fewer and prepare more. Aiming for one a week is just too much with my teaching load. We’ll see what I can do once I come back in January and start missing talking to cool people about consciousness 🙂

I wrote only one blog posts and tried another short story but my mostly I have been using Philosophy Sucks! (the name of my blog) for Consciousness Live! podcasting.

Part of the reason for the lite blogging is that I tried putting more time into my YouTube channel posting some videos of my recent attempts to re-learn how to skateboard, some ‘philosophical reactions‘ and other cringey things…it turns out this is a lot of work! I was experimenting with one or two of these kinds of videos per week in November and I think that if I do more of this kind of content in 2022 that I need to limit it and do fewer. I don’t think there is any way I could keep that up when my teaching schedule returns to ‘normal’.

I had two co-authored publications come out

I have another co-authored piece in the pipeline and I am hoping that makes it out someday. It’s funny because all of my recent publications have been co-authored and I actually heard through the grapevine that maybe I should publish more single authored stuff (philosophy is weird about giving credit in co-authoring situations) and I do have some recent talks that I gave which could be written up and some other projects as well but lately I have been finding it really hard to produce anything that I think is any good. Part of the reason for that is that I teach a lot, and had my first child in 2015 (the year of my last single authored piece and the year I got tenure coincidently). But the other part of the reason is a bit more complicated.

I used to jump at every publication opportunity I got because I needed to get tenure and then when I sort of thought I had done enough to get tenure I thought maybe someday I could get a job where I could teach less and have more time for all of these other projects I am constantly starting and getting overwhelmed by (like the New York Consciousness Collective and the Qualia Fest, the Online Consciousness Conference, and all of the other stuff I do as the Director of CONSC -the Center for the ONline Study of Consciousness 😉 but if I had my way I probably would have chosen not to publish them or to wait longer. Writing philosophy and enduring the publication process takes a level of self-confidence that is hard to sustain…but I did recently pull of my first feeble and smith grinds on a (small) quarter pipe and that helps a bit 🙂

See you in 2022!