Oooh, more drafts!

January 15, 2004

I just emailed the revised chapter four to my advisor. It is a short chapter, 35 pages plus appendix and notes, but it is contained and coherent. At least, I hope it is contained and coherent - I am piss-poor at reading my own writing.

Now I get to do something similar to chapter two. That also has a bad framing section at the beginning, an interesting bit of intellectual history in the middle, and a coda about Christianity in the common law. I took a chainsaw to the middle narrative last month - there was some stuff there that was fascinating on its own but not necessary for the story I am telling. Now I get to write down my loose notes on how to frame the introduction before moving on to the conclusion.

I seem to be writing backwards this time - concluding a chapter, then working out a middle narrative, then writing an introduction as the very last stage. It is an odd way to think, but it helps to know where I am trying to get to.

ObPolitics - a month or so ago Wesley Clarke criticized the Bush administration's war planners because they thought forwards and not backwards - he argued that they started with what forces can we get to the gulph, then planned how they could defeat Saddam Hussein's army, and then left the postwar settlement to other branches to handle. Clarke argues that what they should have done was start by asking what conditions they wanted on the ground at the end of the conflict, and worked backwards from there to the war planning. I found it a plausible argument, perhaps because it fed into my preconception that the Bush administration is a batch of political hacks who make decisions based on short-term concerns and pandering to the base without ever checking their assumptions or worrying about the long-term consequences of their actions.

Errands today - little man has a heart murmer so he gets to see the pediatric cardiologist. I had one when I was his age, many kids do, and I suspect it will be one of those "check it and then watch it and then all will be well" sorts of things that pop up in modern medicine.

EDIT - little man has a relatively common variation in one of his heart valves. It is perfectly safe, it creates a slight turbulence and murmer in his pulse, and we get to check it again in a year.

Posted by Red Ted at January 15, 2004 09:21 AM | TrackBack