Forget the Footnotes

Free at last


It’s February 1st and I no longer work at the LSE. I wrote a letter of resignation to Howard Davies. There’ll be a pdf here of courseand here it is!

I worked at the LSE for some 12 years. Much of it was great. Above all to get a first proper job, to have a monthly salary, to develop courses and to interact with students, to have reading and writing as a career. Meanwhile Diane and I started our adventure together, in our new house, with one kid after another. What in life could be better?

On the darker side: the LSE version of the British class-system and the pretentiousness of some colleagues in the Government Department. They always suspected that I didn’t take them seriously, and they were right of course. Then the whole blogging and free speech issue — everyone from Howard Davies down trying to shut me up. Sigh. Deep sigh.

My new university, NCTU, is a great improvement in these respects. It’s not a commercial venture, they are not dependent on student fees, and they don’t give a damn what I say in my blog. Besides I like living in a country where I’m forced to learn things every day. Learning things, after all, is what my life’s about. London has already receeded behind the horizon.

But the real excitement is happening away from academia. We are looking for a Chinese-style house up in the mountains outside of Hsinchu. We’re going to keep goats and grow papaya. The kids are getting settled. Rima is already fluent in baby Chinese and Saga is quickly becoming a Chinese teenager. We look forward to many more years here. Again, what could life offer that’s better?

“I put down my robe, picked up my diploma,
Took hold of my sweetheart and away we did drive,
Straight for the hills, the black hills of Dakota,
Sure was glad to get out of there alive.

And the locusts sang, well, it give me a chill,
Yeah, the locusts sang such a sweet melody.
And the locusts sang with a high whinin’ trill,
Yeah, the locusts sang and they was singing for me,
Singing for me, yeah singing for me.”

Bob Dylan, 1970.


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