Downshifting

By Sean Carroll | June 17, 2010 10:03 pm

I just counted: this is my 1,540th blog post (counting my youthful efforts at Preposterous Universe.) About two posts every three days, for a bit over six years. Time for a break!

So I’m going on hiatus for a while. While my normal mode of operation is to bounce happily between a dozen different activities, there’s a time for consolidation, and I’d like to concentrate on research for a while. It’s been madcap travel ever since the book came out, which is finally done with, and I look forward to getting back into the groove of solving equations and writing papers.

My hiatus plans aren’t very firm: not sure whether it will be a month or a year. It won’t be permanent, that’s for sure. And I doubt it will even be very doctrinaire; if the mood strikes me, I won’t be reluctant to fire up the old laptop and post something on my beloved Cosmic Variance.

In the meantime, the rest of the crew (not to mention you commenters) will keep the fires burning here at the blog. Maybe I’ll even leave a comment or two if one of those jokers says something totally outrageous. Probably most people won’t even notice I’m gone. (Otherwise I wouldn’t have to announce it, would I?)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cosmic Variance, Personal
  • http://www.labimmerinsider.com/ Jessica

    This blog post is good. Just keep up the good work :)

  • Felix

    We’re gonna miss you Sean. I especially on the religious stuff :-). We see eye to eye on that subject.

    You have been a wonderful blogger and I have read them since your PU days. You research is no slosh either. Happy to hear you’re going to put some serious energy into this. We expect wonderful things to come out and be recognized.

    In the meantime, I just bought a copy of your book. Even though I knew about it for a while and saw it on the stores I somehow didn’t go for it. But Bee’s review over at Backreaction made up my mind. I made a special trip to the store and picked it up. While you do your downshift, I will proceed to spend time to read your upshift stuff.

    All the best.

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  • http://backreaction.blogspot.com/ Bee

    To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. I’m reading your posts through a feed and the author line (“by Sean” directly under the title) is missing in that feed. Not sure why, all other blogs I’m reading have the author’s name in the feed, with exception of those from Discover.

  • http://danielholz.com daniel

    We’ll try to muddle along without you. Actually, we have no doubt that you won’t be able to resist, and you’ll be back blogging in no time. I bet at this very moment you’re already thinking about your next post…

  • DaveH

    Probably most people won’t even notice I’m gone.

    Fishing, but – you’re an excellent and individual communicator. I know I will.

    Seems like a cunning plan to make us read your book.

  • Lonely Flower

    No Please Dr.Sean, not now. When I started to read to you regularly, you go.
    This is not fair:(

    “Probably most people won’t even notice I’m gone”
    Of course this doesn’t not apply to me, but even for the majority I don’t
    think it would hold either!

    Have a nice time!

  • http://www.catholiclab.net Ian

    Sean – given your views on religion – wishing it would vanish an’ all – will you be using the time to change your name as well as getting some rest?

  • NewEnglandBob

    If still on hiatus, come back in October after Harris’ book is released. I want to hear your thoughts on that :)

  • jpd

    can we follow you on Twitter?

  • CoffeeCupContrails

    See, this is why I tell people to never email emotional letters or blog your thoughts, late in the evenings or at nights.

    That’s how I ended up quitting facebook… which wasn’t that bad though.

    Still, just got Eternity this week; looking forward to reading your book until you get back , so I’m not going to miss you as much!

  • Matthew

    Sean, may the force be with you during your time off and may you have great enjoyment solving equations and writing papers.

    PS. Darn! Now I have to go back to reading my boring mechanical engineering stuff. HAHA

    Everyone needs a break.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisLindsay9 CW

    I hope you come back soon. Your blog is one of my favorites.

  • Matt

    Good riddance. I’ve gotten right tired of all the insightful, witty, incredible well-articulated commentary on recent happens in the fantastic world of modern science.

  • Ed hessler

    You make the journey graceful as well as wise. I wish you well and may the wind be at your back.

  • http://www.teamsikorski.com Spiv

    Well dang. I’ve been following since PU. I greedily hope you will return.

  • Josh

    Hope you’re not away too long, Sean. I’ve really enjoyed your posts, but I surely understand that you’ve got more important things to do.

  • erik

    You’re like the main person I read on here.

  • lookylou

    Somehow I doubt Sean will be gone long as there’s lots of ego involved in writing 80-90% (probably conservative) of the total wordage here.

  • Ulrich

    Right then, I’ll settle the issue myself.

    When one speaks of religion, then one needs to distinguish between Theism and Deism.

    Theism and science are fundamentally incompatible [see Stuart Hampshire, “Spinoza and Spinozism”]. If one wants to retain both in one’s mind then one needs to compartmentalize them. This seems a bit schizophrenic to me, but go ahead if it floats your boat.

    More importantly, Deism and science are not mutually exclusive. There need be no conflict at all.

    So the man of wisdom does not say that science and religion are incompatible. He leaves that to the short-hitters and the axe-grinders.

  • Brian137

    Good luck, Sean, you are a skilled and thoughtful writer. Just when I get a bit titillated by this,
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/42957 , BAM! – here comes the icy water. Well, have fun. I wish you the best.

  • Yair – A silent reader

    Dear Prof. Carroll,

    Best of wishes for a productive and satisfying hiatus.
    Its a privilege to get a glimpse of your informal thoughts, via the blog.

    Despite my full confidence in your colleague bloggers, I would be anxiously awaiting your return, potentially armed with some new – hiatus generated – scientific insights.

    Yair

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  • Chad J. Cuddihy

    Understandable, but a bummer nonetheless.

  • http://cosmicvariance.com JoAnne

    I think this will last about….oh….2 weeks.

  • tumbledried

    Have a nice break Sean!

    In terms of general stuff to look at, I’m not sure if its really likely to be of interest to you, but you might like to have a look at arxiv:1002.0077v2, on jet bundles. Quite interesting gadgets; in a certain way they generalise the idea of tangent space that is used in general relativity. I think there is probably some potentially very interesting applied mathematics that could be developed using them.

    best wishes,

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  • http://arunsmusings.blogspot.com Arun

    When will Sean direct his next hi at us?

  • MedallionOfFerret

    “Shane! Shane! Come back, Shane!”

    —Brandon DeWilde

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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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