Had you asked me at any point during the last sixteen years about my plans, I would have mentioned something about earning a PhD. It is a strange thing to walk away from a goal that has, for so long, structured the shape of one’s thinking about the future. But that is exactly what I have done.

I’m tempted to wax introspective about this, but I think I’ll resist. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure that I would know quite what to say at this point anyway. It was, as you might imagine, a difficult decision–among the most difficult I’ve had to make–and, under the circumstances, I have as much peace about it as I could reasonably expect to have.

So there you have it.

Many of you have been reading this blog for awhile and you may remember that it began alongside my course work nearly seven years ago. I’ve appreciated the support and encouragement many of you have given along the way, so it seemed only natural to let you all know.

As for the future, I’ll continue thinking and writing about technology as time allows, on this site and elsewhere. I’ll be pitching essays and reviews here and there. This site is getting a bit of a makeover in line with these newer goals. And, as time and resources allow, I’ll be working to make something of CSET. I’ll keep you apprised on both fronts.


12 thoughts on “Fin

  1. Hi Michael, I can feel for you with the scale of the decision you made. Fin is the first post I have received from you since signing up for your newsletter. But I’m glad it’s not the fin, with your intention to keep writing. You have a fluid, indeed elegant, writing style. Look forward to more. Best of luck with your projects.

  2. Well, Michael, on the one hand: darn it. But on the other hand: many of the thinkers on technology you and I most admire didn’t have PhDs, and having no need to meet certain often arbitrary canons of academic performance can be liberating. I hope that’s just what this decision will bring to you: intellectual freedom.

  3. There’s plenty of stigma around the idea of quitting, but oftentimes it takes more courage and strength to quit, than to stay. What you did is a good thing if you know it in your heart. Your faithful followers might be disappointed, but only because they wanted to see you succeed–claim the expected ending. In a society where the norm is to do what’s expected of you, your ‘quitting’ will liberate others. Thank you for sharing.

    God bless, I hope the next phase of your life brings as much good as this one.

    1. The stigma is real, I think it was part of the reason I hung on as long as I did. It led, as well, to a good deal of introspection about my own motives for keeping at or laying it aside, etc. In any case, I was encouraged by your note. Many thanks for it.

  4. Best wishes to you. I walked away from my own PhD in 2007 after finishing all my coursework. I’m a recent follower of your blog. I’m sure your future holds exciting things.

  5. About time.

    Now you can dive back into writing passionately, which is where you belonged all along.

    I look forward to the publishing of your first book, the celebrated reception thereof, and the important role that chance played in all of it.

    I couldn’t think of more excellent news.

  6. Michael, catching up with this belatedly. Boy, can I identify with your decision. I’m still paying off a small mountain of debt incurred before I gave up on my Phd dream. You didn’t say why you’ve decided to let the dream go (for now?) but perhaps that’s part of it. I wouldn’t downplay the significance of the decision, as I’m sure you haven’t. I know for myself that in some circles being identified as a “journalist” or “independent scholar” doesn’t have as much credential power as Phd, even though we all know that having a doctorate doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you’re talking about! In any event, I trust you have other alternatives that are satisfying and rewarding for you. Your thoughts on technology have always been a pleasure to read, and presumably will continue to be, in one way or another. Good luck.

    1. Thanks, Doug. I’ve appreciated hearing from folks who’ve taken this particular turn in their path. At the moment, I would say that I’ve let the dream go for good. But who knows what the future may hold. In any case, I intend to keep writing as time allows.

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