Grey Light at the End of the Tunnel

24 April 2009

The current version of my paper operationalizing and formalizing preferences that are not totally ordered can probably be pushed out the door now. I'm running or going to run it past two more academic economists whom I know before I submit it to a journal, but that's just pronounced caution, and more concerned with the quality of the exposition than with that of the ideas themselves.

Unfortunately, while I'm reasonably sure that the work is correct, I no longer have a gut sense that it's important. Intellectually, I see this lack of such a sense as stemming from a confluence of three things.

The first two are my extended efforts to understand and to communicate matters clearly; these efforts result in those matters now seeming very clear and thus seeming rather obvious to me. I have to remind myself that it was all very murky when I began.

But, additionally, through my life, I've repeatedly had the experience that I just don't feel the significance of completed work. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's just constitutional anhedonia. I do know that things such as ceremonies and celebrations don't help.

I've cobbled-together a sort of cheat-sheet for some of my readers who might not be familiar with some of the notation, mathematical notions, and economics jargon that I use in the paper; I'll make it openly available when I make the paper itself more openly available. (In the mean time, anyone with access to the paper who wants a copy of the cheat-sheet should let me know.) At some point, I hope to write-up a sort-of informal translation of the ideas of the paper into far less technical language.

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