Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Vienna always comes back. Today as my colleague Emma was leaving for a summer at the IIASA Institute in nearby Laxenburg and I had to brief her on all my favourites spots. Then later, on the train, I felt an urge to relax after the last crazy days of thesis administration, to pour up a small bottle of The Glenlivet and start reading vienna:views.

So insure

Against Vienna.

Capital of insurance
Insurance of capital
where people push problems
for profit,
to the resounding sound of…

STEMPEL = stamps
stamps of the ink-tank, think tanks of reassurance
stamps of authority
stamps of bureaucracy
stamps of ...?

Singular power

I dream of standing at Westbahnhof, maybe even leaving Vienna with the night train. Just to depart with the knowledge that I will return.

(outside in the real world, Obama nominates Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, hope she gets confirmed, meanwhile in Europe, it is soon time for the EP-elections, I intend to vote Pirate and will give some good reasons for doing so here on Rawls & Me before not too long)


Monday, May 18, 2009

Leaving on a Mayday

The commuting has resumed with full strength; 1400 km this week alone and more to come before summer finally gets here by mid-June and releases me from the fixed tracks. This year, the summer promises excursions to inter alia Prague, Bingen, Marrakesh, and a utopia-workshop in Reading.

“Come fly with me, let's float down to Peru
In llama land there's a one-man band
And he'll toot his flute for you
Come fly with me, let's float down in the blue”

On the Mayday-album, I like this Sinatra cover by Anna as I keep struggling with the Manuscript.

In spite of my best intentions, I will not be able to write it all up this spring, not that it matters much with my final seminar scheduled first in December. But it would have felt so good to conclude this semester by being able to put that long text in the drawer. In any case, there are some good news as well, Environmental Politics liked the article I presented in New York in February and, pending certain modifications, it will hopefully be published by early next year.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

In bed at the Radisson Edwardian Berkshire

Barely had I landed in London before the flu hit me. Having been queuing for security at Frankfurt Airport together with a flight from Mexico City some days ago I naturally felt a bit concerned. But after a night of high fever, I could feel that the worst was behind me.

Nonetheless, while my colleagues have been busy touring the Houses of Parliament, Transport for London and Deutsche Bank, I have been stranded in the same luxury hotel room, trying to read an old IHT and making plans for the fall now when my STINT application has been, big surprise, rejected. To be honest, my confidence in that organization is rapidly approaching zero, not because they have rejected the different applications that I have sent in over the last four years (that is simply part of the game), but because they seem to use a very strange ranking mechanism (the more I publish in international peer-review journals, the less scientific competent I become) in combination with insinuations of the kind that I do not really care if I get the scholarship or not.

Yet, I should not forget that somewhat banal motto “don’t be bitter, be better”. Over the course of my doctoral studies I have indeed been very fortunate with external funding; I have been able to visit both Rutgers and the University of Melbourne, participated in dozens of international conferences and met so many inspiring people. And the upside of this year’s STINT-round is that my friend Marcus will be able to spend the fall in New York, hopefully I will have the chance of visiting him there.