We’ve stupidly overcommitted ourselves to writing a chapter in a book about the more technically dense areas of nanotechnology, something that we’re by no means an expert on, as a favor to a friend, a noted professor, and a totally terrific person all around. He was the editor, and had lined up some extremely distinguished authors. How could we say no? We couldn’t. Then we acted dysfunctionally, and tried to get out of it by saying that we have nothing to say on the subject, something true mostly because we’re impressed by what others have already said and we have nothing original to add without delving into a full scale assault into the subject, something we don’t have time to do right now. Alas, no go. We signed the contract with the publisher. So we avoided e mails requesting speaking engagements where we would run into this person, because we feel guilty. We have an unresponded voice mail in our in box from two weeks ago. And so we’ve been in a state of semi-self loathing, or at least self -not liking very much.
On top of that, we’re in the middle of moving back to the Bay Area, something that we’re totally excited about, since we’ve always sort of thought that SoCal was just passing through. But right now, we have two homes in a crappy California real estate market. So, no matter which home office we’re in we’re surrounded by boxes of our crapola that we should have shredded but for keeping it in case someone accuses us of something.
And then, out of the blue, the publisher e mailed: the professor died.
All the other authors are in shock, as are we. It’s awful. We hardly know what to say, as this was a truly beloved professor by grad students and colleagues world wide (we’re in touch with a close friend at University of Reims, trying to get more information). This person was one of our favorite people on the planet. It’s people like that that are the anti-matter to the psychopaths we blog about.
So, we’re taking some time off but we’ll be back. We’re going to prepare the best nanotech chapter we can.