Chucking transport, the press, and probably this blog

So this is a last post to explain that I am shutting down on transportation research and starting up with different topics. I have tenure, and the point of having tenure is to be free. USC just hired a better transportation person than I’ll ever be, and it took roughly 4 nanoseconds before that was made clear to one and all.

Which isn’t necessarily bad. I’ve been bored out of my mind for the past three years. I don’t have much more to say about trip chains, travel behavior, hazards, or anything else. Maybe one of the reasons I’ve worked on so many topics is that I haven’t cared enough about any one of them enough to stick with them.

So starting over. With what? No idea. None whatsoever. I want to contribute to something. I don’t think that’s abnormal or unhealthy.

I’m not likely to make full professor any time soon with this strategy, but I’d rather be un-promoted than bored. And it’s not like I’m going to get promoted doing what I am doing, bored or no (see last sentence of paragraph 1).

I’m thinking about just shutting this blog down entirely–not sure. I’m worried that it distracts me from real work. I have no idea what that real work should be. Perhaps I just need time to find out.

Or perhaps I’ve said everything I need to say, both scholarly and otherwise.

In addition to shutting down here, I am also done giving interviews and writing for the popular press.

Maybe this silence will wrap me in J.D. Salinger mystique. Heh! A note of his to his maid recently was sold for $50,000. I don’t really see that happening to notes I write, but you never know. (This particular scenario faces some pretty high barriers, as I don’t actually have a maid.) And my handwriting is pretty bad so people in posterity will probably have better things to do than try to figure out my notes.

But I digress.

As much of a spectacular failure as I feel, at least the grants I’ve written have supported students, lightened their debt load at a very expensive school, helped them get where they are going. Maybe that’s the very best thing about students: your life, no matter how generally meaningless, is never a complete waste if you’ve believed in the human endeavor enough to help out other people.

Failure or success, whatever. Now everything is new again, and that’s worth celebrating. Who knows what comes next?

“Hey, boss, you ever seen a more splendiferous crash?”

“Nothing left!”

Those of you who want transport insights, go visit David King and David Levinson.

Otherwise, I may be back. Or I may not. I may just read books, eat white truffles, play with cute dogs, buy myself a pair of fabulous silver boots, and dance like Demis Roussos if I ever hear the music again: