söndag 17 april 2016

Forgotten valuables

Before moving to a new office, I sorted through lots of papers. Some were old papers that I myself have written. Sometimes I found multiple copies so I kept one or two printed copy of each and then threw away excessive duplicate copies. Holding or leafing through a paper that I wrote 10 years ago sometimes awoke positive memories. I can sometimes get a slight sensation - an echo of sorts - of how pleased I was when I wrote a particular sentence and found just the right words to express exactly what I wanted to say.

Not equally positive is the fact that some papers that really are very good have been quoted 10 times or less in just as many years. Part of the reason for this paucity of quotes could be that the papers were published in the wrong venue, are difficult to find, are stuck with the wrong keywords or are difficult to access. One text is trapped inside some conference proceedings that masquerades as a very expensive book - the book is out of print but the e-book version can be acquired for 189 USD! That is a pity.

Sorting through this stuff, it was sometimes hard not to sit down and read a paper from beginning to end. Well, actually it wasn't that hard since I was under strict time pressures and had to maximise the volume of paper that flew through my hands in order to redirect them into two piles - "keep" vs "discard". But it made me want to re-read some of these papers.

So, that will be a project that I will carry out during the coming months. Not only will I re-read my own old papers, I will also feature some of them in blog posts and make sure that those original texts are readily accessible. Some of these texts really do deserve better and I will tell you exactly why in these coming blog posts!

Since much of what I write nowadays in one way or another has to do with sustainability, I have decided to bring out only to the truly forgotten papers that were written during my pre-sustainability career.

Keep your eyes open for them!

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