Despite several trips to the US before, California was one of the least known places for me. I believe I had a good opportunity in my first part of Sabbatical to be more familiar with CA. Still, I don’t believe I have made a substantive social circle to get more insider news. Unfortunately, circumstances were not fitting to have a lively social life and I am not sure if I really wanted that. After overwhelming work and stress in Istanbul, I guess, I needed a real resting time and I had it. I had it so much that now I am a little bit bored.
At the end of this month, I will move to Boston. Until then I will have made trips to San Fransisco, San Diego, and Riverside one more time. I should say at the outset: I think California had long lost its mystique. What many, and I also, had in mind due to popular culture, CA has this allegedly countercultural culture. However, this is long gone. This might have moved north, Portland and Seattle maybe. But it is gone. CA is very rich now, the new riches live here, it is expensive, it has become dull and there is growing social inequality. If one wants to get into more counterculture circles or bohemian milieu, maybe some in Long Beach still, CA may not be for him/her anymore. Without that, you need more urban texture, but CA is not designed like that. There is no urban density. This does not mean I did not like my time here. I did like it. But in the long run, I would need a social circle or more urban life.
In the last two months, I have switched to a new self-disciplined pattern of daily work. I believe I will begin to see its fruits by the end of this year and I will probably keep this new pattern -of course, details are trade secret- when I move back to Istanbul. After finishing all possible modes of play in Civilization and getting bored of playing SimCity etc and watching -and still watching many films and TV shows- I am going through IMDB Top-rated TV shows– I had nothing but back to work of writing. I am working on my book project, Social media and politics, working on an article on algorithms and gender bias, several pieces on political trolls- with comparative angles- and a draft on cryptocurrency circles in Turkey. In the meantime, I am glad to have met with Sherine Hamdy and I am glad to have had more acquaintance with Kim Fortun (and Mike Fortune) and several intellectually intense sessions with George Marcus. I believe my move towards Science and Technology Studies is fastened with my encounter with Fortuns. I wish I had more time with Chris Kelty who is in UCLA. Before I leave Irvine I might visit him once. I had the opportunity to meet with Bill Maurer who has become a dean and who is super busy. I wish I could meet him more but I believe in the long run, I will be in touch with him due to my new fields of study a.k.a cryptocurrencies.
I still have time so I started to do some workout. Basically, trying to move 10K steps a day. Since I have a little bit of obsession with numbers, I think I will keep this jogging thing thanks to daily records kept in Samsung Health. I have started to work on German, too. I am definite that I will have some real advancement by the end of the year.
I have begun to see a little bibliography maker tool- which is in fact quite well known- that I tried to deny for years: Zotero. It is not very user-friendly in the beginning. But after a little bit of hassle, you get used to it and now I cannot write without it.