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You know what I did this summer?

My last post was in April… but don’t worry, I have an excuse. Sev­eral, in fact.

First of all, after sev­eral months of employ­ment issues, I found the time to fin­ish my PhD thesis dur­ing the sum­mer. The manu­script was approved, two big appen­dices writ­ten, the defense date fixed. It’s a whole load off my shoulders now.

In addi­tion, I had been spend­ing time on search­ing for jobs, and in June I was glad to find out that I had been hired as a post-doc at the Uni­ver­sity of Ant­werp on a pro­ject study­ing lan­guage change in 17th cen­tury Eng­land, and the influ­ence of social net­works on how lin­guistic changes spread in a com­munity. I star­ted the job earlier this month.

Also, in May I took over the reins as editor in chief of The Onto­lo­gical Geek. As you may know, I’ve been writ­ing there on and off for a year or two, but now the oppor­tun­ity arose to take the lead and see what I could do with the site. So far, I think things have been going pretty well, and I have plenty of extra ideas boun­cing around in my head. This is also the reason why I haven’t been writ­ing about games and pop cul­tural sub­jects on Sub Specie any­more. I’ve moved both longer and shorter thoughts to Onto­Geek now that the site is my respons­ib­il­ity. So far I’ve enjoyed the pro­cess, and the extra edit­or­ial input from my fel­low staff mem­bers that I would­n’t get here.

Dur­ing the sum­mer, I worked part-time as an edit­or­ial assist­ant on a book col­lect­ing vari­ous dia­lect­o­logy papers from a con­fer­ence in 2014. I learned a lot about stream­lin­ing chapters com­ing from dif­fer­ent authors and using dif­fer­ent formats, and get­ting them into shape for pub­lic­a­tion in one book. I did­n’t work on the actual type­set­ting, since there was fixed pub­lish­er’s tem­plate, but I did learn a bunch of new LaTeX tricks.

In the typo­graphy depart­ment, I did work on another games book, called Shooter. This inde­pend­ently pub­lished col­lec­tion con­tains a great set of essays on the genre of shoot­ing games, and the sig­ni­fic­ance of indi­vidual games therein.

Of course, I also did the typo­graphy for my PhD dis­ser­ta­tion, which I will show soon on this blog.

Next to my writ­ings for Onto­Geek, I made my return in Five out of Ten magazine in their issue on nature. This time, I wrote a short his­tory of the Bal­dur’s Gate mod­ding scene, as well as an essay on how games helped me under­stand my prob­lems with the concept of ‘nature’ itself.

So, that’s what I did this sum­mer. Once I get settled in at my new job, I will try to return here with some new posts. Prob­ably on lin­guistic issues, or ran­dom thoughts on things like cheez­ers and mouths. For my game stuff, please head on over to Onto­Geek from now on. If you want to sup­port what we’re doing there, please have a look at our com­munity fund­ing page on Patreon. All dona­tions will help us com­mis­sion more great writ­ing!