What am I up to now?

October 2, 2023

July, 2023

In the 42 months since I bought this laptop, my time tracking app recorded only three days without activity. For 1,274 of the past 1,277 days, I opened my laptop and did something or other.

But! For each of the past three weeks, I received an email which would have been surprising any other time.

It was the former. When I packed up and left for Uzbekistan on 22 June with ML and my dad, I left my laptop behind. I felt a bit of separation anxiety, sure, but thrived with only my e-ink tablet.

All of this is in the path of apology — I usually crank out the ~3,000 monthly words on this page in the last 72 hours of each month. For those three days of June I should have been writing this post, I was in Gulkam canyon and the Chimagan mountains near the border with Kyrgyzstan.

Other highlights included an old Soviet radio telescope,

Bukhara and Khiva,

Not my picture (from Wiki Commons), but I can attest this is what it looked like.

and the diplomatic circuit in Astana.

I only got back to Oxford, and this dear machine, this weekend. While I read lots of books and ate lots of food in June, I’d rather just put life updates here, and save reviews for another time.


I passed all five of my first year PhD courses!I passed metrics by the closest possible margin; much love to QC, AG, DB, and EC for getting me through that. This means a) I don’t have to re-sit any of the exams, freeing up the rest of my summer for research, travel, and lovely people, and b) I get to focus on all new content in the second year of the PhD.

I have to choose my second year courses. This isn’t urgent — there’s no need to choose which classes to attend,One can attend any or no classes; the department doesn’t care. only which courses to be assessed on. Some courses are assessed with exams; others coursework. Examination choices aren’t due until the end of the winter term, so I’ll get a chance to taste test.


At the end of July, I’ll head to Geneva, and spend most of August in Switzerland and the surrounding countries. I’m very happy to travel to any friends in the area, so let me know if you’ll be around! I’m willing to travel further than you think, so don’t be shy, Dubrovnik and Munich.


June, 2023

May, 2023

April, 2023

March, 2023

February, 2023

December, 2022

November, 2022

October, 2022

September, 2022

August, 2022

November, 2021

October, 2021

September, 2021

July, 2021

June, 2021

May, 2021

What am I up to now? - October 2, 2023 - Joseph Levine