Sunday, October 16, 2011

Law and Econ Project, Update IV

Today's update is approximately two weeks late. This makes me question how effective a commitment device nDrafts is. Nonetheless, I will persevere.

At least some progress has been made in the last three weeks. I finished reading two books that I had committed to finishing, We Have Met the Enemy by Daniel Akst (2011), and American Property by Stuart Banner (2011). I assigned Banner's chapter on owning life (including body parts, corpses, and segments of the human genome) to my Law and Econ class; I think it offers a nice case study, of sorts, of how property rights regimes can respond to changes in costs and benefits.

As for my plans for my Law and Econ manuscript, I intended to digitize the edits to Chapter 5 -- done! (I have suffered a major computer breakdown, so I take more pride than usual at meeting this minimal goal.) The other goal was to send out a few chapters to canny (potential) readers for comment. Here, well, limited success. I am glad that I did send Chapter One to one very canny potential reader, but more chapters and maybe an additional reader or two might have been a good idea.

My commitment for the next update is to rewrite the Preface, merging in the Nabokov material (one day I will explain!) that currently resides in Chapter 2. I also would like to make a go at a Conclusions section -- these tend to present a roadblock for me. Most importantly, I want to print out (and maybe bind) the entire manuscript in its current form. After that, I will take a few weeks to produce (and print and bind) a revised draft, with yet one more (and final?) draft, as the nDrafts reader knows, being slated for printing and binding on December 11.

Two other books have been lingering in my "to read soon" pile. One is This is Your Country on Drugs, by Ryan Grim (2010), and I will renew my intention and aim to make some progress this week. The second is Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life, by Nicholas Phillipson (2010); I have read the first 100 pages of this great book, and hope to finish it in the next week or two.