If you're a regular reader, you've probably noticed that I haven't been posting as much as usual lately. Unfortunately, that's because I've been spending too much time on things I can't talk about.
Specifically, for much of the last two weeks, I was at a trial in San Francisco as an expert witness. Luckily, one week of it was during Harvard's spring break, so I didn't miss too much class time. But the case naturally took almost all of my energy and work hours. Not only did I not have much time to blog, but I didn't even have much time to think about things to blog about. Hopefully, that will change, and I'll soon be back to my usual self.
A natural topic to blog about, of course, would be about what it was like being an expert witness. Such a topic fits within the scope of the blog. But the case is just still too close. Instead of talking in generalities, which I think is reasonable and still professional, I'd run the risk of discussing specifics, of either the case, the client, or the attorneys I worked with -- which I definitely think is not, especially in a blog context.
As I pondered this dilemma, it occurred to me that there are plenty of other things still within the realm of professional life that I can't (or, to be clear, I choose not to) talk about. Details of PC meetings is not suitable blog material, as are details of the meetings of our CS faculty search committee -- and pretty much the last few weeks, when I wasn't busy with the case, I was busy with the ICALP PC or the CS search! Nor are discussions of my work on the "Administrative Board", Harvard's rule-enforcing body, for which every case is meant to be entirely confidential. Heck, we aren't even supposed to talk about what NSF panel we serve on when we serve on NSF panels, which I find a bit extreme. (Who couldn't figure that out if they wanted to?)
It is frustrating, since part of the reason I started to blog was because I like to talk about things. But especially because a blog is a public, permanent record, there are interesting, worthwhile, and even entertaining topics... that I can't discuss.