2015 03 05

Mike Polioudakis

Schedule of Projects, Mostly Writing Projects

It helps to know that my wife is native Thai, and that she has a large cohesive family in Thailand.

How I prioritize all this depends on the finances of my wife and I, and on what comes up when. We are both in excellent vigorous health.

In 2011, I finished the book “Jesus for Most People”. In 2015, I finished the book “Religious Stances”. With “Religious Stances”, I am done with long works on religion. I have said what I want to say. I will write essays sometimes, mostly to put online.

In 2008, I finished “First Book on Economics”. As the title suggest, that is the first small book in a short series of small books. The research is mostly done.

The second book in the series will be about the concentration of production and of economic power. The central questions are: Can everybody get a decent job? What level of affluence can the world economy support for people in general and Americans in particular?

The third book in the series is about resource economics, especially the consequences of depleting non-resources and the economics of renewable resources.

I began as an evolutionary anthropologist. I have ideas about the evolution of sociality and the evolution of human moral abilities. The ideas take into account reading on non-human animals. I intend to write a book on this material.

My whole life, I have been soaking up pop culture and some aspects of “serious” culture. I have dozens of ideas on American culture, American political culture, and Thai culture. I have in mind a lot of essays for my website.

I have practiced some karate and Tai Chi Chuan since 1973. I have seen a variety of martial arts from Thai boxing (8 years in Thailand) to MMA. Like other people, I have noticed similarities between the Asian arts. I want to write about out similarities between TCC forms, Chinese ideas of movement, and karate katas.

My wife and I will return to Thailand for extended fieldwork. How we stay, and what we do, depends on whether we get funding. For some specific project ideas, see below.

I now live in Auburn, Alabama, about 25 miles from Tuskegee, Alabama. Both towns are homes to schools that are well known. The city of Auburn has increased in prosperity, it has one of the best high schools in the South, and it is considered one of the best places to live and to open a business. In the last few years, it has been one of the fastest growing small urban areas in America. In contrast, the town of Tuskegee has deteriorated. Its schools perform well below the schools in Auburn. Crime is endemic. Auburn is mostly White while Tuskegee is mostly Black. The divergence is not only a matter of race but race did play a part along with statewide politics. Their contrast is an interesting story with implications that are relevant for all of modern America. I would like to write this up in a small book.

Math, logic, and physics are a hobby that borders on a vice. I want to write simple short books on topics in math and physics at the middle level, on subjects such as topology, calculus, and complex analysis. I would do this writing the way I do the reading, as a hobby rather than a project.

After living in Thailand for eight years, I don’t want to give up on what I did there and on what I might still do there. My wife and I have a lot of ideas:

(1) My wife has a nephew-in-law who is a film director, and he has been nominated for an American Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture. I know the Director of the Thai Film Institute (Khun Dome). I have watched many Thai movies. I have always wanted to write about them.

(2) Thai culture and society have changed as Thailand has moved into the world economy. I know both old and new Thailand. I have several clear projects in mind such as on small business and on gender.

(3) I spent four years talking to shrimp farmers in Thailand, and I spend well over a year of fieldwork in total talking to catfish farmers in Alabama. There is a critical step in the evolution of the industry – the making of a “code of conduct” – that they started 15 years ago but never finished. Now the world market might force them to finish. I want to see the process through to the end, write about the development of the industry, and write about the industry as it is now.

My wife and I might retire to Thailand. If we do this, and when, depends on our finances. I could do a lot of my writing, even on human sociobiology, math, and physics, while I was in Thailand.