James Essex and Permissionless Innovation

I have been researching the unpublished works of a little known English Antiquarian James Essex (1722-1784) for my doctoral thesis. He was a Cambridge man who trained as a surveyor and raised his status throughout his lifetime to become part of the Cambridge group of antiquarians and intellectuals interested in researching indigenous history through empirical observation rooted in the Baconian scientific revolution. By the time of his death, he was a consultant architect who designed buildings in Cambridge and executed a minor work for Henry Wapole. He was an architectural and medieval antiquarian who was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and had presented over a dozen papers on what we now know of as the English Gothic. Continue reading “James Essex and Permissionless Innovation”

Renewing my US Passport

This blog suffers from lack of updating and lack of care due to the very fact that I travel a lot for work. When I’m not travelling I’m trying to keep up with my PhD research, a task that is difficult in the quietest of times, but very difficult when I’m in Brazil one week and Dubai the next. In the course of all of this travelling, however, I have to renew one of my two passports now – my US one. I admit that I don’t ever travel on my US passport unless it is to the US. Travelling on my UK passport to the US would cause me to be fined a great amount of money because, and only because, I was born in the US. Sad as this might sound, the airline and airport would be fined too. Though the ideological and political differences between the US and UK are slight, it is, quite frankly, cheaper and easier to travel on a UK passport. No visa required for Brazil, for example, and I could go to Cuba if I wanted. In any case, I need to renew my US passport, but with an interesting complication. Continue reading “Renewing my US Passport”

Why I won’t be reading Bringing up the Bodies

I love reading historical mysteries. (I love reading all mysteries, in fact, and I like Scandinavian noir too, but for the purposes of this blog post I will be sticking to historical mysteries!) In any case, often people recommend to me Hilary Mantel’s work. I know about it, of course, and most people in the UK do or at least come across at some point, but I can’t bring myself get through her work. Anyone would thinking that I would actually like her work due to my mild obsession with English history and historical mysteries. The problem is this however: I am writing up a bit of research from that time period. Continue reading “Why I won’t be reading Bringing up the Bodies”

Research and reading complexity

In the course of my research a rather obvious thought has come to me. The level and quality of Tudor and Jacobean research has grown in its complexity. As with everything in the world, the development of research ideas and theories increase in complexity as technology, communication, and theory develop and mature. In the case of the Reformation in England, the complexity has caused me to take an interesting journey. Continue reading “Research and reading complexity”