I’m reaching the point in the year where I become a grumpy hermit and do nothing but study: I’ve an essay on Adorno & Horkheimer and an essay on Candide due in by the end of April, and then I’ll have to start revising for my exams at the end of May.
I’m finding giving up the threads a really positive thing; I think not being able to ramble on about trivialities almost constantly on chatty threads is giving me a lot more space to think more and to be more creative. During the first few days of giving up I noticed how I have got into the habit of automatically externalising every trivial thought: my reaction to anything noteworthy in my life at all was to frame it as a post on the threads. I’m slowly starting to lose that habit and am having more interesting thoughts as a consequence. This is helped because I still have lots of time at work to spend on the internet, so instead of posting I have been reading lots of articles and blogs (as well as the cricket over-by-over reports, admittedly) which is more stimulating than about 80% of the Guardian talkboards. I could happily live my life without ever seeing another debate on whether feminism means that council swimming pools should not have women-only sessions, or another debate on poverty that descends into a lengthy diatribe by someone who has never wanted for anything in their life on how poor people aren’t really poor because they live in houses and not under Waterloo Bridge or in sub-Saharan Africa.
The dialectic of enlightenment is so difficult but is making me think a lot: interestingly, a lot of the stuff about instrumental reason chimes with the excellent documentary (documentary? Perhaps polemical TV essay would be a better description) about liberty called The trap that was on TV recently. The more I think I understand Adorno the less sure I am whether I agree with him or not, though; perhaps I’ll have come to a conclusion when I finish my essay. 
I’ve also been reading a fair bit of poetry: I’ve now finished The Penguin book of Spanish Civil War verse and both of the Oasis collections of poetry about the Second World War. These were utterly fascinating; the intersecting point where literature meets history is one of my favourite things about reading (by the way Phil, if you are reading this, how are you getting on with Life and fate?). I think when I go to Barcelona later this year I’ll read Homage to Catalonia, I’m currently finding the Spanish Civil War so fascinating.