I'm pleased to report that I'm (finally) entering the last phase of my PhD exam process; it feels like I've been reading faster than I can think, basically since June. It also feels like the internet gods are conspiring against me and/or doing me wonderful favors (my attitude towards their interventions depend entirely on the day), due to the very conspicuous emergence of nested research themes/questions -- despite the fact that I've mostly been reading things willy-nilly. It's been weird, I'll read one thing and my next selection will gesture towards and sometimes outright cite the first. Totally fortuitously. This past week, the gods seemed dead set on contemplating the online self; the following few posts (x'ed from my academic yet still sometimes vaguely linguistically NSFW-ish blog) circle around this and a nest of related questions.