I defended my dissertation, entitled "Cornelis Drebbel(1572-1633): Fame and the Making of Modernity" at Princeton in September on a quondam celebrity - the Dutch engraver, alchemist, engineer, inventor, submariner and natural philosopher active in London and Prague. At McGill, I am currently working on a manuscript on the history of wish lists. The manuscript is tentatively entitled: The Wish List: Collecting the Future in the Early Modern Past, An Irrational History of Modernity. In this work, I examine the way changes in the category of reason, from a logical, deductive ratio to an instrumental "reason of state" or "interest" affected the relationship between the pursuit of desire and the structure of society. At a time when the pursuit of private desires or interests threatened the public good, the collection and publication of wish lists seemed to many an effective means to re-organize society and its actions (in space and time) around the pursuit of shared desires. The history of wish lists falls between the histories of late apocalypticism, humanism, and the new politics of Machiavelli, Guicciardini and Botero. It offers a fresh perspective on the emergence of economics, Baconian utilitarianism, the idea of progress, and that peculiar sort of reason called "rational actor theory," which is so fundamental to capitalist societies today.