Wednesday, January 01, 2014

On blogging

Starting in 2014 (today), I will try to post a little something each day. Most will be science. Some will be memoir. Some will be opinion, or simply cyberflânerie.  I feel confident that I will be able to post daily, or nearly so, until the semester starts in late January. After that, the rate may decrease, but I will continue.
How can I justify time spent blogging when I am so busy? I see an analogy to the way time spent exercising comes back through greater energy. A daily practice of making something (however small) public may improve the discipline that I bring to grant writing, letters of recommendation, lectures and all of the other writing I do.
What do I have to say? It’s mostly science. I have come to see myself more as a scholar than as a laboratory scientist, and I also see that colleagues and students value my opinions. However, most of what I will post will not be publishable work in any sense. I have no illusions about that. Scholarship in today’s academic world means discoveries, innovative methods and new ideas. The mathematician H. G. Hardy wrote that
"Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds. [...] The function of a mathematician is to do something, to prove new theorems, to add to mathematics, and not to talk about what he or other mathematicians have done.”
- from “A Mathematician’s Apology,” quoted from Wikipedia
Euclid has not been credited with any proofs, yet much of ancient Greek mathematics is known to us through his “Elements.” I am no Euclid, but every person’s interior life is valuable, and telling stories, including blogging, is how we make what we know and experience available to others. It is how we preserve what we know.
I have several established blogs, all of which are rarely used. I am spread very thin. However, I will continue to categorize posts so that they are more readily found by those who want to read them, without the distraction of irrelevant content. What is new is that I will also produce one consolidated list, at ongen.us/SMM-Posts.
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Where I blog:
Genetics (@ongenetics):
News on Genetics - frequent short posts related to genetics
On Genetics - longer, more considered, posts on genetics
Information on Genes - Genetics questions answered
Less active and perhaps redundant due to Quora.
Personal (@smount):
Steve’s View - opinions and memoirs
Niche blogs:
My Cyberflânerie - Interesting sites found strolling across the internet
Intermittent Fasting - Posts related to my diet
Symmetry Space - Recreational math (not just symmetry)
Terrapin’s Go - The game of go

All posts (from here forward): ongen.us/SMM-Posts

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