Starting Up a Blog

Blogging can serve a useful purpose, even if it is not perfect

I’ve toyed with the idea of blogging for a while now. Part of my initial hesitancy was/is that blogs are these ugly static beasts wherein information never gets updated.

When doing most things in my life, I break patterns in “non-backwards-compatible” ways, as they say. I’ll flip-flop positions, try new things that are exactly the opposite of things I’d previously tried, and go through quick iterative sprints, as much as possible, to figure out what “best” is in a given circumstance. In other words, when I’m in the “research and thought stage” for any particular topic, my views change with great frequency.

To the uninitiated this would seem like madness. How can you be fully convinced that X is best only to say 5 days later that X is rubbish and Y is much better? Is that not contradictory?

It’s all about how you approach problem-solving, and mostly boils down to definition of terms. To me, “best” is a mapping of my subjective understanding onto objective reality. That is to say, there is an “objective best” that exists for a specific set of input parameters (what we might call circumstantial variables). Then there is the “best” that I have bumped in to at present. This latter “best” is the X that changes to Y. The former one may or may not be X or Y. It may not even exist at present.

If all this seems impenetrable and abstract, it’s just to say that there are complications when translating shifting human thought into the likes of “blog posts.” I obsessively update my thinking according to new data, and blog posts, if not prefaced with verbose disclaimers in the manner of “warning: this writing represents my views on 01/20/18, which may or may not have much to do with I think now” have the danger of presenting things as “done” without having a built in way to edit and refine them over time. Hence why I was sticking with “pages,” which can be updated freely over time since they don’t have dates attached to them.

However, as I’ve thought more about it, these things can co-exist. You can write blog posts representing your thought a particular moment in time without feeling like you have to keep the post updated… because if it gets to that point, you should probably write a page on it anyway and spell things out more thoroughly. Maintaining a semantic distinction between “immutable, snapshot content” (i.e., blog posts) and “dynamic, thorough content” (i.e., pages) makes it easy for me to document my day to day thought for myself (and others, by extension) through blogging, while also maintaining a “cutting edge” version of things in dynamic pages that get regular updates. So as long as no one gets the impression that blog posts are the end of what can be said about something, they can be a helpful addition to the site.

And this concludes blog post number one. Probably to be made into a real page at some point.


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