What is the purpose of this site? I don’t really know, but here are a few related ideas:
- Intellectual transparency / openness: about what I am thinking about, interested in, wondering about and so on. The thoughts on here may be incomplete or incorrect, but they reflect where I am at so far (but maybe not where I was or will be in the future!). They also reflect some of the things I am interested in.
- Sharing: I think there’s a bunch of value in sharing ideas and projects, even if they are incomplete or unrefined. First, others might find these ideas interesting or generative. Second, it is helpful for me for various reasons. Among other things, it’s nice to be able to send a post to a friend and say: “here is how I understand or think about this topic (roughly)”.
- Documentation: Kind of like an intellectual journal. In the past, I’ve gone through many phases of intellectual interests, but haven’t documented my thoughts or learnings so much. Of course, they are still kicking around in the back of my head somewhere in theory. But in practice, I forget a lot of things. It’s helpful to be able to look back at past thoughts from a distance – both to remember things, and to see how my perspective has shifted. Reflecting on contemporary documentation also helps me better understand my own intellectual identity and interests.
- Writing is helpful: writing has always been one of the main ways I find myself able to make sense of things. Even if I am often writing informally here, it’s still helpful in clarifying my understanding of things I am reading or wondering about. Also, once something is written, it becomes something concrete to reflect on – easier to see its limits or where to go next.
- Anti-perfectionism: in the past, I have had a lot of perfectionism tendencies that blocked me from sharing things, or even trying to produce in some cases. I still do in certain domains. This space is a more flexible one with lower barriers to sharing – a way to help combat perfectionism.
- Progress: in academia, the “real” progress markers (e.g. publishing a paper) are few and far between. It’s nice to have a place where I can always share and “make progress”.
- Fun: why not?
Maybe I will add more to this post as I continue reflecting. Let me know if you have thoughts.