An explanation

Though I don’t think starting my own blog necessitates an explanation, I feel compelled to explain myself and my goals for this blog. So here it goes…

When I was younger, I saw myself as being highly capable in both mathematics and writing. While I have proven my mathematical ability to a high enough degree to warrant getting into a PhD program (where I’m still going strong!), somewhere along the wa, I seem to have let my writing ability fall behind. I can think of a couple of possible explanations for this, both stemming from the same root problem. First of all, I do continue to write quite a bit. The problem is however, that almost all of my writing is mathematical writing. The problem here is that very little of this writing is creative or even involves words; mostly it is proof writing involving abstract symbolism. A separate – though intimately related problem – is that I have noticed this issue in my writing ability and shrugged it off with the assumption that it is unimportant since my future seems to be headed towards math research and education. This thinking is flawed for several reasons. First of all, given the competition involved in the job market, it is possible I may never become a research mathematician (a horrible but realistic possibility). Secondly, there is no reason to assume a mathematician could not – or should not – be a proficient writer.

So what am I doing here? Well, as explained above, it’s obvious I need practice writing since practice is the surely the best way to improve. I see a blog as a constructive way to practice as well as allowing possible critiques and criticisms from anyone I might show this blog to or anyone that might stumble in on their own volition. This seems preferred over a personal journal since it could be otherwise hard to gauge improvements and the idea that other people can read what I write down will hopefully force me to put greater effort into expressing my thoughts. I must admit that this is my foremost reason for this blog. At times I find myself having very detailed and thought-out opinions about various issues. It is in expressing my opinions in words that I often fall flat. This will be an exercise in becoming better at expressing my thoughts and opinions through words. Hopefully this will prove to be an effective strategy.

Lastly, I’d like to discuss briefly what I intend to include for general content of this blog. I am foremost a mathematics student so it’s very probable some of my work will appear here, though likely in a non-rigorous fashion. The appeal of mathematics to me is both in its abstraction and its definitiveness. There is room for creative thinking, but in most situations a proposition can explicitly be shown to be true or false. Outside of mathematics this becomes increasingly difficult, but logic and mathematical thinking can be applied quite often in everyday life. I am a self-proclaimed skeptic and hope to use this page to turn a skeptical eye on issues of the day that interest me. Rationality is a tool I use frequently in attempts to better myself, and I hope to explain what this might look like in ordinary situations we encounter every day.