Why I'm Starting a Blog

September 15, 2017

Hi folks! I’m Nathan, and yes, this is my grand entrance into the blogosphere!

I’ve decided that I want to have a space to share what’s going in my head and my life—whether that be technical subjects, cat memes, reflections on books I’m reading, tasty recipes, beautiful music, life updates... pretty much anything I want to write about.

I know that’s a bit vague, so I’ll try to clarify my primary reason for starting this blog. I’ve experimented with various learning techniques over the past few years, and one that’s really stuck has been my use of flashcards. I make flashcards for everything (Anki anyone?), because I’ve found that flashcards help my ailing 27-year old memory remember what I learned yesterday, a month ago, and even (gasp!) a year ago.

Yet, flashcards aren’t ideal for all kinds of learning. Each flashcard only tests a single idea, concept, or chunk of knowledge; often, it’s hard to truly contextualize and understand a subject in depth when you break it up into parts and test those parts separately. And recently, while studying at the Recurse Center, I've gained more of an appreciation for this kind of deep knowledge.

So how to achieve this kind of depth? Well, I’ve often noticed that when I explain something to another person, I’m forced to place my explanation in a broader context in a way that solidifies my knowledge and reveals the holes in my understanding. Writing allows a kind of depth that goes beyond just verbal explanation, and so I want to use this blog to teach other people about what I’m learning, thus clarifying my own knowledge and hopefully helping others along the way.

If you ever have feedback on what I've written here, please speak up! I'd love to hear from you. (I don't have comments yet, and I'm not sure I'll add them, but you can always email me.)

That's all for now! Hurray blogging!