Econstudentlog

Some change and some ideas

The new semester starts tomorrow, which means I’ll have less time for blogging than I have had over the last few months. The start of the new semester also roughly coincides with the beginning of a chess tournament I’ll be playing this autumn as well as a higher workload related to some board work I have. More work = less spare time = increased opportunity costs of blogging. I’ll likely have to cut down on my running as well; this week I ran ~42km but I don’t expect to be able to justify running more than two days a week once the semester starts, so that’s probably closer to an equilibrium of 25 km/week.

I’ve considered starting to blog stuff that’s covered in the lectures I attend, and I’d like to know if this is something people would be interested in. I think it would be a good way for me to try to make studying a more enjoyable activity – I like to blog, and if I can make studying fun this way it’s certainly worth considering. I considered doing it before a while ago as well, but I abandoned the idea back then primarily because of technical obstacles; wordpress is a horrible template to have to use when dealing with non-trivial mathematics. However I’ll at least think about finding a way to make this work, probably by using a communication strategy emphasizing conceptual understanding rather than ‘formalism’. Such a blogging strategy is not perfect in terms of what I would ideally like to achieve, because conceptual understanding will often not get you very far during an exam, however if we assume that the time spent blogging such things would have been spent blogging other stuff instead it’s probably still a good idea.

Given that I’ll have less time for blogging, I’ve also considered starting to repost older posts on this blog. There are a few reasons why this makes sense. For one thing, people rarely look at the archives and read the old material so it tends to just fade away into oblivion. Given the kind of stuff I used to post some people would probably say that I should be happy about that, but on the other hand I’ve deleted a lot of stuff so I have ‘less to fear’ now than I used to have. To just give you an idea about how much has happened, this post is post number 1579 to be posted here on the blog, and in terms of the posts that are still around it’s post number 1000 – I’ve deleted probably more than half of the posts in the archives which were more than 3 years old (this has incidentally lost me a huge amount of google traffic, but I never cared much about that anyway). With 1000 posts to pick from going back at least 5 years, if I systematically repost one post per week – I’m not planning to, but for the sake of argument let’s assume this – it will be roughly 20 years before this post gets ‘recycled’. A lot of the stuff I haven’t deleted is still quite bad, but there’s no denying that there’s probably some potential here even so. I’m telling myself that when evaluating the alternatives it’s worth remembering that the most likely alternative to a repost is ‘no update’, not ‘an okay post about X’.

I should note here that I recently accessed the blog from a public computer without being logged in and I noticed that there were adds displayed at the bottom of some of my posts. To place adds on what I have come to consider ‘my site’ was not my idea and I got very angry when I realized that wordpress was doing this. I had no idea about the existence of such adds before then as you don’t see them if you’re logged in. In case you were in doubt, I’d much prefer the adds not to be there – but I’m still conflicted about paying wordpress $30/year to stop them from filling my blog with adds.

September 2, 2012 - Posted by | blogging, random stuff

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