27 January 2022

Why I blog

I'm starting this blog for a few reasons.

Writing improves thinking. Nothing is so good for cracking the illusion of explanatory depth as explaining something out loud or on paper. And I'll get to test it publicly.

Writing encourages more thinking. When I sit down to journal a few thoughts, I almost always write more thoughts than I sat down to write. Many of these are more uniquely my my ideas. That's both powerful and fun.

Blogs scale well. I'll be able to point to some of my best ideas and works as needed in the future. And just as code I write can run while I sleep, so too can my content be read. Naval calls code and media "permissionless leverage."

Like a consistent journal, a blog might serve as a paper trail for the evolution of my thoughts. By capturing my thoughts over time, a blog may both help maintain a sense for how malleable my beliefs are, and in retrospect, highlight what catalyzed my best changes of mind.

A blog could improve my retention. I think there are diminishing marginal returns to content consumption, especially without sufficient creation or applied learning. If I read loads of stuff but don't talk about it, use it to shape a decision, or commit it to spaced repetition, months or years later it might be as if I never read it at all.

I'm also persuaded by Paul Graham's heuristic that when trying to choose an obsession that matters, one that involves creating something someone else consumes is a good place to start. Perhaps writing about any of my obsessions will help me chase passions in ways that will be more valuable to others.

A blog may improve my writing; I hope to get better with practice. 

I wonder if a blog could affect my thinking well beyond the blog. Perhaps when I learn something new I might think "What here is important enough to write about?" or "How might I explain this to someone else?"

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