In his 1959 classic, The Sociological Imagination, the great sociologist C. Wright Mills told students of the discipline:
As a social scientist, you have to … capture what you experience and sort it out; only in this way can you hope to use it to guide and test your reflection, and in the process shape yourself as an intellectual craftsman. But how can you do this? One answer is: you must set up a blog…
In such a blog … there is joined personal experience and professional activities, studies under way and studies planned. In this blog, you … will try to get together what you are doing intellectually and what you are experiencing as a person. here you will not be afraid to use your experience and relate it directly to various work in progress. By serving as a check on repetitious work, your blog also enables you to conserve your energy. It also encourages you to capture ‘fringe-thoughts’: various ideas which may be byproducts of everyday life, snatches of conversation overheard in the street, or, for that matter, dreams. Once noted, these may lead to more systematic thinking, as well as lend intellectual relevance to more directed experience.
…The blog also helps you build up the habit of writing. … In developing the blog, you can experiment as a writer and this, as they say, develop your powers of expression.
Actually, he called it a “file” instead of a blog, but the point remains the same: becoming a scientific thinker requires practice and writing is a powerful aid to reflection.
All of the text above, including the last paragraph, was taken from Aaron Swartz’ blog post with the same title as this, “What is going on here?”. Aaron Swartz’ weblog was aptly titled “Raw Thought” and I think it is a good example of what I want this blog to be. Aaron used his blog to write about his thoughts, experiences, and projects. He didn’t consider his blog “writing” but instead “thinking”. Similarly, I want to use this blog to help me think and refine my ideas. I like sharing and discussing and that’s why this blog is public, however, as he mentioned on his post “[…] this blog is fundamentally not for you, it’s for me. I hope that you enjoy it anyway.”
You can read more about why I made this blog in the about section.