Tuesday, August 25, 2009

on mathematics blogs.

i had started drafting this last week, probably as a reaction to j.baez's post about "what a mathematician should know about blogging."

this is what i concluded about my own writing on this blog.

after some thought, i realised something. this is not a mathematics blog. rather, this is a mathematical culture blog of a highly idiosyncratic nature.

in contrast, these are mathematical blogs, as popularised by t.tao.

interestingly enough, the associated wiki seems to be using the arXiv:math style of categorization. i suppose a blog now has to be something serious and have a specific topic.

maybe blogs are going the way of the webpage. they used to exist mostly for fun, but somehow transformed into a professional tool. as for where the fun can go, now ..

my purpose here is not to educate -- at least, not in the sense of writing a lecture and posting it in a mix of HTML and LaTeX.

if i learn a cool theorem, i'll share it.

however, i'll also avoid the long expositions that are pages 1-4 of research papers or the first section of a textbook chapter.

you see, i like my job a lot. i voluntarily work most nights. i like maths ..

.. but i don't want to read technical mathematics all the time. the idioms of "definition, lemma, proof, example, theorem .." makes for very good learning and research ..

.. but i have enough papers to read.

i'm not the sort of person who, returning home from work, runs a web search to look for more of this stuff. instead, i get to it tomorrow morning.

as for what this blog's purpose is, let's just say entertainment value, perhaps catharsis, too.

if my teaching goes oddly one day, at least you the reader can have a laugh about it, as long as i write well enough.

if my research isn't going well, then maybe you can relate. then again, it might make your workday look better in comparison. i don't mind.

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