What to Write About


So, one part of the reason that this blog exists is... separation of scope. In fact, I was blogging again before I started creating separate, topic-specific websites and... I just thought that maybe all of these posts don't belong together. I mean, one moment I'm posting something about writing, the next it's programming, then I want to share some big sort of philosophical discussion. I was all over the place. Now I'm... even more all over the place, but there's this illusion of focus given that each site has a focus. There's...

  • Happy: A blog devoted to well-being and philosophy.
  • Popcorn: My TV, film and pop culture blog.
  • Undefined: My programming blog.
  • Free as in Beer: Somewhere I'm collecting a list of free software and resources.
  • Ink: This blog right here, where I post about writing.

Considerably more focus per domain there. A blog about writing, one about free software, another about the act of programming, pop culture is separated out, and then there's well-being and philosophy which I don't necessarily think go together but I'm still working things out a little - that blog does legitimately have my best writing at this time though.

That's a pretty broad set of subjects there, right? How could I possibly be lost for where to post something? How could I possibly want to write anything else? Well...

Therein's the problem, isn't it? I do want to write more than those subjects. It's the problem I had in the first place; I do struggle to want to keep a personal blog focused, because there is so much that I'm interested in and want to know about or want to talk about. For instance, science and in particular quantum mechanics which I absolutely love and feel I could write accessible articles about. And politics! Of course I want to talk politics - it's a grotesque, cut-throat world of absolutely fascinating interactions. And history! That doesn't fit anywhere. Maths, money and finances... Kind of just the entire breadth of academia. Okay, yikes... a bit far. But sort of not; I just want to have places to put down words about whatever I fancy. Whatever deeply fascinating thing I'm into all of a sudden and want to share. For example, I'm reading a psychology text at the moment by Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow. That could... go on my Happy blog, except this book isn't really about well-being and it is certainly not about philosophy. It could go... here on Ink, but I don't necessarily want to discuss psychology in terms of... the quality of the writing about it (Kahneman's writing is excellent, however). I've also recently done some additional reading about Germany between the first second World Wars... and there aren't many arguments to be made that a history article would fit... anywhere in those blogs already listed. But it's interesting! And it's interesting because it's an intersection between history and politics, contemporary politics even, and psychology and social phenomena. And there's not yet anywhere for me to spill my thoughts on that, or share the knowledge I've discovered.

So there's... vaguely my problem. I have a real problem focusing, but I do excel at learning, discovering and diving deep into research... I'm bloody good at research!

All this is to say, I think I've decided on the last of my new blogs for the time being... I was tempted to call it Polymath (a person who knows many things) and Scholar. Both titles, I think, are much too pretentious. I also thought about the titles Jack of All and Master of None, but these are - if there's such a thing - not pretentious enough. I would definitely describe myself with those terms; jack of all trades, master of none. They do fit my general sort of approach to things. I just think they don't necessarily scream "science and maths", "psychology", "politics and history". I might've preferred them for a coding blog, but that's already Undefined. So here's what I've settled on. It's something that essentially means the same as polymath or scholar, without being as pretentious. And it's something that evokes the same sense of generalisation as jack of all trades. It is, quite simply, Know It All.

I'm trying that on for now... Know It All. My initial impression was, ugh, that's deeply arrogant. Yeah, it is... certainly if I'm literally saying that I'm a know it all... but I'm not, right? It's just the name for a blog. The blog... is what aims to "know it all"; I'm just the guy authoring it. I mean... the idea isn't that I do "know it all", it's that I would like to explore knowledge of everything. Y'know what? I'm over-explaining it, and making it worse. Know It All was fine before this. It's a suitable replacement for the other title I did like, Boff or Boffin, which is something I got called a lot as a kid. Before going with Boffin, however, I did google the terms and discovered that while 'boff' is informal British English meaning someone who is either quite smart or quite geeky, in American slang... it quite literally means 'sex'. I thought Know It All might be slightly better than a science and general knowledge blog practically titled "Sex".

Hold this space, a link to my new blog will appear here just as soon as I've set it up.