Housekeeping Notes

I’ve decided to start blogging actively again.

I’ve been frustrated with the decline of blogging and the move to Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook.

My natural form is the essay. I believe (with caveats) that discussion and speculation are valuable.  Blogging is a way to have an intellectually stimulating exchange — a blog post is long enough to expand and justify an idea, but shorter and less formal than a paper or a book. In a lively blogging community, it’s understood that people’s ideas are interesting but could easily turn out to be wrong.

I find myself wanting to bifurcate — to either write extremely circumspect things that I’m 100% certain are true, or make low-quality off-the-cuff comments in a social-media context where people won’t hold me to a high standard. And I think that impulse is bad. I believe it’s better to think in public, and learn in public, and sometimes be wrong in public.

I’m leaving academia to be a data scientist, and I’m leaving behind the notion that one has to present a flawless and impersonal facade in order to live a successful life.  I genuinely think that’s unhealthy and outdated.  I want to strive to be right, not to appear right.

I’m also going to post my literature reviews on medical topics here. I am not a doctor; making sense out of the medical literature is my side project and passion.  If I make any errors, please don’t hesitate to correct me.

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7 thoughts on “Housekeeping Notes

  1. Excellent! Your writing is great and there should be more of it on the internet. Personally, I and other readers would get a lot out of your reviews of machine learning tools and biostats methods/papers as well.

  2. > I’ve decided to start blogging actively again.

    I’ll add my voice to the chorus of hoorays!

    In addition to the problems you mention with social media, it’s horrendously hard to manage interaction with it. There’s no way for me to go on Facebook and get “insightful comments from Sarah about the one-drink-is-healthy meme” without a bunch of other dumb stuff that I don’t care about. (Yes, I’ve tried. Hell, Facebook still hasn’t figured out that I don’t speak German, Italian, Spanish, French, Russian, and Bulgarian and probably don’t care much about posts in those languages.)

  3. YES. HELL YES. I can’t adequately word how much I’m celebrating your return, or how much I’d been hoping you’d post something longform somewhere, somehow–a guest post, a walltext comment on Ribbonfarm or SSC. Just–something other than Facebook. Aaaaaa! This is the best case scenario. Since I can’t find the right words, I’ll have to fall back on copy pasted emoji:

    \(○^ω^○)/
    \(@ ̄∇ ̄@)/
    \(T∇T)/
    ^– tears of joy

    Welcome back!

  4. I am glad to see you back! Blogging does save one’s rubber duck, one’s cat, one’s significant other, and random people who share a corridor with one from extended monologues or interrogations.

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