exupero's blog

Blogging deep dives

I originally started this blog to develop clearer explanations of things I was thinking about, and while it's certainly helped me do that, the thing I value most about blogging is how it drives me to investigate deeper. Writing about a subject raises questions, and I have a hard time raising a question in a post without making at least some attempt to answer it. That habit has produced some of my favorite posts and series.

The first post I wrote for this blog was about the calendar difference between the day with the earliest sunset and the day with the latest sunrise, but in the process of writing it I realized the solar terminus rotates. That ended up being the first post to be published, primarily so I could refer to it in the original post.

The series on heating cold water started with an explanation but led to modeling the problem, optimizing it, then finding an analytical solution.

The post on Michigan county boundary roads was a small observation that led to learning how to use Overpass to query OpenStreetMap data.

Analyzing hiding strategies prompted modeling the problem, followed by an analytical solution.

I've entertained myself on and off for years thinking about a toroidal world, including the vista at the poles and the day-night cycle in the interior, but blogging about those topics raised questions about how compass directions and mapmaking might also differ on a toroidal planet.

I explored finding major system mnemonics in a body of text much more deeply than I originally intended, trying to improve my approach with a grammar, a specific vocabulary, and Markov chains.

Even exploring a possibility in a fictional short story triggered further examination, and when fact-checking an ancient astronauts hypothesis I made discoveries in the process of writing about it.

Explaining musical temperament suggested a couple follow-on posts.

The 10-post series on taxicab geometry was mostly documentation of things I'd worked out long ago, but I did consider conic sections in TG, which I hadn't done before writing that series.

Most recently, while contemplating the interpretation of Genesis 6:3, one argument I'd thought was in my favor turned out to be an idiomatic insertion by the King James's translators. I didn't uncover that until I wrote for a broader audience than just myself and dug a little further.

Based on my experience over the last two years, the biggest benefit of writing this blog has been how it's helped me explore ideas more deeply.