Welcome to Mens Invicta, an all too quick translation of the Latin “unconquered mind”. And also, my humble blog.
Over the next months I will be using this platform to publish content related to my interests. The future will decide whether it stays here or the blog migrates at some point, but for now, this is my mind’s new home.
I want to take the first blog to answer the most important question: “Why?”.
This to clue in any potential readers, but also to anchor myself: re-reading your ambitious intentions a few months down the line, is always a great motivation boost.
So why? Because Mathieu needs a new hobby.
I’m not sure quite when it dawned on me that starting a blog might fill that void (it certainly wasn’t listed in the 45 most manly hobbies).
Perhaps you could view starting a blog as either a sycophantic bid for public attention, or counterproductive to other pursuits. I remain agnostic on the former, but at least on the latter productivity charge, I hope to get a return on my time and effort many times over.
I have at least three reasons in mind:
Everyone in the modern world lives in the midst of an information avalanche. While we can all recognise its downsides, the experience is also quite captivating: having diverse yet highly specialised information at one’s fingertips is intoxicating. Surely many of us fall into the trap of spending an entire day surfing the interwebs, cruising wikipedia and devouring articles and the occasional book.
(Or is it just me? OK that’s cool too)
Given that the information firehose is so large, I don’t believe we’re capable of analysing (let alone storing) much of this data. There’s only so much the mind can consume in the space of 24 hours. We may think we’re learning a lot, but really the saying “in one ear and out the other” aplies more.
One solution to this problem is to not just be another consumer, but also a creator. The active construction of a line of thought from start to finish, is an entirely different experience from thinking along with another Youtube video or Wikipedia page.
2) Going deeper
To have ever been in the business of explaing concepts, whether the science project of a family member or the math tutoring for an inspiring doctor, is to come to a fast conclusion that teaching requires a far grasp of the material than a base level understanding.
The topics of this blog will be a mix of the esoteric, the technical, and the random. Partly because I’ve always enjoyed having a variety of playgrounds in my head, but partly because these are difficult subjects with nuances that often elude the cursory reader.
Writing about the ideas I’m toying with in these disciplines will both turn me into a (slighly over-ambitious) teacher as well as a student of my own mind.
It encourages me to go deeper (and yes, that’s an inception joke).
But not in the way you think. If I were really trying to keep boredom at bay, I could probably come up with more Dionysian pursuits. This point relates more to the sense of boredom in my head.
I have the sense that I’ve already delivered intricate speeches about many of the topics I will be writing about: sadly these were not well-received TED talks in the public sphere, but rather private performances in my head while in the shower or making toast. I never cease to be amazed at how frequently I’m imagining the same debate or discussion in my head.
Perhaps getting my thoughts out ‘on the screen’ will . And all in all allow for a more serene Saturday morning cereal experience.
These are just three benefits to my (intellectual) quality of life, which is not even to mention the more technical skills one gains from the operation of a blog: frequent writing assignments on a variety of topics, the opportunity to try out different writing styles, the challenge of creating a unique blogging platform amidst a sea of competition, personal branding, buildingtechnical know-how… all useful endeavours.
Anyway, now you know my lofty motives!
More practically, readers of this blog can expect a new article every week. My current set of topics is quite large, as I have articles on productivity, philosophy, science, personality theory, health and psychology all lined up.
I hope my ramblings turn out to be useful for you as well, and look forward to discussion in the comments!
See you next week,