Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Discourse on Purpose

For some reason today I realised that I haven't written a "proper" blog post for ages. My "hectic maths" label is becoming quite empty, and even photographs taken by myself have been pretty scarce.

Part of the reason for this is that I've started a cellphone experiment at school which involves being online with the kids a LOT, via twitter, class blog and so on. So I've been using up all my internet energy - or a lot of it anyway!

Another reason is that I've been thinking quite a bit about what the purpose of Daydreaming in Maths actually is. My class blog has a clearly defined purpose, but in some ways its purpose has eroded Daydreaming's.

Is this a blog for my students? Well, not really. But not NOT either.

Is this a blog for ME? Well, if its just for me maybe I should get a diary and stop filling the internet with random cr**p.

Is it a blog for the general public? Er...not sure if the general public is that interested in Maths and my crazy musings.

Is it a blog for other people that know me? Well in that case maybe I'm better off emailing them more regularly.

So what s the purpose of Daydreaming?

Aaaah...there's a question to please the soul of irony!

Message from the soul of irony (i.e. the brain):
Dear JJR - please note that daydreaming does not serve a purpose. It represents an absence of purpose. Therefore your question is irrelevant. Kind regards etc.
Well that's helpful...any suggestions from anyone else?

Message from the id:
Dear JJR -please note that this blog represents nothing more than a place to stash your ideas and impressions. The fact that it is open to the public simply provides you with an illusion of importance. Kind regards etc.
Not sure I like that answer - can I have another one please?

Message from the ego:
Dear JJR - please note that you are providing an extremely insightful and important service to society by writing this blog. If you stop, the world will surely be lacking that certain something. You fulfill a crucial role in the continuance of our cultural identity. Kind regards etc.

I'll shut up now...for now!


  1. Well ... I have thought about this in broad terms too. (You may understand why!
    My contemplative journey has at least paused at a spot which recalls the great Victorian (and possibly other eras - that is for the English scholar to answer)diarists.
    We still read "Diary of ..." Samuel Pepys, Samuel Johnson, John Wesley (pre-Victorian), A Country Lady ... you can make a list more accurate and complete than mine. How's that for a thought?

  2. So the question is ... what is the point of commenting if no-one reads the comment. Not to mention that the person who requested the comment doesn't even comment back ...

  3. Excellent point!

    My question is, is there anything intrinsically valuable about the diarists' work? Or perhaps the search for intrinsic value is actually irrelevant... Relative value is all that we can measure in any case.