Stepping On The Intellectual Scale

Stephen Downes, off Graham Wegner’s lament:

Find an area that you’re interested in, blog on it, daily, and then keep doing it for ten years, even when it seems out of fashion, even when it seems like your influence is waning and other people’s stars are rising. Reflect your reading, your learning, your developing understanding of the field. Stay true to your own values, and don’t relent when it looks like you’ve peaked.

If I go a week without blogging, that wobbly, nagging feeling I get owes less to an obligation I have to an audience and more to the fact that this is the place where I learn and an outlet for my excitement. If I don’t blog for a week, then either a) I haven’t learned enough, b) I haven’t been excited by enough, or c) I haven’t carved out enough time to keep that learning and excitement cycling through my brain. Blogging, in any of those cases, is a nice way to step on the intellectual scale and take a reading.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I just thought you were too busy with your other career as relief pitcher for the Florida Marlins.

  2. Oakland traded that guy? That can only be good for my Google PageRank. I’ve been squaring off with that guy and Dan Meyer, the sword swallower, for years.

  3. I’m creeping up on my doppelgängers. Only have the graphic designer ( left to topple, but he’s a tough nut to crack.

    Smooshed the advertising exec a long time ago, even though I presume his salary is quadruple mine.

  4. This is by the Kate Nowak I sincerely hope no one thinks is me:

    Of course the idea of creating our own reality is nothing new. Philosophers have been telling us for eons that our thoughts are powerful; that what we think, we become. And now, thanks to quantum physics, science agrees.

    Maybe I should IMAGINE myself with a better PageRank.

  5. I guess I’m lucky to have an unusual last name. There is one other Susan VanHattum in the world. (Don’t know if she also goes by Sue.) I guess she doesn’t have an online presence.

    So I’m stuck taking responsibility for all the crazy things I might say. ;>

  6. In the recent SE Connecticut edu-blogging drought (a.k.a. my lack of writing), I’ve found myself missing simply the process of explicitly writing out my ideas. Even though I don’t get the multiple comments and great conversations on my posts, I’ve found simply going through the process of planning and editing a post clarifies ideas that otherwise are just banging somewhat aimlessly in my skull.

    As for uniqueness, I totally own the first 50+ or so results from Googling “ben wildeboer.” ;-) (Except for that one other Ben Wildeboer from Swindon, UK who goes by the moniker Bum Lover. Oh well).