The name of this blog is The Pen Forests. It doesn’t mean anything in particular, but it’s an anagram of my own name that I discovered years ago, and I’ve always been fond of the imagery it evokes. Incidentally, I realize I might have just given up enough information to prevent me from keeping this blog fully anonymous, but I don’t think that was ever in the cards. I do wonder, though, how many other names are anagrams of my own. For what it’s worth my name is not Seth F. Peterson.
The theme of this blog will continue to be whatever happens to interest me. If history is any indication, topics will likely include a mix of philosophy, rationality, and science. This will not be a didactic blog: I don’t intend to write pop science articles and explain quantum mechanics to the layman. Those are admirable goals, but they’re not for me. I want to write at the boundaries of my knowledge; at the outermost limits of my confusion. If I write a post it’ll be because I just figured something out, or I’m trying to figure something out by writing about it.
For better or for worse, blogging thrives on contrarianism. If you’re not going against some kind of existing grain then no one pays attention to you. At its best, this dynamic encourages bloggers to push back when public opinion has swung too far in one direction. At its worst, it incentivizes writers to use convoluted, too-clever logic to come up with reasons why some common sense truth is actually false. I will try to walk the fine line between being contrarian enough to be interesting and not so contrarian as to be stupid. I hope you can all appreciate that it’s a harder line to walk than you might think.
The motto of this blog will be “Impassioned Reason”. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms to you, then I haven’t written enough yet. Do stay tuned.