I am moving to FreethoughtBlogs

FreethoughtBlogs is doing a big shuffle, with many new people joining the network.  Still other members are leaving (amicably) to form another atheism & social justice blogging network, The Orbit.  As part of this, A Trivial Knot is moving to FreethoughtBlogs.

A Trivial Knot – the new location

New RSS feed

I will look fondly upon my time at atrivialknot.wordpress.com, when I’ve written some of my best material (so far).  This will not be the last post of this blog quite yet.  I have to tie up a few loose ends (mainly posting a “best of” summary) later.  But please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds.  And sorry for the ads, I don’t like them either.

Learning by blogging

I’m not sure if I’ve ever admitted this on the blogs but… I was a really good at physics in college. This is like six years ago, and college courses aren’t very much like the real world, so it’s all water under the bridge now. But I never got so much as an A minus. I was consistently an outlier on tests. And I never really needed to study, because I got enough out of attending lectures.

Lectures are often derided as one of the least effective methods of teaching, since they involve no student participation. In retrospect, the reason I got so much out of lectures is because for me, lectures were participatory. Professors would solve problems on the board, and my practice was to solve the same problems in my notes, one step ahead of the professor whenever possible. Not everyone can keep that pace, so I’m not exactly offering this as advice to students. I was simply thinking about how participation is paramount to learning.

What makes blogging so valuable to me is that it is a kind of participation.

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Skeptic’s Play Open thread

Since I moved away from Skeptic’s Play, I permanently closed all comments there.  But for the most persistent, I offer the opportunity to instead leave comments here.  I do not expect this thread to be very active.

If you are leaving comments in reply to a specific post, please link to it.  I’ve written so much stuff over the years that I won’t know what you’re talking about otherwise, and I will delete your comment.

As usual, I am not obligated to reply to comments ever.

A change of setting

Welcome to my new blog, A Trivial Knot!

The story of the blog title

When I come up with names for things, I tend to reach for mathematical concepts first, and that’s what happened here.  A trivial knot refers to a loop that can be unknotted without cutting the loop.  This is in contrast to nontrivial knots, such as the trefoil knot:

TrefoilKnot-02Trefoils are henceforth banned on this blog

In general, it can be difficult to distinguish a trivial knot from a nontrivial one, because a trivial knot can get quite tangled.  The title is a metaphor for issues that appear quite complicated at first, but become simple after disentangling them.  Or do they?

I also appreciate the inherent wordplay.

The story of the blog

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