Five by Five

First posting, here it is. A blog is a funny thing; so easy to start, so hard to continue. The sheer volume of blogs started per day on Blogger alone must be staggering, and I would be fascinated to see the cumulative distribution of blogs with increasing numbers of posts. The yearly trends of when blogs are created would be interesting as well. Blogger/Google no doubt have this data available somewhere internally... more research is definitely warranted.

[Prediction: 90% of blogs are abandoned within 1 year or 25 posts. Blogs are preferentially created at certain times of the year, and it probably aligns with academic schedules]

Here is an (ugly) infographic on blog statistics that a cursory Google search yielded.

This blog is envisioned to be a clearinghouse of my ideas, with a loosely scientific theme.  I am not a statistician, and I abhor most "infographics". I promise to post only what I find interesting, and will try to generate my own content though my own ideas. This may include research, unvetted notions, or calculations of things I want to know, with no promise of continuity. I will try to maintain some level of professionalism, but will fail at this at times.

At time of writing I am half way through my PhD in Astronomy. The blog title "If We Assume" comes from a favorite phrase that is often said when stating physics/astronomy problems. A classic example is predicting milk production from a cow. The physicist might say "... if we assume a spherical cow, with rudders uniformly emitting milk radially..."

I believe there is great power in this method of problem solving, and that it is both intuitive and practical in daily life. Many complex problems or systems can be understood with surprising accuracy using appropriate/realistic assumptions. "You'd be surprised how much you intuitively know..." a colleague once told me. This is frequently the basis of so-called "Order of Magnitude" calculations that astronomers are so famous for. Some of them I love, some of them I hate. Some are both brilliant and disastrous.

So that's all for now it would seem. I have a healthy back burner of post ideas that have nothing to do with my own research, and have plenty to say on things academical as well. Let's see if this dog will hunt...