I abandoned this little blog for a good period of time, and came back to find pending comments, so I guess people are still reading it. In case you’re curious or like what you’ve read, I’ll briefly say what’s been going on with me and what will happen to Gracious Living.

Since my last post in 2011, I made some poor/’interesting’ decisions, entered a dark period of my life, recovered from that dark period, wrote a thesis about model categories, graduated college, and started grad school at Northwestern. I’ve been learning a lot about homotopy theory and algebraic geometry over this first quarter. I’m still the same O. G., confused, thoughtful, struggling, frustrated, excited, and more interested in math than ever. Northwestern’s been treating me well so far and I’m looking forward to the waiting future.

What I wanted to do with this blog — discuss math from the ground up — was ultimately a quixotic task. There is simply too much math, and ultimately the only laypeople capable of reading my posts would be those who are somewhat mathematically-minded already, and accept the mathematician’s abilities to define arbitrary objects, trust in abstract metaphor, and work logically from systems of axioms, and his or her motivations in doing these things. What’s more, a lot of my writing was, in retrospect, very boring — not just because of my tendency to wordiness, but because of the subject matter itself. In order to reach math’s fascinating peaks, you’ve got to traverse a lot of valleys of definitions and technical lemmas, and insisting on doing all of this in the ‘right order’ may not be the best way to communicate. (Not to mention that it takes a hell of a long time.)

This blog’s time has passed, but I haven’t stopped blogging. I currently have two projects ongoing. On my Tumblr, I write sporadic essays about film, literature, music, and philosophy, post typically short and weird fiction, and do the requisite tumblry things what with the gifs and the reblogging. I’ve also just started a new math blog on WordPress with a group of other Northwestern students, intended to be something like the Secret Blogging Seminar. (As I write this, it has exactly one post up, so we’ll see.) I’m expecting the things we write about there to cover a wider range of difficulty levels, primarily either things we know a lot about and want to talk about or things outside of our respective fields of concentration we feel like learning in public, so to speak. As I care a lot about being able to explain my ideas to other people, I’ll probably publish the occasional layperson-level post, and certainly will if someone asks me to, but not with the same Bourbakistic demand for foundations as I had here.

Since people still read this, I’ll check on the comments periodically, but the best way to communicate with me is through either of the other two blogs, or by emailing me at allispaul at gmail dot com. I’m a weird dude but a friendly one and I like corresponding with strangers.

Thank you all for reading and may our paths cross again!

Paul