Late at night, while I was browsing through my favourite blogs, it occurred to me that blogging is a shallow activity. Blog thoughts, like this one, scrape the surface of subjects that could be investigated in depth. Even a blogger as thoughtful as Steven Novella bounces from topic to topic, leaving the reader wondering what else can be said.
When I finished my Ph.D. dissertation (three decades ago!), I was for a few weeks the world expert in my field. It had taken me a long time (more than 20 years if you count primary school) to reach this depth of understanding; bound in a handsome green hard cover it comprises 323 pages. Now that’s depth.
Not that I’m boasting. The work I did back in the 1980s is now forgotten: flipping through the pages, I find myself baffled: I don’t at first glance understand the mathematics I produced. I guess it must have been right. Anyway, the bound thesis makes a dandy mouse pad.
Any research is soon surpassed. Other researchers, including me for a while, took my results further. My work was just an eddy in the stream of progress; but a deep eddy.