Alexandre Bensimon


2020-08-01 (last edited: 2020-12-29)

I can't help thinking about all kinds of stuff all the time. It's often philosophical or existential topics like "how does the human mind and consciousness work?", "can a life without meaning be good?", "what is meaning anyway?", "what does it mean to be happy?" or "is death really necessary in order to enjoy life?". Sometimes it's more down to earth matter like "what's the least amount of exercise I can do to be fit and healthy?" or "on which criteria should I choose a life partner?".

These topics can ignite good discussions. I love debating with friends and family. One good thing about talking is the feedback you get in real-time. What other people say may help you view things in a completely different way. But I find it hard to think deeply when talking. Most of the time it seems I only repeat what I've already thought about on my own. It's also easy to get carried away by the debate. Ego comes in the way and it becomes an invisible fight for power and appreciation instead of moving the conversion forward.

When I'm alone, I can think more deeply. But I find that only reflecting is not enough. When I sit and think, I often take shortcuts and reach a conclusion without noticing flaws in my thinking path. It's harder to cheat when writing. You can see the written words screaming at you. You can then fix what makes no sense to you. Writing acts as a way to spot holes in thinking.

I already talked about language as an abstraction of thinking. I find it really interesting to look for the right words and phrases to express a feeling or a thought. It's not easy. A thought can be so abstract that I can't find a way to put it into words. But when I succeed, it's so rewarding. I hope that by improving my writing, I can improve my thinking.

If I keep the habit of writing, I will later be able to read some old thoughts and notice how my way of thinking and opinions changed. Because I allow myself to be wrong, it gives me the freedom to be honest. I want these posts to be like snapshots of my thoughts.

I call these posts "thoughts" because that's really how I feel about what I write. When something makes me think a lot, I'll write about it. I don't want to pick a specific audience or topic. I just want to write about what I find the most interesting right now. With no self-imposed posting rate or word count.

I could achieve all this by writing in private so why starting yet another public blog when there is more stuff online than anyone will ever be able to read? First, writing online under my own name puts enough pressure on me that I won't compromise on quality. Most of what I write will probably be bad, but I will at least do my best. Second, I grew up hiding a lot of my thoughts and emotions. Life is easier this way. Nobody can judge you if they know nothing about you. But it's a trap. Everyone has fears, wants, and doubts. Hiding it can work in the short term but people will eventually figure it out. Being open about it is showing that you're just like everybody else and it's okay. Authenticity is a great path to confidence.

French is my first language, so why writing in English? Most of the content I consume is in English. It's the language of the Internet. As I have been explaining in this post, my reasons for writing are mainly about learning. But if as a consequence of exploring my own mind I can help other people think in new ways, all the better. I learned so much online that it can be my way of giving back. The most impact I can have is obviously in English.