Ryan McCarl

Reading, writing, learning, languages, law, politics, etc.


My homepage is due for an update. It has remained essentially unchanged since I first built it in 2009. Similarly, the two blogs I kept on and off from about 2003 until about 2011 can safely be declared defunct. It is time for a fresh start and a new website that better reflects my current interests and is compatible with my new career as an attorney. With respect to the latter: none of my posts on this blog will deal with law or politics.

Rethinking my website entailed several decisions. My first decision was to switch from a static, portfolio-style homepage to a blog. You can still find a list of my publications by following the link at the top of this page. But rather than continuing to feature older publications reflecting bygone interests on the front page of the site, I decided that the flexibility of a blog would allow me to update more easily and share more content.

I then had to decide what the theme of the blog would be. This is the difficult part, because I am curious about everything; my interests are diverse and frequently change or reorder themselves. I read and write about many different topics, and I tend toward breadth rather than depth of exploration and knowledge. Any proficiency I develop on a topic is often the result of sporadic, short bursts of intense study. (The exceptions to this rule are my core professional interests of writing and law–for these, I aim for depth and mastery.)

So the trouble with selecting a narrow theme is that I would lose interest in that theme, almost inevitably. Instead, therefore, curiosity and self-education will be my theme: I’ll write about what I’m reading, thinking about, studying, and discovering in my free time, whether that is music theory, computer programming, foreign languages, or any number of other topics. In the end, I am writing to learn and help myself remember what I learn. As a byproduct of that, I hope to write some posts that are helpful and interesting to others.