I'm going to escape the rather barmy world architecture for a while, and read Michel de Montaigne's C16th collected essays. This where reading the London Review of Books gets you.
Our hamster understanding of essays comes from Montaigne, who wrote on virtually everything by the look of it to a total 1250 pages in Penguin. His meaning of essay was 'assay', or the verification of gold, how charming, how rational, and he did it with an inquisition on himself, on his own opinions for most of his life, he was still revising them when he died. He was also of most melancholic 'humour' most of the time, which given the historical circumstances, is a hardly surprising.
Sounds a bit like blogging then.