An Introduction to 'De Omnibus'


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Some of you, albeit perhaps now only a few of you, know that for almost two years I have run a podcast, namely ‘Learning by William’, from which ‘Essays by William’ was derived. It was my pleasure to enlighten you all in the time I ran the podcast, to which I often devoted over ten hours a week of my time. 

The podcasts were, by no means, like most other podcasts: unlike those around it, Learning by William’s episodes were derived entirely from written entries (which I essentially read, verbatim, through the microphone). I sought to add some fire, comedy and grandeur to my episodes, generally without great success, in order to liven up what was, essentially, me reading entries, week after week.

What, you may ask, are the entries in? What were you writing?

Over the course of eighteen months, I wrote an almost 200,000-word encyclopedia, the topics of which ranged from physics and math to art and literature. The encyclopedia is still my magnum opus, despite a concerted effort to change that.

The encyclopedia was written entirely to force me to understand new things about the world. I forced myself to learn some extremely difficult topics (like quantum physics before I took physics or chemistry), and I often failed in grasping them entirely (I realize, now, that I made many conceptual errors in my writing of the topics, but I nevertheless made an effort to understand them). 

I wrote this encyclopedia starting at the beginning of my sophomore year, and I completed it near the middle of my junior year. It is more so an incomplete encyclopedia, detailing only a few select topics, but there is still quite an incredible amount of information there.

The encyclopedia, as I am sure many of you would expect, is called De Omnibus, roughly Latin for “On Everything.” I used to call it Treatises on Everything, but I found the word “treatises” to make it appear that my research was novel and in-depth, when it certainly was not. I love – and have been trying to teach myself – Latin, so I decided that I would change the name to De Omnibus, even though the encyclopedia, yes, certainly is not on everything; the name seemed less pompous to me.

I will be releasing a new entry (entries are in order, and there are slightly over fifty) every Sunday at 7:00 PM. Some will contain grammatical errors, for many of them were written entirely with the podcast in mind (I will have corrected most of them, hopefully, once they are released).

You may find that I am missing something in the entries; if you do, please comment on the entry, and I will make the necessary changes. Please email me with any criticisms or comments you may have – through my podcast email,

None of these pieces will replace my current essay writing; rather, they will supplement it. I wish you all safe travels as you read through the expansive section, and I wish you all luck as you try to understand some of the wacky and even mind-numbing concepts discussed in some of the entries.

Your enamor with my writing invigorates me to the very depths of my soul and poisons my blood with everlasting torrents of emotion. I thank you all!