I didn’t mean to entirely dismiss the question of what Monads are. My objection is that some Monad tutorials launch into vague, abstract definitions and analogies before the reader has had the chance to see an example of a Monad.
To make an analogy of my own, (or is it a simile?) , trying to define Monads to someone who had never seen or used them is like trying to define “Love” to someone who had never experienced that sublime emotion. Your definition could only give the vaguest, the most simplistic, the will-o-the wispest idea of what love is and your poor, lonely reader would be as confused as the readers of most Monads tutorials. No, the best way to explain Love to a such a person is to have her experience it for herself. Armed with that experience she would be able to create her own definition. She would no longer need you to provide one.
And so it is with Monads and so it is with this blog. I want to give you the experience of Monadic bliss to allow you to come up with your own definition. But, after having had that experience, you may find that an explicit definition is no longer necessary – that concrete experience is better than an abstract definition. A definition provides cold comfort on a dark stormy night, but an experience! — that’s something that you can cuddle up with and that will keep you warm when it is a cold rainy night in your soul.
Perhaps you will be moved to write your own Monad tutorial or better yet you might try to get out more on Saturday nights and experience a little love yourself.