Today I was cleaning up my computer. I had an old org-mode file that I used to store links in, and I needed to transfer them over to pinboard. I could've maybe written a script to do so (the pinboard API is pretty accessible, and parsing org-mode is, while not the easiest thing, definitely doable), but doing it by hand meant I got to open each link and try and reverse engineer why I thought they were worth saving.
Some were very easy to understand, like the page on the Purpose of the Whole Earth Catalog
We are as gods and might as well get used to it. So far, remotely done power and glory as via government, big business, formal education, church has succeeded to the point where gross obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains a realm of intimate, personal power is developing power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG.
Man. How many software tools have you used lately that belong in the catalog? How many of them were made in the last couple years?
Other links, like this recipe for an unsweetened ginger liqueur, were a little more of the moment.
Some, felt very relevant to my current thoughts. These guides from The Machine Project, on things like planning events or running workshops, intersected perfectly with the work I'm doing on hyperlink.academy. [The School of ___] provides an incredible array of visions for learning futures, and is itself a kind of hyperlink academy.
It's kinda worrying how many of these incredible references are buried in my link hoard. How do you make digging through your archive a part of your work? If anyone has any advice on this front, I'd love to hear from you.
In another form of housekeeping, I've been (yet again) remaking my personal website. It looks almost exactly the same, but I'm experimenting a lot with the way it's generated, organizing files using tags, building TOCs, writing metadata using YAML.
At some point during this process, Celine let me know that it's fine that I'm not happy with the modifications, the imperfections will just be another reason to remake the site once more, which is, at the end of the day, what I actually like doing. Hmpf. I'll get to actually writing someday. Probably.
What's giving me trouble is the taxonomy of things I write on the website. I want to be able to write things of the moment, but also write "Long Content", but also write unpolished notes.
The constraints of each of these are somewhat contradictory. Notes need to move to match the shape of my thoughts, but long content needs to have a static URL. Ephemeral content should be be written about and then out of the way. I'm probably over thinking, but I've been through a couple iterations of these now, and the friction inevitably makes an impact.
The process of hacking on the site really is such fun though. I've been thinking lately that a static site generator is a perfect learning to code project.
It's very quick to get started (you basically start by writing html, then writing a program that modifies HTML, then writing a program that generates html), covers important comp-sci concepts (like parsers, data structures, file I/O), and most importantly, is actually useful for pretty much anyone.
Of course, if your goal is to just get a website, it's probably not the best idea. But if you want to learn to program, and to have a website that's deeply yours, it's perfect.
If any of you have been thinking you want to learn, and are excited by the prospect of all those things, let me know! I'd love to mentor/support, and maybe even put together a curriculum for ya.