About This Site and I
The content on this website is for my future self, who is intelligent and interested, but has forgotten. So I hope to remember why I decided something by noting down everything I found interesting about it for future reference. I hope you might find some topics as interesting as I have, and the essay useful or at least entertaining–but the intended audience is my future self.
I’m looking for more ways to apply the idea of Long Now. If you worked on something for the next 60 years, what sort of writing could you create? What could you do if you started now?
The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardner objected that the tree was slow growing and wouldn’t reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, “In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!
― John F. Kennedy
This is reflected later on in the development of this website.
I hope to work on projects that are too big to work on normally or too tedious. Thinking Long Now gives you a better perspective to tackle long-term tasks like gathering information for years. If one persists in collecting glimmers of genius for years, then even the dullest person may look a bit like a genius himself.
Starting is hard. One solution is to never start. Have perpetual drafts tweaked from time to time. And the rest takes care of itself. It’s about starting, not finishing. Improving, not being perfect.
I wish to create works that persist through time. Works in which the more time passes, the more they improve.
One such approach is the monograph, but Long Content is any content that gets better over time.
So a goal is to actively think about how to write material that improves with time, and work on writings that will not be finished for years, if at all.
I elevator pitch myself as a Designer, Developer, and Marketer, but here I try to give a more extensive view of who I am by taking a look at things I’ve spent my time learning. These are all things where I understand the joys and pains of using them, but I wouldn’t call myself a master of anything.
Technical Things I’ve Learned
Various technologies I dove into before I started tracking when I learned them. (Before I turned 20)
- Adobe After Effects
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Affinity Designer
- Affinity Photo
- Affinity Publisher
- DaVinci Resolve
- Final Cut Pro X
- Motion 5
- Microsoft Office
G SuiteGoogle Workspace
- Google Search Console
Technical Things I’ve learned in 2021
Technical Things I Learned in 2020
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Salesforce Pardot
- RSS feeds
- Schema Markup
- Screaming Frog
- Google Tag Manager
- Google Analytics
- Google Data Studio
- Netlify Functions
- Google Web Stories
- Atom Feeds
Technical Things I Don’t Know
- SCSS / Sass
Things I want to learn
- Data science/analysis, R, Bayesian, Python
- Web scraping
Companies I’ve Worked For
March 2021 – Present
Virra • Front End Developer • Remote
August 2020 – March 2021
Loganix • Content Strategist • Remote
January 2020 – April 2020
ABB • Marketing Consultant • Remote
July 2018 – August 2019
Infinite Smiles • Product Designer • 7500 Sawmill Pkwy Powell, OH 43065
August 2017 – May 2018
Cinemark @ 1071 Gemini Pl Columbus, OH 43240
December 2015 – July 2017
Chick-fil-a @ 8787 Sancus Blvd Columbus, OH 43240
Places I Want to Visit
In no particular order
- The Library of Congress
- The Interval
- Ise Grand Shrine in 2033!
- Cambridge University Library
- Walden Pond
- Gmail since 2010
- Twitter since 2012
- Instagram since 2012
- Github since 2012
- YouTube since 2013
- Snapchat since 2014
- Reddit since 2015
- Facebook since 2016
- LinkedIn since 2016
- Pinterest since 2018
- Lukasmurdock.com since 2018
- Less Wrong since 2020
- Long Now since 2020 #11261
Big 5 Personality Inventory
- Openness to Experience: high
- Conscientiousness: medium
- Extraversion: low
- Agreeableness: medium
- Neuroticism: medium-low
Best Match: Growth Seeker
Defined by a deep passion for learning, personal growth, and development. Curious, humble, open to new ideas and experiences, and adaptable.
Good Match: Quiet Leader
Focused on leading through open-mindedness and equanimity in facing challenges - often leading as much through “taking in” as “putting out”. More reserved, reflective, both determined and humble, composed under pressure while also being an inspiring and demanding leader.
Second Good Match: Coach
Regard self-growth, development and learning as a cornerstone of life and daily practices and teaches and models these as aspirations for others. Both demanding and caring, humble and resilient.
How I prefer to think:
- Heavily favor creative thinking, have a comfort with the unknown, think independently, and find my own way of doing things.
- Tend to rely on logic and analysis, with a moderate inclination to be methodical and strive for objectivity when reaching decisions and making choices.
- I tend to be less organized, neat, and orderly. I can focus on details when required but don’t pay too much attention.
- I have a preference to think abstractly and philosophically, using theories and models to solve problems.
How I engage with others:
- I prefer less social engagement and activity, with a moderate inclination to be adventurous in the activities I like to participate in.
- I am willing to fight for my ideas, tell people what I really think, and be frank with my views, including critical feedback.
- I have a strong desire to prioritize and support others’ needs, and am fascinated by their behaviors and tendencies, with moderate sensitivity to their emotions and feelings in the moment.
- I am willing to take charge in groups, and tend to lead more through holding myself and and others to high standards of performance rather than through motivation and inspiration.
- I have a moderate prefereance and appreciation for humor, being light-hearted and not taking matters too seriously.
How I apply myself:
- I tend to remain calm, confident, and controlled under stress or pressure.
- I hold myself accountable to the outcomes I experiences, am self-motivated, and have a moderate inclination to operate independently, without needing must direction or guidance in accomplishing tasks or goals.
- I tend to embrace change and uncertainty, and am versatile at shifting the roles I play in different circumstances, and am very interested in my own growth and development.
- I work hard to go after ambitious goals and tend to take action to seize opportunities and solve problems I confront, though may be distractable and don’t always push through to finish what I start.
- I like to explore different perspectives and are open to being wrong, receptive to critical feedback in order to learn, and modest.
- I have high levels of stamina, enthusiasm, and energy in work and life.
- I am comfortable with my station in life, content to be who I am and don’t worry much about others’ impressions of me.
When interacting with others, I:
- Prefer to spend time with a small circle of close contacts
- Moderately inclined to be joyful and lighthearted, but know when things need to be taken seriously
- Support others with empathy and compassion, while also trying not to sugarcoat my honest view of things.
- Am willing to speak my mind, but are always aware of how others perceive it.
As a leader, I:
- Demand and hold others accountable for results
- Argue for my beliefs and say what I think
- Call out underperformers whenever justified
- Take initiative and instigate change
- Take feedback and direction from others with an open mind
- Believe acknowledging mine and other people’s strengths and weaknesses is part of being a good leader
- Balance when to assert direction and when to let others take a lead
When planning, I:
- Anticipate and welcome change by reacting to it when it happens
- Think creating overly detailed plans in anticipation of change is futile
- Find intrigue in the unexpected and am comfortable changing tactics as events unfold
- Like to handle things as they come and don’t mind if I end up in a different place than you set out
- Try to establish clear goals and objectives, but are less diligent in tracking progress against deadlines
- Care about pushing through but may benefit from an external forcing mechanism to get me there
- Prefer to think about about the big picture
- Approach planning and thinking in an unstructured and sometimes messy way
When solving problems, I:
- Like to draw on other people’s thinking to stress test my own ideas
- Explore a wide range of possibilities before deciding
- Am generally comfortable finding solutions on my own
- May be distractible and can benefit from help keeping me on track
- Am fascinated when solutions aren’t obvious
- Explore the unknown rationally
- Believe that the best outcomes are a result of combining imagination, logic, and rigor
- May be perceived as too emergent and spontaneous
When setting goals, I:
- Like to pursue novel ideas and plans, though sometimes don’t complete them
- Readily take initiative whether the goals are my own or set by others
- Am comfortable adapting to my circumstances, and aren’t overly concerned about finishing everything I start
On a team, I:
- Am willing to express opinions directly, though may be not be the first to dive into the conversation
- Address issues with others privately and empathetically
- Tend to be a good listener
- Confront challenges directly and push back on attempts to lower the bar
- Make a strong effort to strike a balance between focusing on my own work and pitching in to help the team
- May perceive others as overly rigid, while others may perceive you as too casual or spontaneous
Under stress, I:
- Remain calm, cool, and focused on what matters most
- Adapt to new experiences rather than avoid them
- Calmly turn mistakes into self-growth and learning rather than let them get me down
- Keep my emotions close to my chest
When learning, I:
- Prefer topics that are logical and objective over those that are intuitive and subjective
- Like to read, analyze, and process before sharing ideas and conclusions
- Like to reflect and hear other perspectives before speaking up myself
- Love exploring new areas of interest I don’t yet know about
- Love a good brainstorm
- Like subjects that are abstract and philosophical
- Like to study in peace and quiet where I can focus
- Like to watch, read, and write
- Am interested in creative topics where my curiosity and originality can thrive
- Have good stamina and endurance
I’m a shy guy with a fear of annoying people whenever I contact them. I’m working to get over that. Inspired by Patrick Mckenzie, this is a standing invitation: if you want to talk design, development, or marketing, I want to talk to you.
About The Development of This Website
Looking at my email logs, I started building a site somewhere on or before December 29, 2018, on Squarespace. But I soon felt constricted by their customizability. I realized I could have complete customizability limited only by my skills if I rolled my own, and it would be free by utilizing developer tiers.
The first commit to this site was on July 3, 2019.
(This is a better version of the About this website I posted April 17, 2020.)
This website is built on two principles: As little dependencies as possible and minimizing vendor lock-in. I guess a third would be to make it as simple as possible and as complex as needed, taking into account technical overhead.
This has currently materialized in:
- Data should be saved and built server side before using the client
- Git-based structure to minimize vendor lock-in
Vendors like Squarespace or Webflow are growing. Why not use vendors like Squarespace or Webflow? In the long term, all non-Free software is a dead end. The utility of all non-Free software always approaches zero. And I have the freedom to pick up my site and take it elsewhere if a service goes down.
Also I like the benefits that come from static sites.
APIs → YAML, Markdown, and YAML files.
Posts are stored as Markdown. Book data seen on booklist and want-to-read are pulled from APIs at build time and stored locally. The data for knowledge, principles, and alivetime are YAML as well.
Using these data formats prevent me from any lock-in and give me control over all the files. To have a setup like this means that content edits are Git-based.
Git-based means that changes made on a local machine are pushed to the Git repository which then triggers a new build of your site. Compared to API-based where the content is held on a different server and your site needs to pull the content from an API.
I’ve been getting more comfortable using Ruby build scripts that run at Jekyll build time to streamline some operations:
- Adding only an ISBN number to the booklist or want-to-read list will pull the data I want to show from the Google Books API.
So, currently I use Ruby to pull API (JSON) data and turn it into YAML.
Note: Jekyll supports loading data from YAML, JSON, CSV, and TSV files located in the _data directory.
Jekyll. “Markdown, Liquid, HTML & CSS go in. Static sites come out ready for deployment.”
Jekyll uses HTML layouts that are extensible through the Liquid template language. Both Jekyll and Liquid are written in Ruby.
Jekyll also provides a number of useful Liquid additions to help you build.
The more I use it, the more I see how powerful it is. The next step of things that I want to do is create a collective changelog of dated tasks, books, and resources added by date (which may be possible in liquid, I’m still learning). May possibly utilize SQLite.
Deploy and CDN
Currently hosting on Github Pages as that’s what I started on. All my other projects use Netlify and I imagine I’ll move over once they improve some things.
Github Pages doesn’t support custom _plugins but my build scripts don’t need to run on every build, and I typically preview by building locally anyways so it’s currently not an issue.
With this stack my entire website is currently free, aside from paying for the domain name and email.
- ChilledCow — lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to
- 2 Hours Of Squid To Relax/Study/Work To | Lofi Hip Hop | Monterey Bay Aquarium Krill Waves Radio
- Hiroshi Yoshimura - Green (Full Album Stream) & The upload that brought it back
- Smooth Jazz on Coffee Shop Ambience
- 221B Baker Street
- 18th Century Library
My favorite fonts on Google Fonts.
Companies that seem cool
- All-remote, WordPress, Tublr, WooCommerce, Jetpack, WP VIP, VaultPress, Akismet, Longreads, Simplenot, Crowdsignal, Happy Tools, Gravatar, WP for iOS
- All-remote, DHH, JF, it’s Basecamp.
- They produce incredibly well-produced tutorials for their incredibly well-produced product
- Patrick McKenzie wrote about it
- Alex Danco wrote about it
- Design is just mwah, and Lee Robinson made React 2025
- U.S. Web Design System (USWDS)
- A design system for the federal government‽
- Produces amazing educational content and courses
- The product is fun to use, no offline support is annoying though
- Same deal, it’s just pretty
Names that raise my blood pressure just by hearing