Site Update 4

Published: 04/06/2021

This is the fourth installment in a series of technical and philosophical summaries of progress in the site. Previously:

The arrow of time marches on and progress is inexplicably made in all things. Thank Steven Pinker. Though many worry about existential tail risks that might extinguish the bastion of truth and high culture that is this website, if AWS can bring down Parlor it can cancel our little party, in a world 4℃ warmer perhaps my readers will be too busy foraging algea to read my hot takes, the doomsayers are once again proved wrong. The website lives and everyday it presents a fuller, more complete and more beautiful mirror to the human condition. Collected here are a variety of indisputable signs of progress in the cultural touchstone of ja3k.com. To wit:

Disqus Comments

The website now has comments! I ended up just using Disqus which was a total joy to install. Just a quick copy paste into my template and a set up of an account. In a month I'm going to have to either pay or let them show ads though.

For a while I didn't want comments because I associate comments with Youtube and Hackernews. My general expectation is that comments on the internet will be bad. But I realized a lot of bloggers actually have pretty vibrant conversations going below underneath and I'd like to foster that. I'm not sure all one needs to foster 'community' is to give your 'community' a text box. But I guess I'll find out. [1]

Later I decided I did want comments but wasn't sure how to include them. I wanted to stick with an onbrand solution of creating them myself. I thought for a long time about how I could make it simple for a reader of my site to simply edit the source code of my website with a comment and then send a pull request. Surely requiring my readers to understand HTML and Github before commenting could only be good for the quality of conversation. And surely the security risk from allowing my readers to add arbitrary javascript to my website would never come back to bite me. But a few days ago I decided to just use Disqus since it's used by Predictit and a lot of other sites. It ended up taking less than 10 minutes to get working on my site which is sort of amazing. Thanks Disqus [2]!

So go wild! Tell me what you're thinking about. My mind is open and I'm ready to be pulled in the direction my readers want me to go [3]!

Reading Tab

I added a section to my sidebar called 'reading' where I plan to write little blurbs about things I've read. Something between a blog post and a tweet. And I intend to be pretty liberal with my interpretation of 'reading'. I think any media will do. It started from my resolution to read at least 5 pages of math a day. I'm sort of awash in media constantly and I thought it would be nice to chronicle and comment on what I'm drowning myself in. Maybe the idea is something like if someone read through the things I've consumed they could understand why I am the way I am. Of course it hasn't really worked that way. I guess I mostly peruse the internet when I'm too unmotivated to do something more high energy so how am I going to produce commentary on the fleeting experiences flying by. To experience and to commentate your experience are very different things.

Miscellaneous

A Short Road Map

Process Updates

Just one pro tip this time: While drafting this blog post I accidentally deleted it. The tool scalpel made it surprisingly easy to recover. I had thought it'd be impossible. Also it turned out to now be possible to simply recreate the file from the saved vim edit history. It feels like I should have been able to add a "delete everything" command at the top, touch an empty file of the same name and then open it and click undo.

[1] Quick story about internet comments: back in the 1.0 version of the site when it was hosted on Google Blogger (is that deprecated yet?) someone I don't know posted a comment on an (ill advised) blog post about voting I wrote asking for advice about playing improverge, a deck I designed which was featured by Channelfireball after I won their PPTQ. Unforunately I wasn't checking the comments so I never got back to them and still feel bad about it. They must have just googled my name, which CFB published, found my site and asked for help. I suppose community and connections are always looking for me but too often I have my head buried in the sand. Disqus will e-mail me when you comment so I'll help any loyal readers who need help writing their own static site generator for no reason or forming a bunch of incorrect opinions about a new limited environment

[2] I wonder if there's some affiliate marketer link I could insert here? Maybe get some free months of hosting.

[3] For example my angry post got a lot more engagement on twitter than my surprised post. So I think I'll move towards being more angry and certain.