Hello. On this homepage, I publish some of my notes.

Notes of what?

What not? They can include:

  • study notes, taken while I learn
  • guides / tips
  • cheatsheets
  • observations
  • movie lists and other attempts to systematize
  • open questions / confusions

Most of all, it's not a blog. Blogs (and social media) tend to peg each post to a point in time, so that they age like milk and not like wine. That's the "stream" in The Garden and the Stream. I always saw more sense in the "garden" a.k.a. evergreen/long content, where you continually reuse, refine and extend your pages.

If there's any guiding principle, it's the notion of a slipbox as described by Book: How to Take Smart Notes, though as of [2023-11-23 Thu] I think future-me wouldn't call this a good slipbox just yet.

It may make sense to realize the notes existed before the website, they're not written for it. I was writing them anyway, for my own purposes.

Why write that much?

  1. Writing enables more complex thoughts. Ever heard the expression "I don't know what I think until I write it down"?
  2. It answers how to always have interesting conversations. I've often felt stumped on contributing to a conversation because it's hard to explain my thinking in real time without having first explored the topic by writing.

But why publish everything?

My original motivation was rooted in #ADHD. When talking to therapists, I wanted to give them a way to pick through my brain for a more complete picture.

Anyway, a better question is why not? Glory in the useless web!


I've found some other benefits of publishing:

  1. My writing has improved. When something is public, you put an extra critical eye to it.
  2. I've become more rigorous as well as humble. As you re-explain your beliefs on a web page, you realize that you've held some beliefs far too tightly, that they were more vague than you feared (unread library effect), and as you cut that stuff, you change on the inside.

How'd you make this website?

What you're seeing is a Svelte app in a Docker image hosted on Google Cloud Run, where I also rent the domain name. Source code: github.com/meedstrom/svelte-frontend

The notes themselves, I write as plaintext files-on-disk according to the conventions of org-roam.

When it's time to update the website, I follow these steps:

  1. In Emacs, run M-x org-publish to turn my org-roam files into HTML files.
  2. Run a local Node.js script that packs the resulting collection of HTML files into a posts.json and put it into the frontend's assets folder.
  3. Rebuild and push the Docker image to Google Cloud Run with the commands gcloud builds submit && gcloud run deploy.
Created (14 months ago)