This is the third iteration of my personal site.
I started during my college years using a static site generator called Hakyll. I used it because at the time I was mostly programming in Haskell and Hakyll seemed the right tool.
I used Webflow with great success for a couple of years but there were a few quirks, like the lack of Markdown support, that I could never iron out. So I decided to make the switch back to a static-site generator and found Hugo to be a great and simple tool. So I now keep the code of the site on GitLab and host it using Netlify.
I think that writing prose, like writing programs is almost a never ending process.
Programs are in constant evolution. Sometimes a program changes because of new features. Others because the programmer has found a cleaner/better/more concise way of solving a particular problem or because they’ve found a way to make the program more readable to other programmers. Similarly, most prose can always be revised. Take research papers and essays for example. They can always be improved to the point that one never publishes them, and there’s always new research coming in so would always be revising the content endlessly.
So, drawing inspiration from others 1 I learned the good practice of having tagging my writings according to the “stage” they’re in. After some tinkering, I’ve come up with 4 writing stages that suit my needs and that describe the status of a particular piece of writing on my blog. The 4 stages are:
- 0 notes & links: in this stage there’s just an idea about a topic, perhaps some disconnected notes and links for further exploration.
- 1 draft: at this point the the notes and link have been re-organized into a more coherent piece with an outline and all the major points written down but without any revisions.
- 2 in progress: I keep a lot of my writings in this stage indefinitely because I can always go back and revise but at this stage the article is hopefully readable. It has gone through editing and I’ve received some feedback but can always get more and to improve things further.
- 3 complete: this marks an article as final. It means that I’m not working anymore on the piece and I don’t plan to keep working on it.
I read books for learning. When I pick up a book I want to have a conversation with its authors and squeeze the most important bits and ideas it has. So, a book is not read until I process the notes I’ve taken and process the passages I’ve underlined.
You’ll find some of my books in the books section.
I rate them using a basic scale from 1 to 10. You’ll see a few books in the 1-5 range that’s mostly because those are books I seldom finish. Life is too short to read bad or boring stuff. So what makes it to this site is usually stuff that I’ve found interesting and gotten some good ideas from. Books that are 8-10 have a spot amongst my favorite books. I try to revisit them often since I always find new ideas and inspiration. An example is Antifragile by Nassim Taleb which I’ve re-read a couple of times already and plan on keep re-reading it.