I read and write a lot. Most days, I spend a small designated amount of time sifting through a handful of either paid or non-paid subscriptions. But, most often, that time is spent reading books or New Philosopher these days. I have a handful of subjects that interest me to no foreseeable end: technology, science, economics, environment are the main areas of interest with an emphasis on the environment.
I don’t tend to do much output on this site because it takes a long time to produce a post. Especially if I use an image. And, as a parent, my days are pretty scarce with spare time. I don’t make money off of this site — that isn’t my intent. I just like to write and put it out there. Much like going out into my own community and talking with the people here in Marquette, Michigan — or the UP in general. Plus, it helps me collect my thoughts.
The internet plays a smaller part of my life. I tend to be on the side of refusing to believe that there needs to be a high-tech solution to every problem. Most often time, I use the internet at work or in brief sessions at home to look something up. Other than that, I don’t use social media other than the occasional Twitter, which I don’t really enjoy, but some of the developers I learn from hang out there so, … hmph. Maybe I should just say eff-it to Twitter too. They have horrible transparency about their carbon emissions output anyways.
I’m not into software development to a high degree anymore. It was stressful and time-consuming in the environments I worked in (not great for family life). But, I feel it is an important skill to have and I practice with side projects. I see code like writing: symbols that mean something. The internet is crucial to communication and information for this world so, you might want to know something about it.
“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” — Carl Sagan
I’m currently getting more interested in servers and running them with renewable energies. For example, running this website on solar — which I am currently working on.
I have a lot of projects going on at home right now. So, that is where I will most undoubtedly be for most of this summer. We only get 4 months or so with nice sunny weather here, so I need to take advantage of that.
Going back to writing: I write a lot. In small sprints of thought that is put down on scrap paper or in notion.so. I can write and transfer the text into a markdown format and transfer it to my personal website with little editing if I want. But, a lot of my notes are still in paper, most notably, the lab notebooks.
I am currently working on taking a lot of my paper lab protocols and placing them here for reference. I will, however, still keep the paper notes.
I also wanted to put this rant on some digital paper to run some tests: site optimization with just text. The more I learn about images and the internet, the more I realize it’s just worth all that much trouble — much like using web fonts.
My thoughts on web fonts are very much like those of Adam Morse:
“There are a lot of arguments about why you should use web fonts. In none of those arguments, have I heard about a single problem being solved for users. And well, I’m only really interested in solving problems for users.”
Or for me, I just want my site to be accessible by anyone, anywhere. With no cost to the reader.
Images can provide great assistance in writing but, more often times, they aren’t needed. How many times have you read a book with absolutely no images? The intent is to communicate with text. That’s typically powerful enough. The marketing of the internet has started to ruin this for us. Plus, this has lead to a lot of web bloat and use data cost. The internet is expensive already! Stop pulling the money out from me, Wordpress sites! Just switching to a static web site saves a great deal of time, money, data and is arguably more secure. Plus, anyone can run their own website with just the purchase of a domain. I am currently working on a post about making a simple static site at less than $10/year that costs your reader nothing to view on a mobile device.
My wife is not one to use the internet more than she has to. But when she does, she vexes about page load and weight. “This crappy website is costing me my time with all this useless advertisement and page dependencies!”. Today’s internet is full of shit. Even the big distributors of information such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, though very great reading, build an internet that is bloated and at time inaccessible largely due to heavy page weight and poor color choice in the design to name a couple of things. For example, The Wall Street Journal’s links are not WebAIM compliant. You can also check this by using WAVE as a Chrome extension.
So for this site, I have decided to minimize image use and not use web fonts (which I am currently writing about too). They don’t do much for my site, especially when all I want to do is write anyways. The occasional image may be used, but that will just be me submitting to my human desires, which I guess, isn’t always bad. I just need to try and keep the image under at least half the weight of only the text on the web page. Or, use SVG. JPG, PNG, WebP, GIF are all fun and great but not all browsers support each one and they are still pretty loaded with needless stuffs that bog down the web page. I need to choose wisely and all developers do too.
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