Hello, World!

Or: How I finally decided to create my website
| Updated on : changed tooling

This website will have mostly philosophy-, psychology-, and technology-related content. I aim to display this content on a simple yet beautiful website that is designed to last and to be accessible to as many types of people as possible throughout its lifetime.

AI-generated abstract painting
AI-generated abstract painting, courtesy of 1SecondPainting [archived link]

Welcome! Welcome to my humble digital abode, to my corner of the internet, to another website with a forgettable name that you will probably not return to.

I have several essays lined up and ready to go, but this one seems the most difficult. Maybe because it is the first one, maybe because this essay is meant to explicate the implicit assumptions of my website... maybe both. So, to achieve the goal of this essay, I will talk about:

Why am I writing about this? It feels like a cliché by now, but, as Alex Nixon said [archived link], it is to justify to myself why I made this website and how.

Content

I will write about philosophy, psychology, and technology. Take a look around my website; look at my ideas, for example, and you will get a taste of what is to come, content-wise, from me.

I will write about issues I searched for but could not find a satisfactory answer to. I will also write about myself — my ideas, philosophy, stuff like that. I will try, as much as possible, to only write stuff that never existed before.

Styling

Because the medium is the message, I also have to talk about this website.

The styling was VERY HARD. There are so many different CSS frameworks to choose from and so many website designs that I like (more on this below)... I settled on making my own CSS which I based on chota.

This site is for reading, so I did not add a lot of padding — no wasted space in my layout! No animated content. No fixed floating header.

I created the favicon using Photopea and converted it to multiple formats using realfavicongenerator.net. (You can grab the .PSD file.)

The logo (my name + the favicon) was created by my friend Alex Arghiriade, because I am definitely not a web designer. I did a previous iteration myself, but it did not click as much as the current logo does. The font is Segoe UI SemiLight.

I found the artwork at the top of this essay on Hacker News [archived link]. There are more AI artists out there: art42.net and thisartworkdoesnotexist.com, for example.

Inspirations

I, along with the styling and almost everything else around here, was inspired by these websites:

I was also probably inspired by my webmarks.

Tooling

For the technically inclined, here are the tools I use for this website:

(I found some of these tools on Shawn Wang's website [archived link] which, in turn, I stumbled upon in the comments of an HN article [archived hacker link].)

Philosophy

I finally decided to make this website because I no longer feel that my ideas, poems, and essays are trash. Secondly, publishing these things pushes me to get rid of the trash. Lastly, I want an email address with a custom domain. That is it.

You might have noticed that I like to archive every link. This is because I like the idea of a sustainable, long-lasting, free, and fun internet. This preference, I think, is shared by people like the guys at LOW←TECH MAGAZINE [archived link], Parimal Satyal [archived link], Jeff Huang [archived link], and Ben [and the archived link].

I — like SourceHut [archived link] — also like the idea of an accessible internet, hence why I strived to make the website conform to some accessibility standards and why I will probably translate the content into several languages later.

The last "land" of my digital philosophy is all about simplicity, balance, and durability. I am writing all the pages in plain HTML with CSS I (kind of) understand. This partly takes care of simplicity and durability. Balance? I do not use any JavaScript; not because I dislike it (my third year internship was all about it), but because I do not need it for this project. Balance, for me, is about only juggling the stuff you like, want, need, plus some extra fluff. Throwing something on just because also throws you — or a website — off balance. You can restore the balance by putting in extra effort (i.e. using JavaScript to better achieve this website's goals and philosophy) or by probably five or six more ways, what do I know? I am wary about putting in extra effort for fluff. I spare this energy for other "unbalanced" things, like my obsession with words. Case in point: using highlight.js would not, on one side, throw the website off balance because I would use this code to improve the reading experience, make it more fun. On the other side, though, it would come in conflict with my love for simplicity and, arguably, with my desire for durability. But life is a balancing act. Who knows... in the future the reading experience might take more weight than simplicity and durability, so then the balance would need to be restored.

Thank you Larisa for helping me write this.