I keep falling further and further behind on this blog, because I’m trying to cover years of history that have made me who I am today, while at the same time working on exciting new things that I’m more interested in talking about, but haven’t even mentioned yet.
My hope was that I’d be able to comprehensively document my influences and provide strong justification and motivation for my views. That’s still the aim, but it’s going to take a lot longer to achieve, and I don’t want it to hold me back from getting out the important stuff.
It’s ironic how I seem to have succumbed to early binding here! I have to fully specify, or “design”, the framework of history and reasons for my ideas before I can actually spell them out. There’s no reason for this; surely I can jump ahead and fill in the gaps later. There may be holes in the meantime, but the dependency relationship between “idea” and “motivation” is not time-based—it doesn’t matter which comes ‘first’ so long as they are linked appropriately! Yet, this is a disease that I suffer from quite often in general.
(And this post is self-demonstrating, as I have so far managed to avoid using the word “early-binding” on this blog, let alone discussed it—I’ll do all that in a future post! 🙂 )
One final note. WordPress, blogs in general, the Web in general, and computer publishing in general—these are all ways of publishing content that, more or less, consist of simulating paper. Sure, we have hyperlinks, but they’re little more than faster versions of citations, no? The only reason I’m using it is because I’m used to paper (simulated or bona fide), it’s standard, and it works, sorta.
The problem with static text is that it forces you to fix a level of detail. The blog’s tagline says it is depth-first for a reason: I like to immediately explore issues that arise instead of leaving them till later. But this is at odds with the static nature of text: if I want to expand on something, then it must take the form of extra paragraphs which are just there regardless of whether the reader cares about it.
Of course, I could make everything into a footnote. But then people that actually want to read them will end up scrolling back and forth to stay in the main flow of the text; satisfying the reader who wants to read at a certain level of simplicity, but at the expense of someone who actually wants to read the details. I could make expansions into many short, separate posts, but that’d be even worse. The whole problem is compounded with more separate levels of detail.
I suppose what I’m after is nested Spoiler tags that the reader can expand or collapse at will. If WordPress supports them, I might start using them. But as it stands, I’ll just have to wing it, like everyone else.