My Catalog
3 min read

My Catalog

My Catalog

Hi. Thanks for visiting my website.

What's going on here?

I've decided to take a somewhat different approach to my web presence, which is essentially nonexistent. I don't mind nonexistence, but it has its downsides:

  • Nonexistence makes it harder to stay in touch and/or keep people updated about what you've been up to. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Nonexistence makes it harder to disseminate knowledge. If you don't have much of a web presence, then it's difficult to help people.
  • Nonexistence makes it harder to catalog the journey. I don't miss social media (at all), but I very much miss being able to look back on what was on my mind in the past—even if it's just for self-mockery.

So, this is the new web presence. It's really meant to be a hobby more than anything. It would also be neat if the hobby also helped with developing new ideas.

Why this format?

As you can see, I've migrated my website over to Ghost, a free and open-source blogging platform. That doesn't necessarily mean that the goal here is to become a blogger! Instead, I kind of think of this as a chance to maintain an academic website while leaving room for, like, what could have been long Twitter threads that people wind up having to unroll or whatever. Twitter is fine, but it isn't my favorite way to tell you about what I'm thinking.

To quote the narrator guy from Civ 6 Paulo Coelho:

Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things: thoughts, ideas, opinions.

If the goal is to share thoughts, ideas, and opinions in a decidedly human way, then I'd rather write-to-tweet than tweet-to-write. Again, this is more in keeping with "hobbyist" than "opportunist."

Some short-to-intermediate-term goals

As you can see, the migration isn't complete; I don't have working paper stuff up yet, for example, and the teaching page is virtually nonexistent. I could have waited until everything was perfect before pointing my domain to this site, but I'd just as soon view this as an important phase in the journey.

Some of the things I hope to address during that phase include:

  • teaching with technology: like everybody else, Academic Year 2020-2021 hit me hard. It's worth cataloguing what's happened, and I may also have learned a trick or two that you haven't just yet. It would be great to get a little white paper going.
  • crowdsourcing KB: in homage to the late Kim Border, whose website has been a mainstay of my life since I first stumbled upon it in 2012 or so, I'd like to try to get all my lecture notes in one place, and even to get something collaborative going. Paul Healy's repository of Border's old lecture notes provides evidence of KB's impossible benchmark.
  • centralizing undergraduate lectures in a privacy-respecting way: I taught with a flipped classroom in AY 20-21, and that meant creating a YouTube channel. I'll be writing more about privacy later on, but for now, I'll just say that this is less than ideal.
  • optimization, automation, and a good academic setup: with all of the new tools available, how should we set up our days, weeks, months, years? What tools can help make some sense of all of the chaotic inputs? How to manage that chaos? I've been thinking a bit about workflow and setup.

More than anything, I just want to catalog things. And maybe some of the things I catalog for myself will be useful to you.

So that's it

Thanks for taking some time to give this a skim. If you have any thoughts, you can find my contact information linked below.