Podcast devolution


This is my current roster of podcasts. It has been pared down severely from what it was a few years ago. It is a mix of Canadian news, tech law and philosophy, actual philosophy, movies and pop culture. I highly recommend them all.

With all the talk about a podcasting renaissance recently, I thought I would try out a few of the old tech podcasts I used to listen to years ago… What inanity! I ranted on Twitter that I am:

No longer interested in how internet-famous people are layering the windows in their workspaces or if their [sp] gonna buy the new iMac…

Nothing had changed! They are still talking about the same stuff they were 3 years ago, and none of it important (to me at least). I thought this was supposed to be a renaissance!

Then I saw this excellent video from Dave Wiskus about having a “podcast intervention.” The money quote:

Two or more white males talk into their microphones for two or more hours sharing their unscripted thoughts about their phones and their computers… sponsored by Squarespace!

Nailed it.

Podcasting is a great medium and there are a lot of innovative and interesting shows out there. Just don’t stray into the “consumer tech fanboy” genre.

Bye bye physical library!

I don’t read physical books anymore. I don’t like it (see How I read). But I still have a ton of physical books. So I am getting rid of them. I have scanned them into Goodreads and made a few lists. Have a browse, and if you want one, email me, leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter. Any books I have left are going to my local libraries as a donation.

History and politics (63 books)

Lots of hardcovers, text books, atlases and books on other countries and cultures.

Travel (8 books)

Guidebooks, phrasebooks and photography.

Design creativity and programming (16 books)

Basically, what is on the tin.

Grab-bag (18 books)

Fiction, business, comics, parenting and a bunch of other weird stuff.

Also, I have a handful of Japanese language books on the military, and a shoebox full of Japanese manga if anyone is interested.

New look, old platform

My first blogging experience was on Xanga. For years I blogged on WordPress for Coming Anarchy. This personal blog started in 2009 on Tumblr before moving it to Octopress a few years ago when I set out to learn Ruby on Rails. These days, I am not as motivated to be dealing with environments, dependencies and generators. It has been getting in the way of producing written pieces.

I set out to find an alternative. I experimented with Ghost, Silvrback, Roon, Scriptogr.am, Postach.io, and even seriously considered Posthaven.

There is something I have noticed about the new generation of blogging platforms. They have taken inspiration from the streams in our lives. By streams, I mean things like Twitter, Facebook’s Newsfeed and the like. Content on these platforms is ephemeral — in the moment. That is a really cool feature, but I don’t think a blog should follow that model.

The new blog platforms do not have satisfactory retrieval systems for older posts. Easy to navigate archives, tag/category clouds, or even embedded search on the site were all missing. I have 5 years worth of 411 posts. Accessibility to the back catalogue is important to me both as a writer and a reader of blogs. When I find a new writer online the first thing I do is check out their categories/tags to see what topics are generally covered. I might do a search for terms related to the post that brought me to the site. None of the new blog platforms have matured to having these features yet. So I decided to choose a mature platform: WordPress.

It offers the most flexibility and convenience, and since I am using the hosted version I think security and traffic will not be a problem. That and one other thing: most of the new blog platforms assume WordPress, and have good migration capabilities. So in a sense, I am future-proofing my content as well.

Most important, the platform will no longer be an obstacle for writing — an activity I am far more passionate about than maintaining dev environments for static site generators.