Digital Garden

Written

Confidence: Taking shape, still figuring out specifics

I began building this site in hopes that it would be an outlet to start writing more. As the layout was nearing completion, but still with no content, I came across the concept of a digital garden[1] and immediately found it enticing. Essentially, it means that my posts here are more of an open notebook than a select presentation of long-form writing.

The obvious problem with simply splaying out my thoughts in blog form is that you, the reader, can't easily infer how strongly I feel about each idea expressed here, or how much I have thought about it. With that in mind, two organizational conventions help to communicate my intentions behind each page.

First, the site is split into two main sections. The Writing section contains pages designed to share some knowledge or opinion that I find interesting and hope you will too. The Notes section is closer to a personal Wiki that I am posting publicly, and the content there will tend to be more freeform.

I have also adopted the custom of placing an "epistemic status" at the top of a page, when appropriate. This status helps to make my confidence and feelings about the content more explicit. Pages in the writing section will always have a status tailored for that page, while note pages will usually show a default status indicating a that it is just that, a note.

That said, regardless of my confidence in a particular page, I always welcome constructive feedback. If you have an opinion on something I write, please tell me what and why. Twitter is currently the easiest way to reach me until I decide how I want to set up email on this domain.

Finally, I am patterning this after Swyx's Digital Garden Terms of Service, which lays out recommendations for both publishers and readers of digital gardens. I recommend reading his post, but here is my abbreviated take on it.

When I publish content here, I will try to:

  1. Really understand any opinions I disagree with, and address their best points.
  2. Make my confidence in my opinions clear.
  3. Listen and respond to feedback.
  4. Update content as my opinions change or make mistakes.
  5. Make it clear when I do so in a material way.

As you read, I hope you will:

  1. Understand that I am not always right, and give me the benefit of the doubt if you disagree.
  2. Let me know when you disagree and why. Please consider Hanlon's Razor; that is, if I am wrong or misleading on this site it is not intentional.
  3. Let me know if you find something interesting.
  4. Give some sort of attribution if you use an idea I wrote here. A link back to the page is great.

  1. Swyx's article on the topic showed up in my RSS feed and I followed further links from there:

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Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please send me a note on Twitter.