WordPress has gotten a lot nicer since I last touched it in 2014.

The whole PHP/Apache situation is probably still as fiddly as ever so I’ve simply abstracted it all away by running this site using the official wordpress Docker images. MySQL on the host, /wp-content directory mounted-in.

Full Circle

My last wordpress post was in May 2014. Since then, I’ve dabbled with Bludit, Gollum, and Writefreely. Two things motivated my journey:

  1. I wanted to store all my content in flat files for portability and ease of backing up.
  2. I didn’t want to have to run a dedicated database process for the site to function.

To achieve the above, I had to give up:

  • Date-based archives
  • Categories
  • Not absolutely manual media management
  • Using an expertly designed theme that Just Works™ without me messing around with markup and stylesheets.

Writing incrementally

The biggest thing I’ve missed though, is the feeling that each new post is simply an increment and continuation of posts that come before it, both in time but also in concept.

It’s a silly thing really, but being able to easily see a post in the context of a subject matter or in a given month-year makes it so much richer. I’m not having to start from scratch, neither do I need to have everything figured out in one post because there will be to come.


So from here on, I’m all in with a much “thicker” stack than I’d like; trading-off technical un-complexity for the sake of motivating myself to create and share more.

I’m also in the process of consolidating more than 15 years of postings here.

  • Posts from my pre-2015 WP site are already here.
  • There’s an old MovableType backup on my NAS waiting for me to crack open – it’ll be a project in itself.
  • Also, notes should really just be pages or posts on this site.

Should be good.

Cool links from the week

Empathic joy

Happier than if something great happened to me

Empathic joy is when a person derives pleasure from the good fortune of others. Sounds simple. Cleverly scalable too: why rate-limit your experiences of pleasure to the occurrences of your own good fortune, when you could theoretically bask in happiness whenever someone has a lucky break.

Yet there are myriad factors that make this simple, logical concept hard in practice. Scarcity is one that comes to mind – where one person’s gain implicates another’s loss. In many cases this holds true, and the inquiry can end there. We are the product of years of evolutionary efficiency gains.

But careful consideration could uncover pockets of abundance where scarcity might have been previously assumed, and therein lie veins of happiness to be tapped.

Sneaky peek

On my “off-days”, I occasionally like to pop into Work Chat to approximate (like a parallel timeline simulator) what I’d be up to were I still engaged in my prior role and capacity.

It’s a pointed reminder of things I’ve since moved on from, but more importantly, it sets a baseline for the things I am currently pursuing, and motivates me to do so with greater purpose and focus.