Angus Lam / All blog posts

Uh, are your articles up-to-date?

Hello! This page probably had an interesting title, or it was discovered underneath another article I've written.


Yes, my articles are up-to-date.

Long version

I've tried writing and failed many times, so this time around I'm going with a new mindset or writing style. I guess. I enjoy the process of researching and organizing topics, but not really good at doing them at a regular interval. So, I devised a strategy, for the sake of brevity and which I'll call "evergreen gardening", that will keep myself (important) and the readers (you!) happy.

I recognize that writing, like food or collectibles, can age like wine or milk. Although writing will likely never be evergreen like the trees or bad takes, it's seems like a fairly reasonable way to craft a catalog of irregularly published self-interested articles. If the information's usefulness isn't perishable or its value is derived from the thoughts captured in time, then there isn't a need for new content to displace irrelevant old content. Some strategies I have in mind are:

  • Write content that have lifespans of years in mind
  • If that's not possible, intentionally describe the period of time ("in October 2020, it seems like we had the virus in New York under control, and these are the things we did that went well" vs. writing a book called "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic") Now, that covers the evergreen portion, but what's the thing about gardening?

Although the intention is writing content with a long shelf life, it's unlikely to maintain its relevance without updates. From my unscientific cherrypicking research, blog writers are unlikely to revise content in a drastic way, opting to ignore or delete instead. However, it isn't uncommon, especially in news or scientific publications, where corrections and retractions are commonplace. Personally, I'm going to take a very liberal approach to making updates to existing content, which includes deletions, additions, or even full rewrites. This comes at a cost where content is no longer immutable, but nothing can truly disappear from the internet. I'm incentivized to maintain the original spirit of my publications, so I imagine the scrap-and-rewrite approach will only happen if my writing is in desperate need for correction.

To further emphasize the active tending or gardening nature of my approach, I will be applying these changes:

  • Removing the "created" date on articles, placing more emphasis on last updated instead
  • Replacing the timeline oriented index with one organized by topics

Last updated February 18th, 2021

Why does the site look like a default nginx page?

I have very fond memories of snooping autoindex pages on poorly configured servers back in the late 2000s. It's hard to find those nowadays. "Browser default" HTML also has a brutalistic and uninstrusive quality in the comtemporary time. It has allowed me to focus on creating more novel works rather than tweaking every pixel on this site to stylistically tie together everything I work on, no matter how disparate, in a futile manner. That is not to say there's no styling here—every detail is still meticulously chosen. I could have went for a more conventional modern minimalist design, but what's the fun in that?

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