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Open Thought Catalog

Thought 1

Could you introduce yourself? Tell everyone what the purpose of this site is.

Hello there. Welcome to my site and thanks for taking a few minutes to click around. I wrote this blurb out on the fly so there may be some typos that I'll be fixing eventually too.

This site isn't meant to be a sleek modern masterpeice yet. It is meant to be correct. If you notice something not working let me know. I'm implementing improvements all the time.

I wanted to get some thoughts I have about computers and my current position in life out there. I happen to own the domain name that represents me, so why not put some stuff out there too? Hopefully someone finds something here useful. That's really why I do this.

I'll answer questions here occasionally that I've receieved over the years. My responses are current even though some of the questions themselves are older. I've asked myself some of these over the years a lot. Most of the responses to those questions will be here in an updated form.

The photography stuff that's here from over the years is just an extra part of site and a personal project. It's nothing too serious and some of it can be downloaded for desktop use too. I'll eventually make a zip file available with higher resolution versions of varoius featured landscape shots. These photos will provide you with a nice desktop background option. More on that soon.

Thought 2

Are you getting paid to manage this site? What's the next step if you aren't?

I'm working on things here now as a hobby and gradually making improvements to the code/structure as they're needed.

The photo section I've been putting together as more of an extra item to scroll through is coming along now that I have all my content prepared to put here. Experimenting with the best way to do that by reading books about OS management and other fun things has made me more deliberate in what I'm trying to get out of creating my own site. The other option is use something prebuilt instead. It's popular to use a standard CMS. A lot of smart people already did a lot of great work there! This is a different project.

A lot of CMS platforms try to be too much. I'm in favor of a simple design that can be built into at certain needed benchmark levels. Low complexity for a blog works for me. I'm experimenting on ways to do it correctly.

It's easy to get carried away with who owns what when building a site. It becomes distracting when it breaks down for whatever reason at scale or as versions of the software you rely for a certain live product change overtime. I'm not saying it'll definitely happen but it does happen. An unforeseen issue isn't entirely unheard of in production software either.

How can we build tools that are as simple and straight forward as possible? We have to experiment a little bit about what that looks like by trying to put a form to the idea. It takes a lot of eyes and a lot of ideas! At the end of the day, no one will care about what you build if it hasn't made someones current experience meaningful or better. On this site, that's where the editorial content and other media come into play. I'll release any code that I develop either on github or maybe here on a branch.

As common elements, pictures, stories, and ideas are what will make a system like the one we're trying to build come alive.

I always thought it would be cool to be able to take some photos, build a site, and release them for people to be able to download to use as desktop backgrounds. Landscapes only. It's still hard to sort nice photos out from over the years at the end of the day because there is a process to making it work correctly. I did a huge purge a while back and got rid of so much stuff that didn't have any usefulness moving forward. Saved some space and it helped me get some work in order. I'm doing my best coding what I know how to do here and using it as an excuse to finish releasing some photos too. Not everything I have, but a good amount of them are set to be released now. The thing is this. Some years I don't have any photos to release at all.

The main "next step" is to continue doing improvements gradually here that are mostly already preplanned until 2019 end of year. They become time consuming because they're usually multi-dimensional fix items that take time to expand in a simple and correct way. I like to think of this site as being too simple to have bugs but you never know. I try to spend very little time thinking about bugs. At least with photos it's sort of meaningless in the end once they have the proper display attributes.

The code is more complex in theory because it possesses engineering qualities within the syntax. Without these qualities, things wouldn't work on the machine itself. I'm trying to make this be as correct as possible to prove a point that we don't need a lot of the things we currently use in a fragmented and hard to track way. This applies to both our own sites and sites we use online.

I'm doing a lot of module work for scripts/api-libs that's backend based. That stuff can be sort of important and it's hard to cut out certain steps and products like some sort of database system. Some of it takes time and correctness by default. The automation aspect of it is still difficult to get right for a unique thing. Since knowing this kind of stuff seems to have a better likelihood to help me in getting a job somewhere or possibly getting a client, it's where I want this product to really shine at some point. There is a system running under the hood that I'm still keeping under wraps. Hopefully there will be more details on it soon. Those concepts end up taking the lead in importance really even though no one is currently interfacing with them directly. I'm still getting started. It's reasonable to want to build the thing that helps you the most.

Thought 3

Does this site have any major changes planned?

This things gradually moving forward. Some software still needs to be swapped out/upgraded since last years coding season. I really only code hard for two phases throughout the year because it tends to exhaust me. The updates are sort of slow really, but well defined. The goal is to build a self contained website builder that manages this site and others. The content is being put onto the site nonetheless despite the speed of things now. I'll even live edit various parts of it too. If you see the "live edit mode" tag I'm live publishing the page with changes so someone can follow along. Sometimes I edit things publically too. I'll end up changing around the design a good bit as more things are filled in around the site. I'm sure the colors may change soon too, especially in the user portal area. A lot was improvised for things like palette and flow as part of a fluid build out.

No exact methodology for sizing/testing pictures out was applied either but I would like to get it right so I can give other people the software to do the same. My photos get much better around the year 2013 so I'm excited to release them so I can focus on optimizing delivery for various formats.

2013 was one of the first years that I realized how many smart math/programmer types were already working on most computer problems that I thought were interesting business opportunities. It didn't make them impossible but it makes you focus on what's still an opportunity. Design and computers meeting correctly was in some sort of experimental and possible bounds. It still is really on this site.

Thought 4

Will people want to look at or use your creations?

It really comes down to years spent at anything before it's usually worth sharing. There are so many concepts involved in fluid control of a site and all the creative channels it can carry. When you dig deep into the machine, sometimes it doesn't make any sense until you combine other details later. I've combined a lot and stripped out a lot of junk. What's been done may be unique enough for someone to find it interesting or useful. Maybe someone won't, but they could - of course.

In the "sharing" sense, I'm getting there gradually. There's a lot to create to be "fully there". But who is ever really there? At the end of the day, we have limited time to act and build. Someone might find it interesting to see what I'm building without restrictions on things like time-frame.

Thought 5

What makes you want to build a simple web organization system?

I wanted to see how hard it was to build a site without using any prebuilt CMS applications at some point in time. That thought didn't really drive any progress. I also wanted to become more aware of how a language like Python could be used to build new things. I decided to try to build something allowing Python libs only. Eventually, I wanted to make an entire "pure module" for this sort of thing. Wanting to learn more Python contributed to me doing more here and elsewhere. I've always been facinated by code and by learning about it more you're able to drive interesting thinking and discovery. This is about discovery.

CMS stuff seems too complicated now a days. Yes, you can make these sites look pretty but they have many problems in form and delivery. The free tools are usually too marketing and ad-tech driven now under the hood. These builders can end up being bloated security headaches. Commercial/Supported CMS are different usually, but they are niche market related. I always thought a website builder could be for everyone and maybe change up how people connect too.

Most people that want to display content want a simple system that's worth it when their market is niche (specialized content management component) or free. The problems is, what happens when you want to do more. A lot of these CMS extensions are integration failures or create more headaches for everyone. That's why I created my own. I don't even want to think about it. I wanted to have a programmable/extensible personal interface to do extensions under the hood, and a simple website on the front end. I want to own it, because I want to build more into it.

This system will have some superior performance elements to many of the well known systems that are in the free bracket. I'm not trying to be too down on something like WordPress either because it's gotten much better. I'm building this site for the future of the web I see developing and it's kind of like other free CMS systems but not really too because it has a different focus. We'll see what happens.

Thought 6

What can we work on building and testing to improve the web?

I don't know, benchmark it and see for yourself. There are many weird things that happen out there in data land. My philosophy has always been why use WordPress or too much ad-tech when it's running questionable software when combined with multiple packages from independent devs. It's better to have things tightly joined. It is hard with the huge amount of available open source stuff now a days. There is a right and wrong way to do open source and packages. pip and trusted repos are one thing, but they're not perfect. Something like WordPress is too loosely joined. The packages are too loosely coupled to be secure once you factor in versioning. Trust me - if OS grade languages and distros can't get packages right, a bunch of random devs from all over the world running different versions can't make pandoras box secure either. To improve the web we have to make these sort of relationships more simple and "what you see is what you get".

Who really owns bad code running at scale at this point? Probably some hacker that shouldn't. I'm not really trying to be a part of that community of novice affiliate ad-entrepreneurs getting owned. I know, "so many people use WP". Yes I know that - sucks to be them in certain situations. That being said, it definitely has it's purposes today for giving a voice to someone if that's the goal.

Thought 7

If the web is too complex, what does a more simple web look like?

Right now - the web is too complex partially because it was built during many different times. It was coded and created with way too many technologies when you look at everything that had to happen. Unifying all of those concepts after the fact takes a lot of effort and ultimately better designed software. That takes time. This is fine in isolation or in development, but great software needs deliberate design from qualified creators solving real problems. Many products over the past 20 years have made it into the marketplace without much consideration beyond the core product class focus. Sometimes that focus was at the expense of security. These kinds of tradeoffs have harmed consumers when reliance is put into these systems without any formal assurance. To build a better web we'll need it to be simple, but we'll also need it to be safe and designed correctly.

The tail risk is a future failure resulting from an unknown action or event involved with some string of past systems. Many things aren't failsafe enough suprisingly and simple will also have to mean that too. The consumer internet is almost at bad-tier level because of this. It's way too chaotic and ads aren't transparent. The web generally has stress inducing qualities attached to it because these networks are trying to get your time at all costs. The complexity of these types of ad relationships is something that will need to be rethought too.

All of the major news sites are only getting paid if you spend more time there. That's what is easiest to find online now a days - news. That's another thing that makes everything too chaotic. Constant news. It's hard to turn off once you leave your desktop and enter the internet.

The consumer internet could be redeemed soon in my mind. The internet in general could have new product classes that filter this sort of negative behavior out. It could be focused on different incentives. Like superpowers! Hah, not too far off actually. We're not there yet.

Cloud was a new class. People are still figuring out what we can do with the concept of fast and reliable networks at scale that are also able to store near infinite data. Remember, there has been fast and even reliable network alternatives available for many many years. So who really knows what the long term benefit will end up being of these new improvements, but it seems real.

Making things more real, better - that will take a lot of people stepping up and trying new things. There needs to be better forms of cooperation than we have now in the market. Github is cool, but it's still hard to get moving in for the average person. The concept is still a little abstract. Who knows what will happen because competitors are always at odds in the fight for customers and all the big companies are trying their own products to addres this issue right now. Most companies end up fighting it out overtime I would say. Maybe it's not worth putting any product into that ring, but it could be a better time than most would think.

Open source tends to be a tough thing to get heavy into on a business side too without having to fight it out a bit with other devs and with the legal aspects behind commercializing. Most people that I've talked with still struggle with licensing concepts and put there code out too early. To be in a true coding team and pushing real updates is even harder than some would think too. You ultimately have to stay on top of the community to stay relevant. If you're good of course you can contribute and fix whatever the bug list items!.. The future will require that the people who are building these new things and really contributing, have incentive to stay invested.

The goal can't be sell it all off to get rich either. It will happen definitely, but it can't be the only goal. Another example is taking the wrong job and capping off talent too fast. A simple web will require constant evaluation about what that means with the context of todays tech. We need to attempt to accomplish something needed with these tools and it's probably never been more like that. There is a balance between how it's built, knowing what's needed, and having the understanding of how it will benefit people. We need to do this toughtfully. The important things have to be managed by experienced and invested operators. This happens today at the top end of the curve but it needs to be more inclusive still.

Hopefully we get some elite devs coming up soon that can build great things that are also sustainable over the life cycle of their careers. We all need these type of high level devs invested. A lot of the hard work is still hard. Things that aren't boxed into a useless category like certain forms of advertising or that are avoiding the tailrisk pitfalls of selling without the right license agreements behind the products in place, are potentially in great territory moving forward. There will be many great businesses behind this ecosystem.

I hope a simple and useful web is possible. I hope it's still owned by people not large companies. I'm not even sure if it's possible anymore with the size of the tech companies these days and the salaries they are able to pay.

Thought 8

How hard would it be to do anything like this now a days? Is it worth trying?

It's worth trying if you believe in beating games on INSANITY MODE.

Thought 9

How simple does this have to be? What should we leave behind?

The goal of the website builder system (newentity.io) that I created to run this site is to click some buttons and have a fully optimized, state of the art and highly secured starting point.

This needs to also somehow meet with deep data-indexing options and standard user authentication built in. This is the future. The builder is almost there... suprisingly. The future however is not there yet. But I would imagine over the next 10 years it will be there. It takes a lot of time to get it all simple and useful. Now, we have the additional demands of having it be secure too. Really, NewEntity.io was meant to run locally and talk to other people who are running the builder locally too. That's been the point of New Entity Operations™ from the start. Build more locally, get rid of third-party devs and useless technology.

I'm not sure when things evolved into destroy as much bad stuff happening in the online realm as possible, but hey - there is a lot wrong with the way things are online right now but it can be solved with new ideas. Online tools should be straightforward with an emphasis on positive discovery. Anything that goes against this should have a reduced focus. I'm going to spend the time required to try to put my best effort into helping fix it that way. Even if it takes 10 years. I want to try to get things back into the hands of the operator and their own discovery path. It needs to made into a healthy balance for all the possible stakeholders. The computer is a gift and facilitator of much magic. We're currently underutilizing this tool. I'm thinking of ways to use it in human assistance oriented ways now too. What to do, how to proceed... this will require many ideas and attempts.

Thought 10

Are you helping reestablish web guidelines with your current venture? What guidelines have been looked at?

Companies, products, terrible methods that are hurting the world - none of these types of problems are immune from being a target of my venture. This ends up being a very difficult task. Deciding what that criteria looks like will be one of the largest challenges of the next 10 years but we need to do it. The current system needs more definition or it'll just get more complex without bounds. That probably can't happen fully. I won't do anything to anyone, or to any company, but I will do my best to build superior products that take a centered view on connection. If the category is important enough there is a strong possiblity I'll spend some time on it. Most of these products can then be given away to the world in some form at little or no cost in non commercial contexts. To date, I've replaced all the needs for commercial or paid/closed licensed software from third parties to get here minus hosting and DNS (maybe next phase I'll think of something there).

The OS used to build out, the software that's been built, and even many of the methods at this point are mine. Some of the code is not mine, but it's free software and distributed for this kind of use. If I redistribute any of it, I'll be sure to properly reference it. The problem is it's so hard to figure out who owns what. Guidelines need to address the best way to get this kind of paradox under control. I plan on giving away anything that I create that is original enough or "mine enough" to distribute for a reasonable fee as should anybody involved in creating these sorts of products. For me, most of the work I've been putting together will be released during 2019 and 2020.

Linkedin Information

I restarted my Linkedin account at the end of 2018 because many of the people that I had connected to early on were making it a socializing tool instead of a business tool. No value was coming from that sort of network. The value diminished greatly with each additional contact I took on without any context.

Now, I would prefer to keep the network about building great products and community. We can connect if we've worked together after Jan 1st 2019.