What to write?

One of the reasons I love writing software is because, to me, they are codified pieces of a better world. The Constitution, RFCs, and your favorite checklists are glorious exemplars of the wisdom of codification.

Besides providing reference for the lost, I have found that simply describing your thoughts in words and putting them on paper is an effective creative tool for oneself. I practice this daily, carrying around a notebook in my pocket which serves as a minimal bullet journal. Many pages are filled with me just formulating disjointed thoughts into ideas in my free time. Hence, its a natural reflex for me to want to write a few rules about what I might want to include in my personal blog – as a little bit of meditation, guidance for future me, and heads-up for the few poor souls who wander across these pages.

“If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all” – is an adage that I grew up with that has stuck with me, quite possibly for life. I have a tendency to be conservative with my spoken words, as anyone who spent five minutes with me would say. Put another way, I was the quiet one – which, I believe, was a direct result.

Over time, I’ve reaped the benefits of this closely held belief, which to me bears much resemblance to the lessons in The Art of War, and the game of chess: “Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.” - Sun Tzu.

I expect this belief of mine to shape what I have to say on these pages no less. So, after a bit of pondering, I came to this preliminary conclusion of what a “good” thing to say might be: the things unique to my life, or personal experiences I can shed some insight on. That is to say, the advantage to be gained might be sharing with the world some knowledge of my experiences, so that someone may learn from it, including my future self.

Some of these things that I look forward to sharing are:

I expect to waste little time on “pop” topics such as political opinions, or the latest fad. Although, I would like to periodically document for my future self my take on contemporary culture.

One standard I intend to hold myself to is, if I make any claims, I should back it up with data or citation. Likewise, if I make a mistake, please let me know, promptly and unreservedly.

Of course, like any good codex, these rules are subject to change. With thought, due process, and a bit of luck, the scope described here may expand as I, hopefully, will grow. But I believe this is a great start.