Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

I’m baaaack… and using WordPress  §

So this is the inaugural post in what will be my latest blog incarnation. Yes, I know, there were to be no more “blog incarnations” after I transitioned to my super-fabulous “academic database” that was capable of holding research projects, blogs, and anything else I could think of all at the same time and integrating them and positioning them amist copious tag clouds and search tools. So what happened?

Like quantum mechanics, this question offers several different answers depending on the questions asked. I’ll present the answers without the questions, leaving you to imagine what they might have been.

Answer 1: Everything must start over again. That last spot was built before Mirai arrived, and nothing from that world exists—or can be allowed to exist—any longer and/or ever again. Fresh baby, fresh start.

Answer 2: Underestimated complexity. I have a habit of overdesigning things, and Leapdragon§Academe was no exception. It was powerful and intricate and incredibly cool—and required a dedicated employee to run and/or populate it well with data. Yes, it could have told me things about my data and created a cloud-based spot for Aron-Project-Analysis, but the fact is that before Mirai arrived I’d essentially put Ania to work running it (or rather, she’d volunteered to start filling it with data) and of course now that’s an unsustainable arrangement.

Answer 3: WordPress for words. I am still as in love with the concept of Drupal as I ever was. Compared to WordPress, Drupal is a much larger, more powerful tool—an industrial piece of equipment compared to the ballpeen hammer of WordPress. But at the same time, all this latest incarnation needs to be is a blog (once again). And it’s WordPress that has the nicer blogging features, built-in, without having to build them out. If I ran this thing once on Greymatter, I can certainly do it now on WordPress, no need to get all heavyweight.

Answer 4: DeliberatelyConsidered. I have started working on this website run by my advisor and chair and am acting as something of a managing editor (unofficially for the moment). The fact that it runs on WordPress gives me some incentive to host my own projects using the same platform in order to maximize my labor and knowledge-gathering ability.

— § —

Those that know me also know that I am more busy at this particular moment in my life than I have ever been before, to the point of lunacy. It is not merely that I spend all of my time running around putting out fires that proceed from my having been long overbooked in every facet of life; it is the utter maladaptivity of my life to the current state of affairs on top of this circumstance.

Hence the desire to eliminate, for example, the unnecessary complexity of Drupal and move to WordPress.

But, of course, the more pressing question remains: why blog at all?

The (somewhat personal) answer is that as I have blogged on and off over the years, I have often suspected that something in me and something in my life becomes nominally unbalanced each time I suspend blogging activity.

This last four-to-eight month period has made me sure of this. I am out of whack. Blogging is one component in a much needed course of “return-to-whack” therapy. Other components will include physical activity (i.e. exercise), more vegetables and less on-the-run food, more spiritual reading (no, not the Bible, don’t freak my pretties, things more along the lines of the Tao Te Ching and The Quantum Enigma), and more discipline in time and self management in general.

Things are spiraling out of control. But they won’t be for long. I know because (amongst other things) I am restarting Leapdragon with a 2012 edition and moving to WordPress from Drupal. This may not sound like evidence of self-mastry, but in fact self-mastry can be a deceptively complex topic.

— § —

As a final note, I feel as though I am finally beginning to approach a state of self-actualization that I have been pursuing since I was a teenager.

Now, when using a term like “self actualization” many will immediately visualize rooms full of so many blond WASPs in Los Angeles paying good money for bad enlightenment classes that blend new age fads with crackpot quasi-Buddhism and raw vegan goodness.

In fact, the sort of “self actualization” to which I refer is something that I will call “data completeness,” and it consists of the following:

  1. Always, no matter the context, having technological means at bodily disposal sufficient to enter, access, and or manipulate personal data with maximal efficiency.
  2. Finding that virtually all of the text and/or speech that one produces that is not directly addressed to an interlocutor, but rather to the future self or some abstract actor engaging in reference practices, can be easily recorded and accessed.

In more pedestrian terms, what I mean by “data completeness” is recording everything you think and write (and many things you say) in a searchable, digital way and having access to every last one of your personal files wherever you are, whether at home or on the go, in a way that lets you do as much real work or manipulation as you’re likely to want to do in whatever context you happen to be in.

More on this soon.