What I Did
Now, for my most controversial set of works: theology.
While it isn’t readily apparent from the outside, I’m a practicing Christian. However, I have an odd enough experience that it’s not going to express the same way as most Christians. I have a testimony/story that outlines the most relevant points.
Of course, as someone who has Protestant roots, it’s a cultural requirement to provide a summary of the Gospel, so here you go. If you’re new to Christianity, I’ve also outlined a plain summary for you if you’re new at it.
As for now, here’s some plain-sense commonplacing of basic theological aspects of Christianity:
- Who God Is
- The Bible
- Who People Are
- On Gender Differences (unfashionable!)
- The Five Solae
- A pared-down non-philosophically-emburdened systematic theology
One of my articles in my Big Pile of Things To Work Through indicated how a .xyz domain is bad for SEO and most internet things. I had read that prior, but didn’t really think of doing anything about it because how bad could it really be?
- I mean, when do people buy cheap domains and use them to do fraudulent things?
- And would perfectly legitimate organizations really blanket-ban a domain class simply on that general pattern alone?
To #1: yes, all the time. To #2: yes, because cybersecurity professionals are paid to protect computers and stuff on computers, so they don’t care about the 0.5% they harm in the process. We are defined by the company we keep and the signals we virtue, after all.
Now that I have my efforts oriented toward tech concerns (and a 50-watt future in the tech industry as an ancient mid-30’s dinosaur), I’ve confronted it. It wasn’t as hard as I expected to be:
- Follow the steps on this guide.
- Sidetrack yourself by following the steps on this guide instead to make a new database.
- Forget where you left a guide that had something-something PHP installer involved.
- Fiddle with DNS settings on your hosting provider for a while to get the new domain pointed correctly (literally no rush).
- Scrap it all and create a new instanced website with that new domain (in this case, trendless.tech).
- Recalling vaguely from memory, upload the PHP installer and the backup of the old one to the new instance.
- Run the PHP installer from somewhere I can’t really remember.
- Test to be sure nothing broke, be excited that it moved everything over (including the WordPress logins and plugins from the old one).
- Deactivate the old domain (techsplained.xyz in this case), then run a dead link checker on everything I’ve ever written.
- Redirect the old domain to the new domain.
I can see why other friends of mine live and die by WordPress: it just works.
What I Learned
Up until a few weeks ago, I have spent the past year working tirelessly on one essay at a time. It was an endless queue:
- Slave away at building the essays because I-must-do-them-nobody-can-stop-me-not-even-myself-no-I’m-fine-leave-me-alone-gotta-write.
- If I found anything else worth writing but I hadn’t gotten to yet, I’d dump it into the Pile Of Things I Must Do Later, including Things I Had Done And Must Revisit Because It’s Not Perfect.
- Finish the page and start another one.
- Force myself to rest on Saturdays to avoid burnout, but keep thinking about it.
- Repeat endlessly.
This isn’t very healthy, and violates the very principles I’ve outlined on living the good life. Everyone’s a hypocrite.
However, further than that, this discovery has broken open a realization that I’ve been chasing a quantifiable life. Every part of my performance was measuring the quantity of things I did, or the quantity of work I completed, or the count of pages or tasks I performed.
That’s a dumb life. We’re already allotted a specific shelf life before the questions on religion stop being speculative. Counting down the days or measuring the intervals is a soulless experience.
Instead, it’s better to find joy in the little day-by-day interactions. There’s an article on consistency I’m keeping close at hand for a while to remind me that motivation is more important than habit. Not much good in making the most efficient productivity system if you’re not enjoying life when you put the work down, right?
Now, a side concept on cliché sayings: the reason dumb cliché exists (and is typically ignored because it’s so cliché) is because it insufficiently draws attention to characteristics that directly tie to universal attributes that tend to plague our existence. We could stand to focus more on old, tired sayings that nobody cares about anymore. Better late than never, right?
One of those silly clichés applies heavily to me: “don’t compare yourself to others”. While I’m relatively immune to the hype, I’ve been drinking so much success porn, Hacker News, TEDtalks, and sundry articles from various so-called “experts” and “innovators” that I’ve been comparing myself to them. About 10 years ago I thought I’d be able to build my way to having my own best-selling book, or wildly famous talk, or pioneer some Thing Everyone Loves and receive much praise from it.
I missed a few facts in the mix of that starry-eyed vision:
- You need the right personality. The Sam Altmans and Tony Robbins of the world have a distinctly charming personality. Even when they’re bristly, there’s something uniquely appealing to them. It’s a strange mix of confidence, intentional ignorance, ambition, and sprezzatura.
- Your personality needs to be nurtured. Everyone is wired differently, and their personality fixes the problems that most reflect the environment they were raised in. There’s a certain type of skillset that comes with having a small frame, or long legs, or low endurance, and the analogy translates directly to lifestyle with personality. You can train being not good with people, but you’ll probably never like the experience, and will probably do something antisocial later to clear your mind.
- You must know what to do. The fortune of knowing the right people is critical, but the “right” people are defined by the purposes you wish to attain. Your bright future inventing the next adhesive will not be well-met by joining a welder’s union, though the creative edges of patterns may shine through if you’re lucky and the Muses bless you when you’re in the shower sometime.
And, with those principles in mind, I was somewhat doomed from the beginning:
- I was willing to lose friends for the purpose of gaining understanding. I get stuff now, but that doesn’t mean anything without a proper implementation.
- My career has careened and careered all over the place. It’s recovered now from the wild ride (mostly), but I have no idea who would need someone with an accounting and insurance background, with some side experience in quality control, management, and sales, who also has some experience in custodial work, organic farming, truck driving, hospitality, event planning, and logistics. (s)I’m sure being a software developer will make me fit a more stereotypical mold(/s).
- My value system is a tiny bit taboo. I’m too conservative to fit into the cool liberal multi-gazillionaire club, too disagreeable to rise the ranks of Christian church culture, not polished enough to make it in the business image world, not woo-woo or stylized enough to roll with the art people, and not a victim enough to showcase my autism like it’s a disease.
But, that’s okay. I’m competent enough to pay the bills, I have kids who I can teach how to not fail as bad as me (at least one of them as gifted an idiot savant, if not more), have a beautiful wife who somehow puts up with this version of well-organized insanity, and I’m not bound by the unbelievable maintenance requirements to maintain fame/wealth/power or keep being some sort of influencer.
I just have to be okay that my day job involves me doing dumb, boring, time-consuming stuff and be grateful it’s far better than most of the workplaces I had to endure. And that I haven’t frothed myself into a heart attack yet.
What I’m Doing
Several non-specific and very large tasks:
- When my brain goes numb, purging out 1,924 hyperlinks that represent possible tools for my toolbox.
- For fun, wandering through 6,717 articles connected to current essay-writing projects, most of them going to TrendlessTech.