Now hosted with SiteGround

I fumble-fingered something on the DigitalOcean droplet that was running copingmechanism.com and it broke things. I was able to correct it quickly, but was reminded that, for certain things, I’m not interested in the sausage-making portions of the process.

So I’ve migrated the site to a SiteGround hosted account. I have no experience with SiteGround and no real basis for choosing them other than I’ve heard a few good things and it’s not overly expensive.

Do let me know if anything looks amiss.

What if I started blogging here instead?

I’m in one of those moods. You know, the one where I don’t like the “distance” between my blog content and the blog itself. Here’s how my Hugo posting works at baty.net right now…

Org-mode->ox-hugo->Hugo-compatible Markdown->Build->HTML->Rsync

Seems crazy when I think about it. However, it’s the best workflow I’ve found with Hugo, and it does let me write in Org mode.

On the other hand, in WordPress it looks more like this:

Edit Post->Publish

See what I mean?

The idea of this blog was to focus on photography because WordPress handles images more easily than Hugo. I like the copingmechanism.com domain, but is it worth trying to import old posts and adding redirects? Or do I just start fresh here and leave baty.net as an archive?

I’ll have to think about it.

What about Instagram?

The last time I rage-quit Instagram was January 2018. I wrote this…

I am leaving Instagram. I may decide to return if Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram change their policies and behavior in a significant way. Until then, I cannot in good conscience continue using their services. And of course..Links in bio. I can always be reached via email at jack@baty.net. I’ll post photos to Flickr.

That sounds great on paper, and can work well as an updated version of “I don’t even have a television!” The difference, though, is that not having a television meant that I read more books and missed a few shows and Super Bowl commercials, whereas not being on Instagram means I miss connections with my friends and family.

I tell myself that we’re all just sharing silly, unrealistic nonsense on social networks, and that may often be true, but I don’t like missing updates from the people I care about or otherwise admire, silly or not.

I’ve tried asking friends, coworkers, and loved ones to “start a blog and we can all subscribe to each other’s RSS feeds!” and “Stop feeding the evil companies like Facebook!” and “Own your content!”. All I’ve gotten back is “No thanks.”

This has meant martyring the casual connections with the people most important to me for the sake of doing the Right Thing™️, and quite frankly I’m not sure it’s worth it.

My social bubble often works itself up into a frenzy of righteous indignation over this stuff. We convince ourselves that it’s all or nothing and, if we’re not careful, can end up thinking less of all the lovely people who just want to share photos and updates with friends.

I’m all for the independent web. I think everyone could benefit from having a blog; a place on the internet of their very own, under their control. My favorite place online these days is Micro.blog, which is all-in indieweb.

I believe that Facebook, while probably not outright evil, is damaging to society as a whole and should be prevented from continuing to do what they’ve been doing in the way they’ve been doing it.

There are lots of reasons to dislike Instagram, but being connected and sharing with my friends isn’t one of them.

I miss Instagram. I miss sharing photos where most of my friends and family are. I have met a number of nice, interesting and talented people on micro.blog, but it’s a small subset of the people I want to stay connected with. I wish this meant posting to Flickr instead, but the overwhelming majority are on Instagram, and I miss seeing their “Instas”. And honestly, I miss them seeing mine.

This post is just me thinking through some of the feelings I’ve been having about Instagram and social in general. Please don’t trouble yourself with telling me all the ways Facebook is evil and why we should all get off the big networks and back onto the independent web. I already know, and I agree, but I’m still considering dipping my toes back into Instagram. Feel free to disapprove.

I’m mrjackbaty on Instagram

Throw away the list (Missy Mwac)

Missy Mwac:

Some successful people get up early.. 
Some successful people sleep in.

Some successful people only check their emails twice a day. 
Some successful people check it on the hour. Or whenever it pops up on their phone.

Some successful people make their bed. 
Some successful people leave their room a mess. (And their kitchen and their car and their desk…)

Some successful people say “no” to most projects.
Some successful people say “yes” to most projects.

Some successful people listen to self-help podcasts.
Some successful people would rather be attacked by wasps than listen to a self-help podcast.

Some successful people LOOK successful. 
Some successful people look like they should be on the street corner with a cardboard sign.


I’ve tried them all. Still not successful.

A different editing experience

I typically edit the markdown files comprising my blog (baty.blog) using BBEdit. It looks like this…

Editing a post in BBEdit

While experimenting with Typora, I noticed a difference. Here’s the same file in Typora…

Editing a post in Typora

Can you spot the difference? While I love BBEdit for editing and processing text, I can’t help but think that writing markdown in Typora instead might offer a nice improvement in the experience.

So, yeah, for now, it’s Typora definitely.

State of the System – Spring 2019

I’m exhausted.

I’ve been tweaking my “workflows” again since the beginning of the year. I started with just bare-bones Emacs and a web browser. I kept fiddling and somehow ended up with a super-cool-but-disasterous combination of Curio, BBEdit, Tinderbox, TheBrain, and DEVONthink. Each of them is awesome, but I end up not knowing where to put anything. Finally, I tired of the entire process and burned it down. I am starting fresh.

I’ve been here before, of course, but here we are.

I thought I’d record my (new) current system so that we all have something specific to make fun of next time I change everything…again.

Writing: Ulysses

Blog posts, project notes, proposals, newsletters, meeting agendas, etc. all go in Ulysses. Once I permit myself to ignore the fact that everything I put in Ulysses goes into a database, Ulysses is my favorite. Here’s why…

  • It looks good
  • It’s feature-rich
  • It can publish to WordPress.
  • It has Groups and Smart Groups. Hierarchy fits my brain better than just tags (see Bear).
  • Extensive export options
  • Very good search
  • Comes with my SetApp subscription

Note Taking: Apple Notes

Quick notes, lists, reference notes go in Apple Notes. Notes isn’t as fancy as Bear but if I put stuff in Bear it makes me overthink it and then I’m back wondering why I’m using that and Ulysses. Apple Notes is simple and everywhere and I can share notes or scribble on it quickly with the Pencil. It’s plenty good enough for jotting things down.

Task Management: Things 3

I waffle here quite often, mostly because I love Org-mode so much. But then Emacs eats everything and suddenly I’m painfully managing email, notes, and journaling with it and hating myself because I can’t decide between my DIY configuration or Spacemacs and I should learn Lisp etc. Way too many rabbit holes with Emacs. OmniFocus is a good option too, but I’m not in the mood to tweak things, so Things it is.

Text Editing/Coding: BBEdit

I’ve been using BBEdit for so long and with such success that it’s foolish to look elsewhere. Again, Emacs could rule here if I felt like dedicating large swaths of my time to tweaking it. Of course I don’t have to tweak it, but that’s not possible for me. VSCode is nice, but it’s just too much, somehow. If I were a full-time programmer, this section might look different, but for now it’s BBEdit.

Journaling: Day One

Day One is so good at journaling it seems silly to try anything else. And yet, I try using org-journal, Tinderbox, VSCode Journal, Diarly, MacJournal, and so on. I spend half the time trying to make whatever I’m using more like Day One. It’s crazy-making. So now I’m just using Day One. It hasn’t let me down in years. Works great on iOS. I also love the books I can order from a Day One journal.

That’s it. For now.

UPDATE 2019.05.10: The above is almost completely incorrect as of this afternoon. Sigh.

I’ll follow you on Twitter, but…

I’m dipping my toes back into Twitter. I know, I know, it’s a dumpster fire of angry hyperbole, pretend activism, humble-brags, and abuse, but…

I used to learn a lot from people on Twitter. They used to make me laugh and show me wonderful things. I miss that.

I unfollowed everyone a few months back and stopped posting. I’m thinking now that I will cautiously start following people again. In order to keep my feed sane, I have some rules.

I’ll follow you, but only if…

  • You don’t mention Trump more than once a week
  • No more than 10% of your tweets are links to your podcast (or any podcast, for that matter)
  • No more than 10% of your tweets are ads for your “side gig”
  • You only retweet things that you personally find interesting
  • You don’t bitch about everything
  • You don’t retweet other people bitching
  • When you point out wrongs in the world, you do it constructively and thoughtfully
  • You don’t pretend to know everything about whatever topic is trending today
  • In fact, don’t even mention whatever topic is trending today
  • You don’t spend much time speculating about things you really know nothing about

I’ll add to this list as I’m reminded of things that drove me away to begin with. Also, as I’ll be posting again, I’ll try to behave like someone I would follow.

Anyway, I’m still @jackbaty, who are you?

Instagram influencers are out, slackers are in (Quartzy)

Quartzy:

Where once the social network was basically lunch and sunsets, it’s now a parade of strategically-crafted life updates, career achievements, and public vows to spend less time online (usually made by people who earn money from social media)—all framed with the carefully selected language of a press release. Everyone is striving, so very hard.

And great for them, I guess. But sometimes one might pine for a less aspirational time, when the cool kids were smoking weed, eating junk food, and… you know, just chillin’.

God, let’s hope so. I’m exhausted just watching people try so hard.

(via David Chartier)