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Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, Indieweb, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation







At one point, for several years I had a particular destiny and singular focus, and things seemed great. It took several years after having and then losing(?)/moving on from that focus to figure out what to do next. I can currently relate to not only your general thoughts about wanting to do everything, but even specifically to many of them including math, physics, publishing, ancient languages, computer science, philosophy, etc. The tough part is that I always feel like the "job" I want to have hasn't been invented yet. It's taken a while, but it sure seems fun searching for it now that I've embraced the search. If you do ever figure things out and the "company" has another opening, do let me know...


@indiescripter I think you've probably got a pretty good start on the IndieWeb philosophy. And an even better start in that you're writing your thoughts on your own website first and then syndicating them to silos like Twitter.

I think that part of what you're missing about being able to reply to Aaron's original post is that his site both sends and accepts a new web protocol known as Webmention ( Thus on his original post, you'll see that I've "liked" it by making a post on my own site (, and then in the background sending a webmention from my server to his to notify him about it. He can then decide whether or not to accept and/or display it (in this case mine appears next to his star icon at the bottom of the post). For the likes and comments/replies on his post, you can hover and find the permalinks for all of the responses on other people's originating sites. I'm sure yours would have shown up too, but I suspect that your site isn't sending webmentions yet, so his site is unaware that your post exists. I'm sure he'll have seen the Twitter response you gave though.

I know Aaron also often syndicates copies of his posts to Twitter. There's another IndieWeb related service known as which bootstraps webmentions onto Twitter (in addition to other social silos) so that replies or comments to the copy that got syndicated to Twitter also send copies to the original post. In this case, he only syndicated it to, so it was less simple for you to have interacted with his post because there wasn't a Twitter version for you to interact with.

You'll find that within the broader community that different members will support varying levels of functionality (based mostly on what they're interested in), so someone like Tantek ( will post on his own site and syndicate to Twitter, but he doesn't yet display webmentions. You can, however, post your replies to him on your own site and syndicate them to Twitter (perhaps using publish?) to reply to his syndicated copy on Twitter where he'll see the notification of your reply. You yourself serve as another example as you don't (yet?) offer a comment field on your own post. Perhaps you may never, but that's your choice. (I'll mention incidentally that many static website owners are using Aaron's for sending/receiving webmentions, see also:

I think that a lot of the goal is to not only have fun with what you're doing on your own website, but do things which you find interesting/useful for yourself. Are you interested in locations/check-ins []? Reading related posts []? Maybe other types of status updates []? Always work on your own itches [] first.

Just be careful, because lurking in IRC or browsing the IndieWeb wiki for a while and seeing what others are working on or doing can make you very "itchy". Though the reverse is true that seeing what others have done (even how silos have done things in the past) can make it easier for you to build it not only better, but perhaps more quickly. Perhaps the CMS or language you're using is being used by others in the community []? This may make it easier for you to go farther/faster by using their opensource code, or perhaps make it better by contributing some of your own thoughts/feedback/code?

Keep up the search, and let us know if we can be of further help/assistance.


This sounds a lot like the opening thoughts of the IndieWeb movement:
They not only live this philosophy, they're pushing the envelope by building new infrastructure to make it even better.


@natalieasis Probably not much you don't know already. There's LOTS of philosophy, 1/6 Greene minus string theory (it covers core theory/quantum fields--with no equations, naturally); 1/6 Bayesian theory, a little bit of entropy, no IT really, 1/6 complexity and some basic biology, and then even more philosophy. You'll probably enjoy Part 4, but most of the rest will be review of what you already know. My (extended) review will cover the few pieces you'll be interested in without eating up as much time. Overall, it's probably better as something readable for your parents to understand some of what you're studying.

DM me your email with a preference for .mobi or .epub format and it's in your lap.


Replied to a post on :

Excerpt not copying properly · Issue #7 · meitar/wp-crosspost

When I do this:
Post something on my self-hosted WP blog without anything in the "Excerpt" field

This happens:
The crosspost that appears on seems to have cut and pasted a portion of the body of the original along with the notice about the original post into the excerpt field.

Complicating things somewhat is that I'm using the 2016 theme which utilizes the excerpt as a magazine-like "kicker" or subtitle, so it publishes the excerpt as a teaser line between the title of the post and the traditional body of the post. With most themes this "bug" isn't as problematic as the excerpt is used as metadata, but in my case it's publishing content in a duplicative fashion.

Original post:
Syndicated post:

As an aside, given your personal philosophy and the motivation behind this particular plugin and your tumblr crossposter, if you're not already aware of them, I thought I'd mention the [IndieWeb movement]( which is firmly behind people owning their own data (as opposed to corporate silos like Facebook, Twitter, et. al. owning it) as well as their online identities. (It's also part of the reason I've been using this particular plugin). I suspect you'll appreciate their mission and potentially be able to use portions of their opensource code and related work.


Replied to a post on :

Updated and works wonderfully! Thanks. (I was worried it would be worse as I've heard from colleagues that IG has been pulling developer API access recently.)

Given the philosophy behind this plugin and your Twitter plugin, I thought I'd take a moment to mention which is a developer movement to assist people in owning all of their own content/data rather than relying on corporate silos/walled gardens. Your plugins sit squarely in this philosophical area.

There is a suite of related plugins (see,, and that do additional types of similar data import and improved functionality. One particular function you (and your users) may appreciate is some of the plugins in combination with a service at allow one to backport comments and likes from instagram, twitter, facebook, and google+ onto one's associated post on WordPress. As an example see the comments on: The combination of the your plugin and some of these allow users to own all of their instagram activity outright.

If you're interested and free this weekend, they're streaming a big annual meeting from Portland


Sounds as if the Hands text is in the vein of the growing Big History movement, though I doubt that he uses the term to describe his work as such.

I'm about halfway through physicist Sean Carroll's new book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, & the Universe Itself (Basic, May 2016, which is very good. So far it covers the build up of modern physics laced with more philosophy of science than most popular science books include and is an interesting read.


Replied to a post on :

I just put together a fresh install and ran the import, but it maxed out at 3200 tweets, which only gets me back to early 2013 rather than my total of 5k+ tweets going back to early 2008. Does Twitter have a hard limit for pulling in tweets historically or is this a bug in the plugin? Or even a daily rate limit?

I know Twitter has a download of one's entire history. Could this data store be used to improve initial import while still maintaining completeness?

This is a great concept and fits right in with the philosophy. I suspect many in the community there would use this.


Replied to a post on :

<blockquote>"35 million academics, independent scholars and graduate students as users, who collectively have uploaded some eight million texts"</blockquote>
35 million users is a lovey number, but their engagement must be spectacularly bad if only 8 million texts are available.

<blockquote>"the platform essentially bans access for academics who, for whatever reason, don’t have an account. It also shuts out non-academics."</blockquote>
They must have changed this, as pretty much anyone with an email address (including non-academics) can create a free account and use the system.

<blockquote>“I don’t trust,”</blockquote>
Given his following discussion, I can only imagine what he thinks of big publishers in academia and *that* debate.

<blockquote>"McGill’s Dr. Sterne calls it “the gamification of research,”</blockquote>
Most research is too expensive to really gamify in such a simple manner. Many researchers are publishing to either get or keep their jobs. And if anything, the institutionalization of "publish or perish" has already accomplished the "gamification", is just helping to increase the reach of the publication. Given that research shows that most published research isn't even read, much less cited, how bad can really be?

The article rails against not knowing what the business model is or what's happening with the data, I suspect that the platform itself doesn't have a very solid business plan and they don't know what to do with the data themselves except tout the numbers. I'd suspect they're trying to build critical mass so that they can cash out by selling to one of the big publishers like Elsevier, who might actually be able to use such data. And on that subject, where's the comparison to the rest of the competition including or, which in fact was purchased by Elsevier?

In sum, it sounds to me like a bunch of luddites running around yelling "fire", particularly when I'd imagine that most feed into the more corporate side of publishing in major journals rather than publishing it themselves on their own websites. I'd further suspect they're probably not even practicing samizdat.

For academics who really want to spend some time and thought on a potential solution to all of this, I'll suggest that they start out by owning their own domain and own their own data and work. The movement certainly has an interesting philosophy that's a great start in fixing the problem; it can be found at


An Annotated Domain of One’s Own

2 min read

Jeremy, Congratulations on having your own domain! I was poking around today and was excited to see that you'd moved over from Genius.

I'm impressed that you specifically mention the IndieWebCamp philosophy, which I've also been using for the past couple of years myself.  If you need some help in IndieWeb-ifying your WordPress install, I'd be happy to help, though it's now much, much easier to do than it was even a year ago. Shortly, I'm hoping to finish up a post about the IndieWeb and academia/educational related sites, which might also be helpful, though I'm not sure when that's actually going to be finished.

I'd love nothing more than to have Hypothesis be able to have webmention support so that when people annotate my own pages or reference them across the web, the system would automatically send me a notification of that fact. Are there any coders at who are also part of the IndieWeb movement who might consider doing this? Is there a way to help suggest this into's roadmap?

Finally, as a side-note, to help beautify your web presence a bit, you might notice that your photo doesn't show up in the author position in your 2016 theme on single posts.  To fix this, you can (create and) use your username/password to create an account on their sister site Uploading your preferred photo on Gravatar and linking it to an email will help to automatically populate your photo in both your site and other wordpress sites across the web. To make it work on your site, just go to your user profile in your wordpress install and use the same email address in your user profile as your gravatar account and the system will port your picture across automatically. If necessary, you can use multiple photos and multiple linked email addresses in your gravatar account to vary your photos.

Congratulations again!


Replied to a post on :

Brief reply to: Is majoring in liberal arts a mistake for students?

What magisterial sounding pontification! Sadly, it’s not much different than the early philosophies of Socrates and Plato or many of the other early progenitors of the humanities and liberal arts. I get the impression that the author hasn’t read much philosophy and has not much grounding in the liberal arts. While I agree with the spirit in which the piece is written, I find it deplorable that there aren’t what should be obligatory mentions of words like trivium, quadrivium, or philosophy, but rather the corpus of work in which the author seems steeped is that of only modern day authors of popular science (Pinker, Gladwell, Kahneman, et. al.) who have some interesting viewpoints, but ones which require at least a grounding in the liberal arts to pick apart. Several times Khosla demeans the liberal arts and uses the repeated example that a reader should be able to pick apart and think critically about articles in The Economist. To do this requires a knowledge of logic and rhetoric which are two of the pillars of what? — yes, the liberal arts! 

He also seems unaware of big movements within the humanities and sciences like Bill Gates and David Christian’s Big History Project which are going a long way towards providing a more balanced education in history, economics, physics, chemistry, biology and evolution. I find here, no prima facie evidence of his knowledge of Thomas Kuhn or Karl Popper, which might help win me to his argument. In all, aside from the passing references to one or two recent works, this entire argument is not much different from many that could have been written at the beginning of the industrial revolution. How blind so many must be to seemingly think there’s something new here.

Most appalling to me here is that the author doesn’t seem to give even a passing nod or small wink to C.P. Snow or “The Two Cultures” []which, at heart, is really the substance of his entire argument, he’s just blind to it’s existence. 

Yes, we certainly need more emphasis on the quadrivium portion of the liberal arts, and in particular mathematics and critical thinking which seem to have been left by the wayside. It is deplorable that the highest extent of mathematics that 99% of college students are exposed to terminates in the 17th century for the most part. Sadly, many college students are left without the ability to think critically and deeply, not to mention the hordes of students in America who barely make it through high school and don’t attend college. One also only needs to skim through recent issues of Nature [], one of the world’s most pre-eminent scientific journals to discover that a multitude of advanced researchers with Ph.D.s lack the ability to properly design scientific experiments or evaluate the simple statistical analyses to reach the correct conclusions. What does this mean for readers of The Economist who aren’t even presented with any actual data and are supposed to be able to think critically about a writer’s hidden assumptions.

Yes, we need far, far more, but alas, this poor article only touches the tip of the issue and it sadly only does so with less than half of the picture.


I spent most of the night working on the works of Thomas Reid for @boffosockobooks.


"Hiring and interviewing are much more akin to literary criticism or philosophy than they are to math.”