Extroverted Introspection

Me looking at new things

Starting Out - a Mission Statement

So, here I am. To be fair, this is already my third attempt at starting a blog. The first two tries were quite unsuccessful because I either got tripped up with superficial issues like layout and typography or didn’t have a clear idea about what I was going to write about.

With probably tens of thousands of blogs on the subjects of software development, yet another one discussing how to set up Rails 4 on JRuby1 may be of interest to a few people, but only for a short time at best. And having a topic that you can continually write about is the most important thing to avoid being overrun in digital spiderwebs.

And so we come to what is going to be one of the important themes on this site: self-reflection and -improvement.

  1. Solution 1: I just set up a simple Octopress theme.
  2. Solution 2: The mission statement: writing about all the interesting courses I take, books I read and sometimes other things that I want to get off my chest.

My list of planned topics so far:

  1. “Think Again: How to Reason and Argue” by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Ram Neta on Coursera.
  2. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
  3. “Sun Tzu in the office: it’s not a battlefield, stupid”: inspired by this post on Inc.com
  4. “Grundlagen der Sozialpsychologie II” by Prof. Dr. Dieter Frey from LMU Munich on iTunes U
  5. “Rechtsphilosophie” by Prof. em. Dr. jur. Dr. jur. h.c. mult. Bernd Sch√ľnemann from LMU Munich on iTunes U

Especially the various Coursera courses I take should provide material for about one article a week, varying in length. Of course the blog will not in any way be able to be a substite for actually taking the respective classes. But I hope I’ll be able to give you some insight into what it’s all about and so you can decide whether you want to sign up for one of its future sessions yourself.

A note about comments

As you may have noticed, there are no comment forms on the blog. One reason is that the Disqus platform that’s integrated with Octopress has been giving me lots of headaches in the past.

But the other, much graver reason is that I’m completely flabberghasted about the law regarding comments on webpages in Germany. In a nutshell, it would require very strict oversight and moderation on my part because if somebody - in an attempt to troll, spam or for whatever reason - posts something that’s illegal in Germany, I would be personally held responsible. And although I’m doing this as a hobby, the fact that posts may occasionally include software-development-related topics could lead a potential judge to classify the blog as a “commercial” blog, leading to even more responsibilities.

But let’s make it into an advantage: if you want to share your thoughts on a certain subject, please send me a mail and I will respond or even make a follow-up post out of it.

I’m looking forward to getting feedback and hope I’ll be able to inspire your own thinking and learning.

  1. I did that when Rails 4 was still in heavy development and JRuby not officially supported yet. It was fun, including writing some custom PKCS#5 compatibility code.