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This site wouldn't be what it is without my dedicated contributor main_gi. He's been my de-facto editor for a long time, has helped me with CSS troubles, found an embarrassing vulnerability in my comment feature, and even contributed valuable insight that got me to change some beliefs.

Recent update log:

November 16: New article: Trying to change a living language.

November 15:

November 14: New Spem article: Questions. I'm still undecided on some aspects but I'm posting my thoughts. I've also added some content to the article on Should, and my retrospective of Final Fantasy 13's story. I'm glad I finally got this done. Also There is no history of philosophy, and There's no such thing as national debt.

November 13: New Spem conlang quickie: Verb objects. Also tons of new words. We're almost at 400 now :)

Something I'm considering is that opposites should always be sorted next to each other in search results. I could add a foreign key Opposite on the Word model that would enable that, but it would be a bit difficult to make it actually sort that way. Probably incur a performance hit. It'd also be a ton of work for me to go through all the words manually and tag their opposites, which I'd have to do. But if it's going to happen, better now than later. I'm just not sure if it is. I might need a different solution for sorting anyway. I don't like the "last modified at the top" sort I have now - it's good for seeing new stuff but I'd like to have an option to sort in a more reasonable way, like by advancement somehow.

November 12: New Spem conlang quickie: Should. It could use some feedback. I also added the voiced th to the alphabet. I don't like that sound and didn't want to use it, but last night I realized there are going to need to be a lot of nouns, and the extra letter will help a lot.

November 11: Dark mode switch added, as well as tons of progress on Spem and the button to hide this log (I figured it'd be useful on mobile).

November 10: I added the ability to set passwords for notification management.

November 9:

Notifications are here!

I haven't been this excited in a long time. I added the ability to opt-in to email notifications on comment replies! You enter your address and follow the link in the confirmation email to give your browser an auth cookie that lets you edit your subscription settings. There's still a lot I need to do, like schedule email sending in the background so posting a comment isn't delayed by it, allowing setting a username for your address so your comments can be authenticated, a way to view a subtree of the comments, and a bunch more, but I've been at this all day so I'm takin' a break.

Part of the reason I'm so excited is that not having this was one of the main things holding me back from going for publicity. I didn't want to make any big pushes if people might come here and leave a comment and then forget about it. In a few more days, when this feature is more polished, it might be time to go to the Backalley discord and start spreading the word about Spem, make a account where I mostly just mirror my anarchism-related articles, maybe debate Eso on metaphysics...

There's also a new article: Fighting over the keyboard.

I cleared two months of old update history, because recently I noticed how much scrolling that meant for mobile users to see the comments. Probably should have a button to hide the update log or something.

November 8: Two new articles: Worrying is not irrational and Disputed premise, not circular reasoning. I also revised my explanations of why it's impossible to rationally believe that consciousness is a product of matter and how sleep works.

November 7: Four new articles: Societal diagnosis: personal determinism; "Representation" - the worst argument for the legitimacy of government?; Nano Is A Good Editor; and What is 'magic'? An attempted answer.

November 6: There have been tons of new words added to Spem lately, including an expansion to the demonstratives. I also added my review of the Fish shell.

November 4: New article: ThErE aRe No HiStOrIcAl ExAmPlEs Of AnArChY

November 2: Well! After so much indecision I finally went ahead and migrated the backend to Django. We'll see how this goes. The comments and Spem dictionary shouldn't be messed up, but if they are that's why. The old version of the site is available at, so if the comments are broken, you could comment there to get my attention.

November 1: New Spem articles: Quickie: quantifier-type compounds, and Language design insight: the difference between verbs and adjectives. New pseudo-Protagonism article: How I left Catholicism.

October 30: I added the majority of my catalog of recommended packages for Unix.

October 27: Well, I made it so the article title displays in Recent Comments instead of the filepath... I had a debacle and accidentally took down the production deployment's backend for a good 20 minutes, but hopefully no one noticed.

Later today: I posted A Thought on the Motivations of Theists. I actually thought I had posted this a couple days ago but I just now noticed I never did.

October 21: I changed the Spem alphabet: j is now used to represent the voiced postalveolar fricative; we don't need ʒ.

October 19: New article: Media Violence Does Not Breed Violence.

October 17: I posted the Spem quickie on linking clauses, although most of what I declare there is still uncertain. I also added an endpoint to get all in-use tags so at the dictionary search page you have a dropdown to select tags instead of me putting the list in the article. Since the enter hotkey doesn't work with selects, I also bound Esc to search.

October 16: I've been making tons of progress on Spem, getting it up to almost 200 words (I still have 300 more in the dictionary file most of which need some rethinking), adding the quickie on demonstratives and the quickie on the tense system, and finally implementing meaning search. It currently uses regex to search for whole-word matches of each space-separated word you type. I also enabling text-searching the notes field (don't worry, regex search will be available when I have time too!).

I also posted new articles: Age of consent ideology is self-contradicting and How I Became an Anarchist.

October 14: I've switched the site to a dark color scheme. White on black is easier on the eyes and on the battery.

October 12: Phew! I fixed the table CSS. I don't know if anyone noticed but yesterday evening I noticed some horrible issues with the Spem dictionary search page and everything I tried to do to fix it created other problems. I got so frustrated with it that I gave up for the night and went to bed. Today I got it - the magic is to wrap the table in a div that has overflow-x: auto instead of setting it on the table itself :)

October 11:

I guess I'm not moving to Django after all. I was really hyped for it and spent a few hours trying to get it to work today, but I found out its support for lists is abysmal. There's apparently no built-in widget to allow editing list fields of database objects from its admin interface, which was something I'd already more or less implemented myself, so that killed a lot of the appeal. I could implement it myself in Django's framework but that would feel so terrible, learning Django's UI customization API just for that when I already have the skills in HTML and Django knowledge won't transfer to other framworks. And it also looks like I'd have to write the search feature myself to search for values in list fields.

I guess the next big thing I need to do besides that little backend improvement is CSRF prevention. I think I know how to do it, but it'll take at least a few hours to get it done.

I also looked into header shortcut links today. I found a workable HTML parsing library (the Python stdlib one I don't think counts as workable) and figured out how to use it to add the pilcrow elements or whatever. I was pretty close to getting it working but then I realized even with position:sticky the navbar covers the jumped-to header. 😠.

October 10: I've added the first few dozen words to Spem! I'm realizing that maybe I should have a way of adding "tags" to words so it's easier to categorize them.

October 9: I added my opinion of SQLite.

I feel kinda bad that of my 5 software reviews so far only 1 of them has been positive. I don't want to look like I'm one of those Mr. Plinkett-style reviewers who just negatively reviews everything because it's fun to read negative reviews and twists the facts or just ignores everything good about the work. I do have predominately positive words of Nginx and Haskell coming (and maybe Postgres if I didn't feel like I already did in the SQLite review), but I can't review Haskell for a long time yet because I'm still way underqualified to do that. I might be for another year. Nginx I just need to do a lot of research to confirm; I'm not lacking in experience or understanding.

October 7: New articles: Why you shouldn't trust any web service with a forgot password button, and Screenshots Prove Nothing. I also reorganized the argument index into the column layout since it has more than enough articles for that now.

October 6: I posted a few pages on my conlang (see above), although I haven't posted any of the vocab yet.

October 5: Three new articles: real-world examples of anarchic altruism, life is not sacred, and the case for letting people die.

October 4: I added The two righteous philosophies of "deserve".

October 3 (late night): I added Righteous rules don't need to be specified.

October 3: I migrated the comment database to a different DBMS. I'm pretty sure everything's working again and there are fewer single points of failure now. I also noticed a bug with comment sorting: when you post a new top-level comment, it would appear at the bottom and assume its rightful position when you reloaded the page (replies were sorted correctly). This has been fixed.

I also cleared out the comments on the index page. I don't think it's good to leave the place polluted with testing comments like that.

October 2: My belief in "the Principle of Contingent Uncertainty" has been scrapped now that I understand better how the metaphysics of beliefs work. I've renamed the remaining parts of that article to The legitimate answer to the Cartesian evil spirit scenario.

Later: I made it so you don't have to reload the page after posting a comment 💪, and added an article: There's no such thing as a promise.


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