Ian Lai
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Building a New Home

· 3 min. read

It is unbelievable how I am able to think of so much to talk about and to write about when I am trying to sleep or when I am taking a shower; however, when I attempt to convey my thoughts, I am unable to synthesise the blob that is in my brain. For a long time (and even most recently) I have tried to convince myself that it was due to my insecurities and fear of creating an abomination of unguided thoughts, a Frankenstein. I am a master to countless number of Frankensteins and one need only browse my archives to discover them. Perhaps once I have developed an environment that is conducive for the interaction of my thoughts and my social skills (writing and speaking in this context) will I be capable of overcoming this obstacle - the "right state of mind".

A part of me however, has begun considering the possibility that I may not have come to terms with the observed fact that anything non-mathematical is incapable of achieving perfection (thanks Plato, really). I feel it is crucial for any writing or social platform to emulate the sort of environment we experience in real life to provide the necessary psychological cues and to hence, create a genuine experience; a sense of home. For example, I have recently sought refuge at Medium and have attempted to publish my first writing but to no avail. Being the amour-propre (I use this term very loosely) man who I am, Medium's lack of author attribution (and rights) is unappealing to me and while it succeeds in creating a "social experience" I can call home, this home is definitely not mine. It is not one which I can call fyianlai.com, that is for sure. Meanwhile, my existing WordPress web site is one which I can call fyianlai.com, but it is not one which can emulate the serenity that I experience in a distraction-free, warm shower or in my cosy bed - at least not to the extent at which Medium achieves it. Obviously developing my own platform is the only advisable option at this point, but that brings me back to the original question problem, how do I achieve the utopian platform?

I have been stuck at a creative and to some extent, a logical block these past few days while trying to brainstorm ideas for my web site's design and its features. Should I pursue the "static site" approach or should I consider the "dynamic" approach instead? How should it look like and how do I design it so that it does not seem like a complete rip-off from another site? Building a new home is not easy. There are a lot of considerations and re-branding is definitely one of them. One consideration leads to another. Indeed, if re-branding is the key objective then the technologies utilised would say a lot about you as a web developer, and particularly your awareness about the current trends. If I am incapable of achieving the "perfect platform", how certain can I be that simply moving out of WordPress would encourage me to be more "social" in my internet home?

I am uncertain if my dilemma lies in a failure to emulate an experience, or if its philosophically and psychologically related. The latter being my absurd pursuit for perfection and a simultaneous recognition of the lack of feasibility of such task. For example, I would commit an unnecessary amount of time to formulate what I deem the "perfect essay" that would encompass all relevant sources I have acquired only to resent it the moment I discover flaws and imperfections. Based on the aforementioned assessment and example, I suppose my passivity can only be explained as an equilibrium, and specifically, a mental stalemate whereby doing nothing will achieve less psychological conflict. I find myself difficult to analyse sometimes so my only solution for now is to search and destroy all possible roots of the problem. Indeed, I am writing this post to address the latter problem, hoping that I would eventually condition myself into accepting and ignoring this cognitive dissonance. After all, practice makes perfect.

It is this process of self-discovery that really fascinates me. After all, humans are dynamic in nature and unlike mathematics, we can not achieve the same level of objectivity, but that is something I will save for and discuss in a future post.

Seeing then that truth consisteth in the right ordering of names in our affirmations, a man that seeketh precise truth had need to remember what every name he uses stands for, and to place it accordingly; or else he will find himself entangled in words, as a bird in lime twigs; the more he struggles, the more belimed. And therefore in geometry (which is the only science that it hath pleased God hitherto to bestow on mankind), men begin at settling the significations of their words; which settling of significations, they call definitions, and place them in the beginning of their reckoning.

- Hobbes, Leviathan

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