Jack Baty – Director of Unspecified Services

Early notes about Roam Research

Roam is “A note-taking tool for networked thoughts.” There’s nothing better than trying a new tool and having it feel immediately right. Roam thinks the way I do. Or at least it behaves in a way that makes sense to me. The world is short on tools with nicely-implemented bi-directional linking. I LOVE bi-directional linking. This is why I’ve continued using TheBrain for so many years. I connect two things and suddenly they both know about each other forever.

Taika Waititi on Apple Keyboards

Taika Waititi at the Oscars: Apple needs to fix those keyboards. They are impossible to write on. They’ve gotten worse. It makes me want to go back to PCs Could be the most interesting thing said at the oscars :).


Org-roam is a new Emacs package by Jethro Kuan. Here’s his blog post introducing org-roam. I’ve a feeling this is going to be something. I’ve been using Roam for a while now and it’s wonderful. Easy linking between pages/notes and automatic bi-directional linking with context is so great. All this Roam use made me start feeling less interested in keeping notes in Org mode. Gasp! Putting notes in Roam pays immediate dividends.

Moving sites around

This is just me taking notes about where stuff is and where it’s going, server-wise. Running Cloudron has been a great experience, but I don’t know that I can swing the $30/month fee for the convenience. Rumor has it that they are working on a more palatable pricing structure for personal use. I’ll look forward to that, but for now… I’ve spun up a fresh EC2 instance and installed and moved a few things from other servers.

TiddlyWiki and Roam and my Daily Notes

A few notes about differences between TiddlyWiki and Roam related to my daily note taking process. In October, 2018, I created a wiki at rudimentarylathe.org using the wonderful TiddlyWiki. Since then I’ve written just shy of 1,000 "tiddlers" there and it’s been a totally pleasant experience. The original intent of the wiki was to record notes about things or topics that interested me. I planned to keep notes on "


I’ve been using 1Password for years without too many issues. It’s a nicely designed and implemented app with a long history. I really had no reason to look elsewhere. However, there’s been a lot of noise lately about them taking $200 million in VC money. I’m not that concerned. They’ve grown and want to grow faster, so fine. It did, however, make me take a quick look at the alternatives, just in case.

Moved copingmechanism.com to Ghost

So, Ghost? Sure, why not. The short version is that I simply wanted to try Ghost. The longer version is the usual combination of boredom, curiosity, and frustration with WordPress. I’ve also never really come to love WordPress' Gutenberg editor. It’s powerful, but feels so janky in use that it ruins the experience of writing. My Coping Mechanism blog was always going to be image-heavy, so I’d hoped that having so much layout flexibility with Gutenberg would be useful.

404 Page Not Found - Kate Wagner

Kate Wagner - The Baffler: Because websites had to either become apps or self-optimize for mobile, web design declined from its creative, more variegated heights to become flat, highly minimalistic, and multi-platform, and the results are, frankly, fucking boring. The stories and photos can still be fun and amazing, but the delivery is totally boring. The scene of this struggle between the hideous-beautiful old internet and the cleanly if ungodly 2.


I like the idea of Letter.wiki. Letter is a platform for thoughtful conversation. One concern is that even though they are ostensibly 1:1 conversations, it is impossible to write as if there’s no audience other than the recipient, as there is with, say, an actual letter. The unavoidable desire to sound smart in front of the bystanders contains too large an opportunity to spoil the conversation.

Still (maybe) sticking with Dropbox

In July I wrote that I’d be Sticking with Dropbox. This is still true, but a couple things happened recently that have me thinking about it again. A handful of files I put into a shared folder never showed up in one of the other person’s copy of the folder. She asked me about them, I looked and saw them. She didn’t. Then suddenly they appeared. This was nearly 3 weeks after I originally shared them.

Using the Emacs Deft package for topic journals

One of the first Emacs packages I tried was Deft. As a long-time nvAlt user, Deft felt like home, except in Emacs. I started putting all kinds of notes into Deft. I used it as a kind of inbox for everything. It quickly became a mess, so it fell out of favor. I switched to using a giant notes.org file with Capture templates to make jotting things down easier. Re-reading Derek Sivers' post Benefits of a daily diary and topic journals got me thinking that Deft might work well for “Thoughts on” topic journals.