Revisiting Kaninchensicher

For National Blog Post Month, I will be publishing a new blog post on midnight (UTC) of every day of November. This is the first such post.

When I started this blog, I did not know what the blog’s focus should be. And initially, there was basically no focus. That grew organically over time.

Now, I have a pretty good idea about the kind of content I’d like to put on this blog (as opposed to my more technical GitHub Pages site, wafy.me). It’s a place where I draft a refreshing, modern, and optimistic view about life, society, and the future. It’s a place where I can express my ideas and beliefs, including controversial ones (like abolishing Valentine’s Day).

And indeed, most of the blog posts recently have tended towards that kind of expression. That doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to post interesting topics such as a procedural novel generator or an order-of-magnitude visualization, but these won’t be the true focus of this blog.

I don’t claim to be well-researched in any of the topics I write about. I simply write about what I think, and what I think is based off what I think I know. And therefore, I am open to being corrected. For example, I’ve had objections to my GMO blog post, which before used sources that were inaccurate and biased. My opinion on the matter has not really changed, but I have included the correction on the post itself in hopes that it is now more fair and factually correct.

On the other hand, I do hope that my thoughts on society are themselves thought-provoking. I hope that you, dear readers, enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. And of course, I’d be very interested in reading yours—I encourage you to leave comments.

Advertisements

“Kaninchensicher”?

I’m starting a new blog!

This isn’t exactly the first blog I’ve started, but the old blogs have either been lost to the void due to various service shutdowns, or have been intentionally neglected and have died of natural causes. I will not link those blogs from here, because frankly, they’re obsolete, uninteresting, and even I am embarrassed reading what I wrote several years ago.

One of the hardest parts about starting a blog is to pick a good name. After much deliberation, I picked the German word “kaninchensicher”, which roughly translates as “rabbit-proof”. This name may seem uninspired and random, but I personally derive more meaning from it. (However, I must note: generally I first pick a word I like and then find excuses to show its relevancy.)

The most obvious inspiration was the fact that my parents bought some new short fences, with the intent of rabbit-proofing our garden (the rabbits seem to love our vegetables, which unfortunately is not considered a good thing). I steadfastly believe this plot will not work, and at this point, it looks like my beliefs are correct. Rabbits, despite looking fairly large, can squeeze into very tiny holes.

Another inspiration comes from a current programming project of mine, which I will delve into more detail in a later post (provided that I do not lose interest in this blog after the first hour). In short, I am coding an artificially intelligent agent that plays the game Arimaa. Arimaa is a board game that one wins by getting a rabbit to the other side. The connexion between this and “rabbit-proof” is obvious.

I hope the above excuses are good enough to justify my use of “rabbit-proof”; however, I clearly also must justify my use of German. This is rather simple. I do not want a space or hyphen in the name of my blog, and “Rabbitproof” looks like the work of a first-grader. German is notorious for its heavy use of compound words, which comes in mighty handy here. (Some people will also be familiar with my use of “kartoffelsalat” instead of “cabbage salad” as an online nickname, which has a similar rationale.)

Hopefully I have adequately explained my choice of blog name. The next topic I set out to explain today is why I am starting a blog. Once again, there are numerous justifications for this, but they were generated ex post facto—the decision to start a blog preceded my knowledge of these reasons.

The most compelling reason I thought up was my belief that Twitter, once my preferred microblogging site, was becoming increasingly commercialized. I have noticed a heartbreaking increase in “promoted” tweets, which are not useful to me whatsoever. In addition, I am personally disheartened by 50% of my “Home” screen filled up with pictures of questionable relevance. True, a picture is worth a thousand words, but I feel a thousand words is contrary to the point of Twitter—concise communication in 140 characters or less!

I don’t mean to bash Twitter, of course. The company has my full support, as it is seemingly one of the only “social media” companies to actually support Internet privacy features like DNT. In addition, Twitter is still my preferred homepage for news, being more accessible than a newspaper, better designed than MSN, and (hopefully) less biased than Google News. I however no longer feel that it is a useful blogging platform—perhaps it never really was.

(Also, Jack Dorsey is one of my role models.)

Anyways, on to the next reason. Sometimes there are thoughts that I remember better if I write down. This may come in useful if I’m working on something, have an idea, and wish to incorporate it at a later time. I think through ideas more thoroughly if they are communicated, and ideas thought through more thoroughly are better. Of course, this is all conjecture—I have yet to observe the blog helping with my thought process.

The final reason, and perhaps the most genuine, is boredom. Sure, there are many things that I could be doing over the summer instead, but it would be very monotonous if I spent all summer doing those. Writing is one of my favourite pastimes anyways, so why not write a blog?

With that, I should conclude my first blog post on this blog. I will strive to provide interesting content once in a while. If there are any errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, diction, or any other category you care to name, please do submit them to me somehow, and I will make every effort to correct it.