To-do list for this site

How did you get in here? How did you get inside the sausage factory? Watch your fingers.

Things I am doing to spruce this place up as part of yak shaving my academic writing workflow.

convert to Quarto

integrate mailing list


  • A blog post is a very long and complex search query to find fascinating people and make them route interesting stuff to your inbox

    As you start routing information and putting out blog posts, you will begin to accumulate connections. Useful information will start to stream toward you, turning you into a small hub yourself. This will allow you to collect and curate information and route it back out, which will allow even more people to connect to you, in a flywheel that lets you do increasingly useful and good work. I especially enjoy it when intelligent people attack me; I then invite them to comment on upcoming drafts.

    You can also post to subreddits and forums, like LessWrong or the SlateStarCodex subreddit, that act like intellectual cafés on the internet. Pasting your posts there, it is easy to find community when you are starting out; you don’t have to scream into the void.

Render to markdown

Instead of to HTML. Many benefit in terms of having better hugo hooks.

Emi Tanaka, Scientific and Technical Blogging: Radix vs. Blogdown. There are some rendering glitches when I include it here, not sure why?

update: hugodown supports this.

So does quarto.

What might break for me?

Social interactions

Some of these are hard to do with my static site — which is to say, hard like ordinary dynamic websites are, not frictionless like my humble static site is.


Embedded serverless comments would be nice comments.

site metadata

HEAD documents the recommended tags for maximising social spread and suchlike from a website.


theming and integration work required.


A.k.a. ActivityStreams 2.0. I think this standard is real and is sometimes claimed to subsume comments and webmentions 🤷‍♂ It looks like there is variable effort involved in enabling the suite of features and widges here. Verifying my id in ActivityPub is chill. All the mutual sharing of data involves cryptographical signing etc. Out of scope for now.

better code highlighting

New themes method This is via highlight.js; I could use the server-side pandoc-based solutions such as pygments or chroma. Explanations of those by Maëlle Salmon. These look harder to integrate into Rmarkdown posts, but ok for native hugo.

Also code folding.

steal tricks from gwern

good tricks

especially regarding linkrot


render citations as data? Or at least link to the .bib file? See how radix does this?

export coins metadata?

or highwire metadata

Why are citations showing up as a sub div of the last div? Can I change that?

make an explicit header?


Get a search I can link to?

Fix safari search styling.

Go to page bundle structure

A lot of work; minimal gain for blogdown AFAICS.


I would also like to display most popular pages; that would be fun. I was going to use the netlify analytics api for that but I gave up because

  1. They did not introduce the API after a year of waiting
  2. Their traffic tracking data was swamped by content indexing.

If I want to work around in the mean time, Jim Nielson shows how.

Sort by certainty etc

Look nice

I made my own theme; it has various wonderful features such as being simple and easy to understand. However, it has the problem that I am no graphical designer.


TBD: choose a monospace font so I can control the size better. I’m currently using Jetbrains mono, which is fine, but not perfect. I would like a serifed code font that was for the cheezy old-timey typewriter feel, but also with low ambiguity of custom characters, and that supported a good range of characters. These desiderata do not seem to be available in free monospace fonts.

Other nice header fonts?

Credit font designers.


Also, paper texture? many seamless paper textures here

margin notes

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