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search about a garden a tree a stream an entrance now

Joshua Whiting

learner, writer, creator, librarianish person

a stream

All posts and notes on this site, sorted by when published.


Men do outrage to their proper natures as the tool of an institution

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.25]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

Herein is the tragedy: that men doing outrage to their proper natures, even those called wise and good, lend themselves to perform the office of inferior and brutal ones. Hence come war and slavery in; and what else may not come in by this opening? But certainly there are modes by which a man may put bread into his mouth which will not prejudice him as a companion and neighbor.

– Henry David Thoreau, from “Monday,” A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (location 283 of 882)

Herein is the tragedy: that men doing outrage to their proper natures, even those called wise and good, lend themselves to perform the office of inferior and brutal ones. Hence come war and slavery in; and what else may not come in by this opening? But certainly there are modes by which a man may put bread into his mouth which will not prejudice him as a companion and neighbor.

– Henry David Thoreau, from “Monday,” A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (location 283 of 882)

Longer, with more context:

If, for instance, a man asserts the value of individual liberty over the merely political commonweal, his neighbor still tolerates him, that he who is living near him, sometimes even sustains him, but never the State. Its officer, as a living man, may have human virtues and a thought in his brain, but as the tool of an institution, a jailer or constable it may be, he is not a whit superior to his prison key or his staff. Herein is the tragedy: that men doing outrage to their proper natures, even those called wise and good, lend themselves to perform the office of inferior and brutal ones. Hence come war and slavery in; and what else may not come in by this opening? But certainly there are modes by which a man may put bread into his mouth which will not prejudice him as a companion and neighbor.

– Henry David Thoreau, from “Monday,” A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (location 283 of 882)

Standalone post link: Men do outrage to their proper natures as the tool of an institution
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Men execute nothing so faithfully as the wills of the dead...

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.25]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

“I love man-kind, but I hate the institutions of the dead un-kind. Men execute nothing so faithfully as the wills of the dead, to the last codicil and letter. They rule this world, and the living are but their executors.”"

– Henry David Thoreau, from “Monday,” A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (location 282 of 882)

“I love man-kind, but I hate the institutions of the dead un-kind. Men execute nothing so faithfully as the wills of the dead, to the last codicil and letter. They rule this world, and the living are but their executors.”"

– Henry David Thoreau, from “Monday,” A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (location 282 of 882)

Longer, with more context"

Thus it has happened, that not the Arch Fiend himself has been in my way, but these toils which tradition says were originally spun to obstruct him. They are cobwebs and trifling obstacles in an earnest man’s path, it is true, and at length one even becomes attached to his unswept and undusted garret. I love man—kind, but I hate the institutions of the dead un-kind. Men execute nothing so faithfully as the wills of the dead, to the last codicil and letter. They rule this world, and the living are but their executors. Such foundation too have our lectures and our sermons, commonly.

– Henry David Thoreau, from “Monday,” A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (location 282 of 882)

Standalone post link: Men execute nothing so faithfully as the wills of the dead...
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morning backyard through bedroom window

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.24]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.21]

morning backyard through bedroom window - 01

morning backyard through bedroom window - 02

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sun in the elms after the rainstorm

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.23]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.21]

Sun in elms after the rainstorm

Evening sun breaking through the clouds to some of the upper bows of the Siberian Elms after the rainstorm.

Sun in elms after the rainstorm

Evening sun breaking through the clouds to some of the upper bows of the Siberian Elms after the rainstorm.

Standalone post link: sun in the elms after the rainstorm
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Now (June 23, 2022)

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.23]
[Last Updated: 2022.06.23]

Here are some of the things I’m working on and thinking about now…

Here are some of the things I’m working on and thinking about now…

  • Prepping the soil and planting seeds for a ‘digital garden’ on this website.

  • Learning to love my backyard.

  • Entering full summer project mode at work.

  • Healing up my knee after a strangely catastrophic fall over my daughter’s bike in the garage last week.

  • Still playing Pokémon Legends: Arceus now and again - I’m more balanced about it now, though.

  • I’ve been listening to a lot of Joy Division and New Order - thinking about doing a deep dive into a whole bunch of other Manchester bands.

  • I’ve fully indulged my rwtfiw1 tendency lately.

This page was last updated on June 23, 2022. See my prior ‘now’ updates here.


Credit for the ‘now’ page concept goes to Derek Sivers.


  1. “reading whatever the f I want” ↩︎

Standalone post link: Now (June 23, 2022)
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Ant on Flower Buds

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.19]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

A large ant crawling on the buds of some plant growing through the fence from our neighbors' yard.

Ant crawling on flower buds - still

A large ant crawling on the buds of some plant growing through the fence from our neighbors' yard.

Ant crawling on flower buds - still

Standalone post link: Ant on Flower Buds
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Reading Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.19]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.22]

i’m paddling my way through Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, though it is definitely taking me more than a week.

Picture of my Library of America Thoreau volume open to ‘Monday’ from ‘A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’

I have this Library of America edition, but I’m actually mainly reading it on my phone - Standard Ebooks edition, added to the iOS Books app. The LoA edition has reference notes, so I look at it when I can, but I actually like reading on my phone.

i’m paddling my way through Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, though it is definitely taking me more than a week.

Picture of my Library of America Thoreau volume open to ‘Monday’ from ‘A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’

I have this Library of America edition, but I’m actually mainly reading it on my phone - Standard Ebooks edition, added to the iOS Books app. The LoA edition has reference notes, so I look at it when I can, but I actually like reading on my phone.

Screenshot of Thoreau Standard Ebook editions in the iOS 'Books' app

From my notebook, June 6, 2022

I think I’m more than 20% of the way into A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers now, so I can officially let myself share it.

Again, though, it’s hard not to think about all the other books I could or should be reading as well.

[Thoreau’s] going off right now about how poetry is the best thing to read and really we should just read poetry and not waste time with anything else. But he’s not exactly writing poetry himself [here], at least not in any traditional idea of poetry.

I want to read Leaves of Grass after this, but I also want to read Walden. And Spring and All. And Catalog of Unabashed Joy. And [Ovid’s] Metamorphosis. And a hundred other things. And a bunch of middle grade and YA stuff. And all the banned books. And all the digital gardening indieweb newsletter stuff. A Week, though. I should give it a week, as it says.

Snapshot of a spread from my notebook, written Monday, June 6, 2022 - portions transcribed above

Standalone post link: Reading Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
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Webmentions

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

Update: I’m sort of trying to implement webmentions on this website. I think I’m halfway there but I don’t really have any way to actually know because I don’t have any friends and I don’t share anything anywhere anymore.

Update: I’m sort of trying to implement webmentions on this website. I think I’m halfway there but I don’t really have any way to actually know because I don’t have any friends and I don’t share anything anywhere anymore.

Notes

Webmentions seem to be a key part of participating in the indieweb and interfacing my site with other networks, if I ever decided I wanted to participate more fully in the indieweb or re-engage with twitter or something.

I tried enabling them in my early days of playing with this Hugo iteration of my website, but couldn’t pull it together.

I think I am set up now and know more now that I can probably do it, so here I’m collecting notes/links/processes on how to do it.

Tools

https://webmention.net/implementations/#services

https://webmention.io/dashboard

https://brid.gy/twitter/jdwhiting

https://github.com/PlaidWeb/webmention.js

https://www.miriamsuzanne.com/2022/06/04/indiweb/

https://www.jayeless.net/2021/02/integrating-webmentions-into-hugo.html

https://fundor333.com/post/2022/indieweb-webmention-and-h-entry-in-my-blog/

https://www.synesthesia.co.uk/note/2022/02/21/webmentions-revisited/

https://rowanmanning.com/posts/webmentions-for-your-static-site/

Standalone post link: Webmentions
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Digital Gardening

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.08.11]

This is the first seed I’m planting in my digital garden: notes, links, and ideas about digital gardening itself.

This is the first seed I’m planting in my digital garden: notes, links, and ideas about digital gardening itself.

My Current Digital Garden Setup

For now I’m taking a cue from Tom Critchlow’s “wiki” (built into his existing Jekyll-to-GitHub Pages website setup.)

I have decided to plant my digital garden in a new folder structure within my existing website (my website runs on Hugo-to-Netlify, analogous to his setup.) So it will all be folders with markdown files, and I’ll eventually build some special templates in my Hugo theme to pull it all together on my site.

I’m trialing the Working Copy iOS app to be able to edit my website files (housed in a GitHub repository) directly on my phone. Being able to work on my digital garden from my phone was a prerequisite, and a main reason that initially I didn’t consider putting my garden straight into Hugo. I’ve used forestry.io a bit to update my website via my phone - it has been helpful in a pinch but always messes up my timestamps and other frontmatter, won’t let me organize the folder structure, etc. It’s not something I wanted to rely on further.

Tools and Technical Options for Digital Gardening

There are a lot of different setups I explored for keeping and publishing a digital garden.

Maggie Appleton curates a bunch of tools and resources for Digital Gardening in this GitHub repository: https://github.com/MaggieAppleton/digital-gardeners

Among these, the tool I went farthest down the line of exploring but didn’t adopt was Stroll, which is a flavor of TiddlyWiki with some bi-directional linking and what are described as other “Roam-like” features. (I haven’t tried Roam - I wanted to avoid building into a silo or paid service for this.)

I kind of lurk around the indieweb without actually involving myself, and I’d been seeing links and ideas around digital gardening popping up for a while, and I was really curious. Started bookmarking them and finally took a deep dive into reading about some of this in May of 2022.

My readings at first consisted mainly in going through Maggie Appleton’s links in her “A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden” https://maggieappleton.com/garden-history

(Also some other old hypertext essay of Bernstein’s…)

Standalone post link: Digital Gardening
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My Backyard Desk

[Originally Posted: 2022.06.18]
[Last Updated: 2022.07.21]

Update: my wife referred to this as my “moveable grotto,” which is ridiculous, but probably better. Definitely better.

Original: a view from my backyard “desk” just as I was creating the home page for my new “digital” garden.

At my “desk” in my backyard

Update: my wife referred to this as my “moveable grotto,” which is ridiculous, but probably better. Definitely better.

Original: a view from my backyard “desk” just as I was creating the home page for my new “digital” garden.

At my “desk” in my backyard

It started raining a minute or two after this, so I put away my laptop and waited it out because I didn’t want to go back in. It stopped, and now I’m posting this.

Standalone post link: My Backyard Desk
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Copyright 2022 Joshua David Whiting. Made in Millcreek, Utah, USA. Contact me. Built with Hugo and my own WP51 theme, still a work in progress. Hosted via Github and Netlify.