A Blog Revival Thanks to Hugo and ChatGPT

Long time no see! I have made many different administrative changes to this site, the main one of which has been switching to Hugo for my backend. As such, the RSS feed has changed (if you’re subscribed please use the new URL) and the structure of the site has changed a bit as well. I chose Hugo primarily because I felt like it would allow me to have the kind of static site generation I desire without any unnecessary bloat. This includes keeping this blog neat and simple, recommending similar articles to users at the bottom, and linking to actually relevant things that people care about. Basically, Hugo allows me to implement what I believe to be good UI theory; keep it simple, stupid.

On that note, the CSS has gotten incredibly simplified as well. I’m a sucker for good aesthetics, but I really wanted the focus of this site to be on the actual content of the blog itself, and I’m actually a big fan of Firefox’s reader mode. So, I decided to steal create a heavily inspired variant with the help of ChatGPT. I hope the results are to your liking.

In addition, ChatGPT has been quite a bit of help in figuring out how Hugo works in general. The bots won’t be writing my articles anytime soon (rest assured this site will stay 100% bot-free in the writing department), but in terms of really implementing, troubleshooting, and writing syntax, it’s hard to beat it.1

I have a few ideas for some blogposts coming up, which might tow the line more closely to a rant than anything else, but hey; it’s my platform 😏

I have some rather ambitious ideas besides this blog, including a wiki and search engine, among other things. Through the past couple years, I have accrued what I consider to be some rather valuable learning resources in many different categories that I would personally like to share, archive, and document. Hopefully I can garner some support for these things. I have redone my donation link, as I only take Monero for the moment. The XMR that people donate here will be used directly to finance the website and domain, as well as other server costs. At the moment, I’m not looking into any bank or FIAT payments, as Monero is just currently the more convenient and privacy-friendly medium of exchange for me.

To wrap this up, to those of you reading this: I would encourage you to take similar steps in sharing, preservation, and archiving. I’m probably going to write a whole post about this, but I believe that the internet as we’ve known it for the last 20 years is going to come to close pretty quick. It’s already been happening, but the amount of censorship (not just of politics, but of everything) on websites like YouTube have just been insane. I specifically mention YouTube as the prime example because as we speak, comments are being deleted for no discernable reason, as well as videos/channels. Music bits, not just in recent videos, but in older ones get automatically muted for copyright protection, sometimes removing vital information from the video. I’ve also seen instances of YouTube or companies under YouTube’s wing downright blackmailing these videographers into censoring their material under threat of a takedown. This includes blurring out parts they don’t like as well as the aforementioned muting. Need I mention the obliteration of the dislike button as well?

It might seem odd to be this concerned about YouTube considering most people don’t seem to take it so seriously, but YouTube may be one of if not the largest video library we’ve ever seen in human history. Literal billions2 of tutorials, documentaries, curriculums, entertainment, animations, and many other things all call YouTube home. Considering YouTube’s further removal of features, including their recent decision to purge accounts that haven’t been active in over two years. I think anybody would struggle to fully comprehend the consequences of that. Sure, many accounts are probably trash and should be cleaned out, but what about the old tutorial channels that made videos long ago but have since moved on? The amateur yet charming projects that showed us what people with Windows Movie Maker and MS Paint were capable of? God forbid, people who have passed away and literally are not able to log into their accounts ever again. Once again, a corporation’s scorched earth policy is going to have drastic effects not just on their website, but on culture as a whole. It was already hard to discern good videos from bad after the dislike removal, but now we may not even have a good selection of videos to choose from.

Anyways I shouldn’t ramble. All this is to say that if you haven’t, download yt-dlp and save what you can before it’s too late. I recommend these archivist scripts if you want to save all the metadata, subtitles, and comments as well.

I don’t want this to become a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, but I think we should be prepared for the real possibility that we’re heading into a technological dark age where we don’t know much truth besides that which is just handed to us. All I can to say to that is, “not on my watch.”

  1. In my opinion, though it is prone to mistakes, the fact that it can try and remedy them in real-time mitigates that completely. ↩︎

  2. Following Timeworks Studios’ theory, assuming that 500 hours of videos have been uploaded every minute from YouTube’s inception and using a simple Google search as a minimum, we can estimate that there are between 9,000,000,000 to 34,000,000,000 rounded up to the nearest billion. ↩︎