Site Design More Planning 2018-09-16

By Max Woerner Chase

In this post:

I put down "more planning", but I don't know what I'm going to plan, really. Maybe think about the OMI.

The idea of the One Man Institute is that it's a collection of resources for realistic world-building, with some advice on how much of the rest to actually apply, and how much to show your work, but the bulk of it being real scientific principles, and explorations of hypothetical situations in which something fundamental is changed or introduced, allowing the appearance of a physical law being "bent" or "broken".

For an example of the latter, in a setting with some kind of size-change technology that alters the matter making stuff up rather than changing the composition, we can expect that, if light works similarly to real light, then shrinking something would change its colors, and alter its passage of time. This is something that's not intuitively obvious if you don't know the physical principles, but the effects can be presented in a systematic fashion without requiring an explanation of the underlying mechanics.

So, that's the kind of thing I'd want for some of the content, but also stuff like counterfactuals in human evolution and social development. Ways of presenting evolutionary phenomena that didn't affect humans, affecting an intelligent species, but in a less ridiculous way than some high-profile franchises have done.

I'd really like to finish some long-form writing before acting like I have stuff to say here, though, so for the moment I just want to focus on planning the design and layout.

I've been a fan of TiddlyWiki for over a decade. It's what the original One-Man Institute of Inapplicable Physics (offline, but backed up) is written in, and it's probably what I'll use for the One-Man Institute of Counterfactual Experimentalism.

My plan, completely untested, is to try dropping a TiddlyWiki file into the source tree, and have Pelican rewrite it. The result should be a TiddlyWiki that lives inside the Three Dollar Quill formatting.

Unlike the rest of Three Dollar Quill, TiddlyWiki leans heavily on Javascript to present content. It's basically a single-page-app that doesn't load anything extra from the server. The user just clicks links to show more data that was pre-loaded.

In terms of content, I want to, before I put anything up, write up my ideas on How To Write Good, and try to apply them to my writing, after I've completed the Romance Instrumentality Project and rewritten more specific advice from other people. (The rewritten advice will be entirely for my own benefit; instead of posting it, I'll just link to the source material, because I have no plans to say anything that isn't already in the source material.)

After that, I want to see if I can build out the worldbuilding recommendations from the writing advice, somehow. Have a chain of justification, so that all worldbuilding advice from the OMI is expressed in terms of how it serves the writing, because I want to take the position that worldbuilding should serve writing.

Anyway, this post is late already, let's pack it in.

Next time, I look over this week.