josephbales.com


Cleaning Up This Mess

Part One

Oh wow, nearly another whole year has passed since my last blog post. If you are an infrequent visitor you may have noticed that I’ve simplified the design of the site quite a bit. For several years this blog has been sporting a Bootstrap based theme. While bootstrap themes make things easier (especially when using something like Bootswatch hosted from a CDN), it also adds a lot of overhead for what amounts to eye candy. While eye candy has its place, that place isn’t on the personal web site of a developer. I’m taking my inspiration from such famous developers as Richard Stallman and Donald Knuth.

While the argument could be made that these are a couple of old school developers who haven’t bothered, either intentionally or unintentionally, to keep up with modern design concepts, I do not think that is a valid argument because of one thing, content is king. Content was originally what the web and the internet in general were all about. No one is really coming here to see what new theme I’ve picked or the 2 hours I spent making it look “just so.” People come here to find out what I’ve being doing by reading about it in the content of these pages.

My real objective here was very simple. I wanted to have a web site that was extremely minimal when it came to styling and features and I wanted it to load so quickly that it would seem almost instantaneous. I would say that my goal has been accomplished. There are almost no images that load on this site. There are no fonts. There are no cookies or other forms of client side storage taking place. There are no CSS files that load from a CDN. Everything is hosted locally in static HTML and CSS files, and that’s it.

You’ll also notice that there is no javascript running on this site. I even removed the javascript that I was using to track visitors to this site via Google Analytics. I did this for two reasons. The first reason is that I noticed that my Pi-hole blocks Google Analytics, thus making it unreliable considering a good number of people run ad and tracking blocking software. The second reason is that I think internet privacy is important and I don’t want to track someone if they don’t want to be tracked and honestly, I don’t have any reason to track anyone.

Part Two

The other thing I’m working on cleaning up is the United States. The year is 2020 and we have a racist, bigoted, ignorant, misogynistic, authoritarian, man-child running the country. He’s dangerously close to getting a second term in office. We are two weeks out from election day and I’m still holding my breath, waiting for an “October Surprise” to drop on his main opponent, Joe Biden. While Biden was not my first, second, third, or fourth choice to be President, he’s the candidate we have that has the highest chance of beating Donald Trump, so he is who I will vote for. While many polls show Biden in the lead at this point, it’s a very slim margin and some of the polling organizations like Rassmusen and Trafalgar that predicted Trump’s 2016 win are showing Trump leading in several critical states. It’s a toss up at this point.

Even if we successfully remove Trump from office, it’s still not going to clean things up. We will have to hold whoever the next President is to a higher standard and work hard to get them to start making government work for the largest portion of people that it governs.