Emacs Sparks Joy

Much like how some people enjoy tinkering with motorcycles, electronics, or craft projects, I enjoy tinkering with software. If my computing environment stays the same for too long, I start getting restless. I crave constant change.

Emacs is a tinkerer’s dream, an infinite sandbox that can be molded into something entirely different each day. I can dive into the manual and discover new features, try different combinations of packages to see what’s most comfortable for me, glue together packages to make them do things they was never intended to do, write snippets of ELisp that help me get my work done faster, and so much more.

In this way Emacs is not only a tool that lets me do my job, but also a creative outlet that provides endless hours of entertainment and joy. I consider it one of the best pieces of software ever written.

Of course, there are other reasons for using Emacs — longevity, efficiency, ubiquity — but these features can be found in many other tools both free and commercial. Only Emacs is good at being Emacs.

The Weird Web

In the vast desolation of the modern Web — now controlled entirely by billionaires, venture capitalists, and media conglomerates — there still exist a few noble souls who are keeping alive the spirit of the weird, creative, and human Web of the late nineties and early noughties.

No maps will lead you to the Old Web, but these hyperlinks might light your way:

  • Wiby – a search engine for the Old Web.
  • BoardReader – a search engine that only searches forum threads.
  • Million Short – a search engine that lets you exclude the world’s biggest websites from your search results.
  • HrefHunt – a curated collection of creative websites by real humans.
  • NeoCities – like GeoCities, but re-imagined for the modern era. Their sites directory is what you want to look at.
  • IndieWeb – a community of people building technology that lets you own everything you create, while also being able to participate in Big Tech’s social platforms.
  • 🕸💍 – an IndieWeb webring. You want to start by clicking on one of the websites in the directory.
  • IndieWeb.xyz – an IndieWeb aggregator.

I’m always looking to add to this list. If you know of a website that belongs here, please get in touch over email or twitter.