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Sunday 9 March 2014

Post-Fortean Meta-Complexity

This is yet another nostalgic post about something that no longer exists – although in this case it only ceased to exist last week.

I originally set up my website in 2001, long before blogs and social media took off. In those days, a personal presence on the web took the form of a “home page”. These were often very opinionated and idiosyncratic – or mine was, at least. I realized some time ago, soon after I started this blog, that online fashions have changed. A blog is a good place to be opinionated and idiosyncratic, but a personal website – for people who still need one – ought to be slicker and more professional-looking.

I put off making the change as long as I could, but last week I was migrated from my old Windows server to a new Linux host, so I took the opportunity to do a complete overhaul. Hopefully the new site looks more serious and less cranky than the old one. Essentially it’s just an online bibliography now, although there are some links to older stuff in the small print at the bottom.

One of the things I’ve ditched is the name of the old site, “Post-Fortean Meta-Complexity”. This was meant to be a pastiche of the numerous postmodern academic disciplines that were trendy at the time. I thought it was a really good title (and I still do), but it sounds rather dated now. The name wasn’t just random – it actually meant something. If “Fortean” means taking a non-judgmental interest in offbeat facts and occurrences, then “Post-Fortean” applies the same approach to offbeat theories and ideas!

With the help of the Wayback Machine, I had a look back at some of the earliest versions of the website. The screenshot above isn’t from the very first version, but it was the first version that looked the way I wanted it to.

Some of the early content is still there on the website if you dig deep enough. Down at the bottom of the current site there’s a link that says “Archive” (there are also links to two other old sites of mine, Zen Dynamics and Astounding Science Fiction). Most of the early stuff is about Buddhism and Philip K. Dick, for some reason. There’s an interesting list of Metaphysical Quotations from the novels of Philip K Dick that I’d forgotten all about. There’s also an article that touches on the connections between PKD, the Buddha and Richard Wagner!

I had a few problems with case-sensitive filenames and encoding errors (apostrophes and hyphens not rendering correctly) when I moved to the Linux server. I think I’ve cleared these up now, but let me know if you encounter any problems with the new site.

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