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[2420] Did I tell you I love WordPress?

I initially had a webpage on Geocities. I did not update it too often and the content was very basic because it was a hassle to keep changing the page all the time. I was also new to HTML.

Then Blogger came along. Less coding and more writing.

I started to write, or blog, more frequently until my blog was getting too big for the whatever system Blogger was using to become reliable. Posting an entry was an extreme pain.

After thinking long and hard, I migrated to WordPress. Blogger did improve later but the boat has sailed.

I have been on WordPress for roughly five years now and it has been great. Everything is seamless. If there is any problem, I can almost immediately solve it by myself without relying on tech support. Customization is easy and the plugins are rich and awesome. I am in almost complete control of the whole blog, save my dependency on my web host, which I am thinking of changing due to its

The introduction of Widget made my life online far, far more convenient that I care to remember. I no longer have to add code lines, which is always a messy affair for an amateur like me. All I needed to do are upload some files and click enable. The plugin will be online soon after.

And for the past few weeks, the introduction of Jetpack has made it even more convenient.

I am unsure why I love Jetpack so much. I could install the plugins by myself and Jetpack only aggregates those plugins. Furthermore, I already have the plugins that I want. So, big deal.

Yet, it is giving me a lot of satisfaction using WordPress. Right now, I am in the process of deleting redundant plugins that are independent of the ones provided in Jetpack.

Maybe that is it. It makes the whole business cleaner.

And I like clean. And I love WordPress.

This blog

[2399] A-twittering around

Twitter is taking much of my blogging time away. That explains the dearth of posts here.

If you are in the appetite for an angrier, snappier and a snarkier me, follow me on Twitter.

Photography This blog

[2275] Of wider template, with ivy

I said I was working on it. I finally decided to do it. I tweaked the code for this blog to make the template wider to accommodate larger pictures that I post. I originally posted pictures with the width of 500px only , partly because I was being paranoid about people stealing it, about bandwidth and mostly because of the template of this blog. The writing room was only 500px wide.

Not any more.

Also, my new banner is made out of this picture:

This picture in turn was taken during a warm summer day here:

Personal This blog

[2115] Of me, writing in general, blogging specifically

I have not been blogging actively for the past few months. This is mostly due to my commitment to The Malaysian Insider. I have discovered that maintaining a column is harder than consistently updating a blog. I do not know how others do it but I certainly have to make compromise among various choices.

Number of posts per month has dropped drastically. It was typically close to 30 posts per month. Ever since I began contributing to The Malaysian Insider, reaching the number 20 is not a guarantee any more.

Academic demand makes the whole issue harder than I had imagined it would be. Truly, there are times that I have to delay my column to focus on any assignment with looming deadlines. I need to do extremely well during my time in Australia — something that I consider as my time in self-exile — to justify whatever I am doing at the moment and open doors that I desperately want opened wide.

Or maybe that is just an excuse. Now that the semester is in a break, I am still unable to sort out my writing schedule. Funny that even when time is aplenty, I am struggling with my writing schedule. For instance, I missed my column for this week.

I am not regretting about contributing to one of the most popular news outlets in Malaysia. I admit, I do enjoy some of the attention I get from individuals that I could only imagine engaging without the column.

It also forces me to think harder of what to write. I want my idea to be able to withstand criticism.

It is also practice in consistency. By consistency, I mean to test whether my own opinion is consistent with my ideals. I place a huge premium on consistency; I tend to dismiss individuals who are inconsistent with their positions for I typically associate inconsistency with dishonesty.

That is yet another reason why I discover why I have trouble writing. I am becoming a slow mechanistic thinker. I need to consider so many things to come to a point.

Never mind the demand on grammar. I am always careless with grammar. With my blog, I tend to publish my stuff and re-read it after that. I could correct any mistake immediately. With column, that is harder to do. Moreover, with wider audience, bad grammar makes one looks stupid. I do not like to look stupid. Therefore, I need to be attentive to what I write and how I write it. The column helps to instill discipline in me as far as grammar is concerned.

There was one factor that prevented me from writing frankly previously. It was the oppressive public opinion. More than that, it is the opinion of friends and colleagues. By the time I was comfortable writing for The Malaysian Insider, my acquittance ranges from both sides of the political divide, sometimes going as high as up to positions of power.

Then, at my workplace, which was a government-linked company, I had a hard time shutting up as a libertarian. I thought, my decision to quit and come to Australia is one of the best decisions that freed me from that constraint that I found myself trapped in, even if it was not others that imposed it.

Then, there was a consultancy firm that was UMNO-linked. That was another tough spot that I found myself in. Friends within Pakatan Rakyat were definitely suspicious of what was going on, especially in times. And I think clients of the firm were suspicious of me. Nevertheless, it was definitely interesting, especially having the opportunity to attend the party’s general assembly but that is behind me now.

Also, many of my acquittance comes from countries with government that I deeply disagree with. Like the People’s Republic of China, for instance. My general hostility to religion is yet another factor that may open me to unfair criticism. I suddenly became self-conscious about these thing; I began to become acutely aware of all this while reading Mill’s On Liberty much, much earlier. I am glad to share that I have overcome that. Farish Noor wrote a short message to me, encouraging me to ignore the oppressive public opinion.

Furthermore, maybe, I think too highly of myself. Maybe, they do not really care whatever I write. Why should they care? Even if they cared, my liberty cannot be compromised. And so, I dismissed this concern of mine, thanks to Mill.

For the next few months, I intend to catch up with my slack.

Photography This blog

[2087] Of the Friday before the holidays on campus

Some right reserved.

Yes, it is holiday for the University. I myself will be leaving the city on Monday to treat myself with a trip, after all those hectic days.

As you can see, I have stripped away those green colors in favor of a more minimalist style. Yes, I had nothing to do today and I needed something to do. And voila!

For those who are familiar with the University’s ground, that facade belongs to the Physics Building. For those who are unfamiliar, the facade may look like nothing but, like what Aristotle said long ago, the whole, is more than the sum of its parts.