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“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
— Antoine de St Exupéry.
I am a believer in the beauty of simplicity and clarity. Indeed, the quote above has been my guiding light for many, many years – though I have now learnt that perfection is not, in fact, achievable. (Update 2023-11-24: although it turns out it is possible to get a 100% score in all four categories—performance, accessibility, best practices and SEO—on mobile and desktop at PageSpeed Insights [pagespeed.web.dev]
In the case of this site, it is all about the content, not the style. Function over form.
(Incidentally, you can get the theme for yourself if you like!)
I used to be a juggler and I hung around with juggler/circus types a lot. There were a number of clowns that I encountered (are you shuddering yet? what is it about clowns?). The important thing is that some of the very best clowns were the most understated in their dress (a great example is John Gilkey [youtu.be/ZkO8EAxagDs]).
Bad clowns would go overboard on wigs, make-up and silly clothes to cover for their lack of inspiration, talent, skill or creativity. In many areas of life, people are prone to make up for their lack or insecurity by overdoing something else – if you’ve met someone who uses big words to cover their lack of education, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
So am I saying I’m a great writer or thinker? Am I saying I don’t need the ‘fancy clothes’ of design to cover my lack of talent?
No, not at all.
I am actually doing the converse… by eschewing style I expose my writing. It has to stand up to scrutiny because that’s all there is.
Simplicity and clarity have been a compass for most of my life. Whether I’ve been reducing my own belongings to the essential, or sitting in the COO seat in a company helping them to clear the crap and get more done with less resource, I have always been a simplifier. It seems only right that my presence on the ‘net would also be simple and clear.
As an aside, another good reason is that I’m identifying myself with the ‘tribe’ of people who have small-web, plain websites [sjmulder.nl/en/textonly.html] who I find to be some of the most interesting people on the planet. Again, I am not awarding myself an accolade of “interesting”, merely aligning with that world.
In essence, I want a site that lives or dies by the quality of the content because that makes me step up. And I am good at stepping up when I need to.
I am also willing to suck at it for a good while. Then I’ll get better. That’s how creativity works.
Last updated: 21st February, 2024 (2 weeks ago)
Happy to discuss anything you read here by email: firstname.lastname@example.org