Announcing Trollcave

I’ve added something new to the Games page, but – like a couple of other things on that page – whether it qualifies as a game depends on what you mean by “game”. It has a clearly defined objective, multiple stages of progression and requires you to expend effort towards no useful end, so I’m going to call it a game. Also I don’t want to make a “Vulnerable VMs” page on this website – at least not until I make a second one. Trollcave is a...

How I publish this blog

At the request of a couple of readers, here’s a post all about how the sausage is made. Some of this content can be found in the Hugo documentation and various online tutorials, but here it’s all linked together and contextualised. I still recommend reading other tutorials if you really want to set something like this up though, as I’m not going into exhaustive detail about everything here. A table of contents is provided below for the convenience of those interested only in one or two sections of the...

Review: What the Hell Did I Just Read

Almost ten years ago, someone recommended I read a horror-comedy web serial called John Dies at the End, the opening paragraph of which read: Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt. If you already happen to know the awful secret behind the universe, feel free to skip ahead. About a page later came this exchange: “Dave? This is John. Your pimp says bring the heroin shipment tonight, or he’ll be forced to stick you. Meet him where we...

List encounters of the third kind

Content warning: over a thousand words about the appearance of a certain kind of list. How many times have you seen or written a list like the one below? Label: one or more sentences, maybe a short paragraph. one or more sentences, maybe a short paragraph. one or more sentences, maybe a short paragraph. one or more sentences, maybe a short paragraph. one or more sentences, maybe a short paragraph.Other label: one or more sentences, maybe a short paragraph. one or more sentences, maybe a short paragraph. one or more sentences, maybe...

Review: The Sense of Style

Most writing sucks. Academic writing is dull and turgid, business and political writing is incoherent and stuffed with mostly meaningless jargon, and much journalism is borderline illiterate. The internet, for all that it has done to advance humanity’s knowledge, has also perpetrated the heinous crime of making everyone a writer – and just like most people can’t draw a portrait, assemble an engine, sing an opera or jump a salchow, most people can’t write. In the face of all this bad writing, it’s very easy for people of a certain temperament...