26 Aug 2014

Hello! This is HunterLightman.com, and, if you’ve been here before, you might have noticed that things look a little bit different. There are a couple reasons for that restructuring, as well as for the grandfathering of any posts older than this one (posted pre-8/26/14), and this will try to explain all of that.
First and foremost, the look. I got tired of the old layout. Decided not enough of it was originally me (some of the code being borrowed from an array of online tutorials—don’t blame me, that’s how the learning process works) and that too much of it didn’t speak to who I really was. This site fixes all of that. Not only is most of it uniquely mine—from template to code to graphics—but the whole site is uniquely me. The imagery is simple enough. Check out the front page. The context of the Emerson quote (“I had better never see a book, than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system”) is The American Scholar, an entire speech dedicated to this idea that America could find a kind of enlightenment in forging a distinctly American identity—in finally escaping from the confines of old European intellectual thought and breaking into fresh Earth, new ideas, foregoing the ones that came before.
The quote doesn’t actually discourage reading books forged of the old ways of thought—I’m sure Emerson would admit a certain amount of education is entirely essential to his American Scholar—but rather warns of the dangers of becoming too entrenched in old books or old ideas. It’s Emerson’s declaration that it would be better to never read at all than to read and allow yourself to become “warped by [the books’] attractions clean out of” your orbit, “made a satellite instead of a system.” I’ve no desire to become a satellite. I’ve every intention of remaining a system. Appreciating other ideas—the other stars in the sky—sure, but at a distance. Careful always to remain a star of my own, and not a satellite of one of the others. And the site’s format reflects that. This is my system. My star and all of the planets—the different worlds—that make it up. This layout is a declaration of its own. A declaration of a more personal intellectual independence.
As for the general reorganization, that serves a more functional purpose. I want a website that can be a blog when I need a blog—absolutely—but I feel my personal site—the one with my name in the url—ought to be first and foremost an easy display of who I am. A portfolio of sorts. A blog in one tiny corner, at one link, and a compendium of creations at every other. Thus the structure is what you have here. A simplified menu. One link to a blog. One link to a general overview of me. And 3 links to three separate kinds of portfolios. A writing portfolio, for written works. A code portfolio, for projects I’ve programmed. And a build portfolio, for things I’ve built. It’s all a bit unfinished as of yet. I still need to flesh everything out. But, in the end, that’s how it’s going to look.
As a final note, I’ve decided to carry over some posts from the old site. It’s mostly things that I think carry interesting connotations of who I am. Old blog posts worth keeping for memory’s sake. That’s why, beneath this post, you’ve got a bunch of other posts scattered throughout time. Those are just excerpts of a past me. Look at them if you want, but I think they’re here more for me than for you.