Hello, you! 👋

Welcome to my garden 🪴

Here, you will find writing on what I’ve thought, made, and done. It’s all still growing and will never stop.

Peruse at your leisure. Below is a map. Cmd+K to search. To jump around ->

This is what I am up to now, the tools I use, and a growing list of questions I have.

🪴 The Garden Metaphor

“Il faut cultiver notre jardin.”
— Voltaire. The final line of Candide

This is intentionally (and self-indulgently) a “garden” — not a blog.

A garden is a collection of evolving ideas that aren’t strictly organized by their publication date. They’re inherently exploratory – notes are linked through contextual associations. They aren’t refined or complete - notes are published as half-finished thoughts that will grow and evolve over time. They’re less rigid, less performative, and less perfect than the personal websites we’re used to seeing. — Maggie Appleton, A Brief History and Ethos of the Digital Garden

I find the metaphor of the “garden” much richer.

Gardens are a primordial place of creation. Unlike blogs which are comprised of distinct, complete, organized writing — gardens always chaotically grow. Comprised of a network of notes, they responding to the environment, often so slowly that the naked eye notices no difference. Like the act of physically gardening, writing here radically incremental. It isn’t heroic or final. One is never done working on their garden. That would be ridiculous. But one day after a good days work, you look up (from your laptop) and see something alive.

By gardening here, I hope to bring these pages alive. The best places have “life”(see:Timeless Way of Building). You feel it when you walk in. Call it vibes, a feeling, energy, juju: what I call “life” is that intangible but real quality in people, places, and things.

Most of my pieces are saplings. Expect some typos, incomplete sentences, and notes with little structure. The writing here isn’t my considered “final” opinion. In fact, the only certainty I have is that much will change and die. This is good.

Ideas are helpful insofar as they lead to life: action, community, flourishing, and further questions. “Bad ideas” are anything that distracts the energy and attention the “best ideas” demand. So with that naturalistic picture, death is good. I am unabashedly the measure of”good” and “bad.” “I” will change over time.

Exposing my thoughts on the page as clearly as possible helps measure theory against reality, unafraid to modify, discard, and eradicate the bad. Death and the release of resource has always been the nature’s way of seeding the new life.

I haven’t started this garden to be right. It is a place for me to work in public, build a second brain, and write. It’s a long-term project to reap the compounding benefits of knowledge, form and find community, and a platform for self-expression without the evils of social media.

Through consistent gardening, I hope to plant a few solid trees, nourished by the sunlight and the scrutiny of my readers. These oaks ground me in an overwhelming, confusing, contingent, and cruelly indifferent world. The few thoughts, ideas, books, and media I’ve decided to “cultivate” in a Voltarian sense, is my response to an infinity of complexity, suffering, and possibility. It’s my earnest love letter to ideas:

  1. That the good lives comes from embracing limits
  2. Perfect is the enemy of the good
  3. The unreasonable effectiveness of showing up every day
  4. Creativity by unabashedly stealing like an artist

The writing here, the plants growing in this garden, are not isolated, but neither are they neatly connected. They are “soil” connected by a tangled mass of roots — a rhizome — that are an externalized form of thinking. Tracing the changes in my thinking and writing is a project in self-examination and impermanence.

I chose an opinionated, open-source stack to build this site to support this self-examination. I use Obsidian to write — a power user native, markdown note editor. I publish this site using an open-source tool built by Jacky Zhao called Quartz, which compiles the markdown files in my local Obsidian vault into a static HTML site. All pages are versioned on GitHub, so there is a permanent, timestamped, line-by-line record of every change. I hope to revisit the commit histories to understand how my thinking changed.

Writing here, equipped with these power tools, helps me produce an expanding network of thoughts to help me shape, affirm, and live a narrative I am moulding everyday.

🗺️ A Map

The map is not the territory” — Alfred Korzybski 

Darśana (philosophy)

Technik (technology)

Technē (art)

🧐 Who Am I?

We answer this question, in some form, everyday. From the clothes we wear to the work we do. The modern human is thrown into condition where we must explain ourself to the other. Contra Descarte and per Berkley: to be is to be perceived. Just as “All the worlds a stage” can be a lament, it can be a celebration. This scene from Sense8, one of my favorite shows, captures the innocuous poignance of that question.

That said. I am a programmer, writer, meditator, animal, humanist, friend, brother and son.

Click on my me page for the longer story. I’d ❤️ to connect and hear yours.

🔗 Connect

Please send me an email! I love meeting new people and ❤️ email. I will reply to every one that I get. If you have an opportunity where you think I will be a good fit, please do reach out. All I can promise is good questions, genuine curiosity, and that I never forget to pay your generosity forward ☺️

Email: arman.jindal@hey.com || arman.jindal@columbia.edu GitHub: https://github.com/armanjindal LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/arman-jindal