I know this website can’t compare to the interactivity-laden, detailed explanations so many of my industry contemporaries can produce. That’s not my purpose.

I also know that you’ve got better things to do than read this. But, since the human experience isn’t a hermetically-sealed vacuum of data processing, I feel obligated to give at least some background about this project.

I have a crippling fear of impostor syndrome, and want to understand something deeply to know how best to work with tech:

  1. Jargon is often shorthand for otherwise simple ideas, though it can be useful for specificity. Engineers often engage so heavily in their craft that they forget this.
  2. All ideas are inspired by other ideas, but many CS concepts live in a vacuum of abstracted logic. If I can connect those ideas to more practical things, I can understand how the inventor understood it.
  3. I’m very trend-resistant, which drew me to accounting in a past life. From a distance, I’ve noticed most computer implementations move around every few months or years, but their abstractions often don’t change at all.

I’m not a tech veteran. I wasn’t raised by engineers, nor did I really have any friends in grade school who guided me into the industry. I stumbled into computers because I had developed a fascination for Hacker News around 2015, and I realized people will pay me money to do computer things after a career of 24 jobs from 2005-2019.

In my mass mental download that eventually spawned my AdequateLife and GainedInSite websites, I discovered Up Goer Five and Reddit’s ELI5. I came to realize we only fully understand something when we can teach it in plain language to a teenager.

Following that experience, and endless re-re-revisions, I rebuilt my life’s purpose to simplify big things, and this is my public effort to articulate a plain-language understanding of computers.

Everything in this world is often far simpler than we realize, but we need the right perspective to synchronize that elegance in our minds. We broadly sense and feel this element as “experience”, but it’s hackable through brevity. Assuming none of my primary organs fail prematurely, my tech career will last ~30-40 years, and I don’t want to fill my brain with the useless trivia of a derelict programming language or information nobody uses in 10 years.

This site is mostly a walk through Teach Yourself CS, but with ~9,800 Hacker News articles, ~500 FreeCodeCamp links (to keep it useful), ~400 cheap tech-related textbooks I found on HumbleBundle, and whatever other crap I tend to hoard from the internet.

One additional constraint I’m using: if I find jargon, I’ll put it in my plain-English glossary and will try to remember sticking it in quotes.