FAQs frequently asked questions

This is a growing list of questions commonly answered by the apparently quixotic author of this blog. If you have one to add to the list, let me know.

What does the title of this blog mean?

many mountains, many roads (多山多路) is a phrase that has stuck with me throughout my academic career. The late Dr. James Horton of Shasta College used it in his classic course History of World Religions as a metaphor for plurality. In contrast with fundamentalist or absolutist worldviews that suppose of reality as one mountain with one or many roads leading to the peak, this pluralistic alternative suggests that not only are there many mountains and many roads, but mountains are roads are mountains. In other words: it’s a matter of perspective. In all of my wandering, I have found that perspective is the best we can do. More than certainty or goodness or other fantasies, it is much more serviceable in the course of actually living a life.

Entitling this blog many mountains, many roads is a form of propaganda you might say. It serves as a reminder or an invitation to wonder broadly and keep and open mind.

what does this site’s logo mean?

The logo for this site is my attempt at visually interpreting the concept of many mountains, many roads. It depicts two intertwined “two double and operators” (⩕) that appear mirrored horizontally. The lower “mirrored” portion is skewed toward a central vanishing point, giving the image depth and perspective (wink wink, nudge nudge).

I chose to use the “two double and operator” symbol for two reasons. First, it looks like an M, so it gives some visual continuity to the title of this blog. They also look like mountains, and their being outlined (and intertwined) gives the impression of roads simultaneously. Second, this operator makes the symbol conceptually intriguing. A double and operator is more-or-less functionally equivalent to the familiar if and only if (iff, ≡, ↔, etc.). In a statement with a double and operator, all conditions must be true otherwise the statement is false. Visually and conceptually, this image seems to suggest that mountains are roads are mountains. You may notice that the image appears symmetrical at first, but it is not, in fact! Pondering what that may suggest is left for the reader to enjoy.

With Inkscape and lots of experimentation!

what is namu.blue?

namu.blue is a domain I purchased some years ago to provide myself and my family with control over our email accounts. I use this domain to host various services for friends, family, and colleagues—including this blog.

The word namu (나무) in Korean means tree. I wanted a domain name that was short, cute, and memorable.

why don’t you use a yonsei email address?

I have email addresses from both Yonsei University and the University of Hawai’i, and while I still receive email through both, I no longer actively use either of them. There are two reasons for this.

  1. Using my own domain gives me freedom and control over my email. It allows me to keep the same email address and not be locked-in to any one provider.

  2. Both Yonsei’s and UH’s email services are provided by Google—whom I actively avoid like the plague (for reasons I may detail in a blog post someday).

how do you publish this blog?

I use a static site generator called Hugo to manage the content of this site. The site itself is hosted on a very modest server I operate in my free time.

is the source of this site available?

It sure is. And it’s public domain too!

which hugo theme do you use?

Everything on this blog is from scratch, more-or-less. The stylesheet is a hodge podge of ideas I borrowed from various other sites over the years. All of the hugo-specific stuff is the result of lots of trial and error. I am not too motivated to refactor all of that as a standalone theme, but I would not be bothered by anyone else giving it a go.

is all the content on this blog really public domain?

Unless otherwise noted, yes, all of my original content shared here is public domain. Why?

  1. Free cultural works make the world a better place.

  2. Copyright is exhausting and soul-crushing.

  3. Sharing is more fun.

aren’t you worried about plagiarism?

Not terribly. Just because something is in the public domain doesn’t mean republishing it as your own original work is okay. In the context of academic publishing, there would be no legal consequence for doing so, but it would be an absurd way to commit career suicide.

Copyright and licensing is a complex topic, but my two cents is that, especially when it comes to scholarly publications, the freer the better. Removing the barrier of copyright makes materials more accessible. I have personal reservations about how my creations are used—for example, I abhor the idea of my music being used in advertisements—but to me the bigger battle to be fought is not one that can be won playing the copyright game. Idealistic as it may be, I would prefer to err on the side of copyfree equanimity.

should i credit you if i use your materials?

You are not obligated to do so, but if it makes sense to credit me, then go for it.

Sure, the source is embedded into this html file. Have fun.