The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
This site (and the Unsupervised Learning community behind it) focuses on the interesting and the wonderful from multiple disciplines—from cybersecurity to human meaning—from technology tutorials to personal productivity—and from appreciating the pleasures of life to learning how to be better.
In short, we enjoy learning how things work and using that knowledge to pursue meaning in our world.
How to get started…
Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can navigate the full sitemap going back to 1996!
What this site is about
Read the full about page.
I started this site in 1999 as a place to capture things I’d learned. When I learned something new I would explain it to myself in my own words and put it on the site. This way I could not only solidify my learning through writing, but I’d also have a reference if I ever needed it. These tutorials became very popular starting in the early 2000’s.
From there the site turned into a combination of that plus a blog where I talked through thoughts and ideas on various topics. Today the site is essentially my life avatar, serving as the central home for everything I think about, learn about, and share with the world.
My primary mission in life, and for the site, is to learn about and marvel at this world we live in, and to use that knowledge to find meaning in our existence. Or to put it as Bertrand Russell did, to live a life “inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”
If you want to leverage the wisdom of crowds, you can dive into the site’s most popular articles. These range from deep technical tutorials, to contemplations on the boundaries of human agency, and the whole range between.
Since 2015 I’ve been doing a weekly show called Unsupervised Learning that combines news and analysis with original thought. It comes out every week as a newsletter as well as a podcast, and goes out to around 50,000 people. I can say with significant confidence that if you’re reading this you’ll probably love it.
As mentioned above, the site started as a place for me to explain things to myself. Since I was in university and starting my career during this period, that meant a lot of tutorials on Linux-related topics, TCP/IP, and Information Security. But as the site grew the tutorial section came to include simple primers on many technology and science-related topics.
A Collection of Concepts
One of the projects I’ve maintained continuously is my Concepts page, which distills interesting concepts into a consumable summary. The idea is to have something like a Wisdom Genome, or a Universal Mindmap where I can link something I learn in any part of life into any other part of life. It’s essentially a collection of the most interesting things I’ve learned in all my reading and studying.
This page needs an update.
I think good ideas come mostly from having lots of quality inputs, and given how much I read I can’t help but have the occasional good thought of my own. My ideas page is where I capture those ideas into a single place so I can revisit them, discuss them with others, and generally contemplate how I’ve not done nearly enough with them. I only update it every few years because I don’t consider an idea noteworthy unless I still consider it so years later.
My projects page is a rolling list of what I am actively or passively working on in some capacity. Just like everything on this site, it’s 70% a place to share things with others, and 90% a self-prodding tool to admonish me into being more organized, focused, and productive. Nothing spawns action like looking at your list of projects and realizing they’re stale or uninspiring.
If your curiosity setting is at 9 or above, you can browse the sitemap. This is a CMS-generated collection of all the site’s content broken down into date archives, categories, tags, and other content breakdowns going back to 1996! Congratulations on reaching the end of the internet.
Finally, thank you for visiting. I’m happy I’m on the planet with you, and I hope this site inspires you to organize your thoughts and efforts in a similar way.