The purpose of this page is to explain my goals for having a public website, include a quick biography, and provide a few other thoughts.
Table of Contents
- Who are you? [Bio]
- What is the purpose/goal of your website?
- What are you currently doing?
- What are the origins of this site?
- How do I contact you?
- “Your website is weird!” and other objections
- [Update Log]
Who are you? [Bio]
My name is John Fial, and like my father and grandfather, I was born and raised in Hawaiʻi.
After high school, I went to The University of Hawaiʻi because that’s what “everyone else” was doing. After a few fun years, I left college and worked with a local company before enlisting in the US Air Force, serving four years aboard two surveillance aircraft. The Air Force is where I started using crossfit.com to do workouts for free in the gym, later started a vegetarian and then “ancestral” diet, and I’ve been refining my personal style of eating ever since.
On the eve of basic training I finished a book on evolutionary psychology, and knew I was in love with biology: the study of life. Obtaining a bachelor’s of science degree while on active duty was nearly impossible, so I received my B.A. in Security Management. Then I spent about a year as a defense contractor, before spending two years at the The University of Arizona to receive a PSM in Molecular & Cellular Biology.
From 2015-2016 I traveled a while in South America to learn Spanish. (Hablo español, pero mi capacidad de escuchar/entender es mucho más débil que mi capacidad de hablar. No leo ni escribo muy bien.)
Today, I live and work with my family in the Tri-State area.
What is the purpose/goal of your website?
- The purpose of this website is to develop and spread ideas:
- while improving my writing, editing, graphics, coding, and eventually programming,
- and by both a) providing information to the general public about- and b) provoking scientific investigation into- the study of nutritional lithium in human biology. See the /lithium page for more on that topic.
What are you currently doing?
I stay current with nutrition research, security developments, and more, but I’m proud to say that I ignore most earthly news. I read examine.com‘s paid “Research Digest” product, and the show notes of the free Security Now! podcast, but also enjoy other curated sources like stratfor.com. Moreover, I’m always experimenting and learning about the effects that food and supplements have on my body, health, and thoughts.
See the /now page for more.
What are the origins of this site?
After listening to far too many interviews on Tim Ferriss’ podcast from 2014-16, I began to collate my notes/highlights on the hundreds of books I’ve read in my adult life. I began making my notes into book reports, of a sort, for myself. Then in an interview, Derek Sivers mentioned the idea to “do everything in public,” so that others might benefit from what you do. Sivers even argues that hiding your work in private could be considered a form of cowardice or selfishness.
That argument convinced me in a moment to put most of what I do in public. I decided to make those book notes/reports public on a website, even if nobody looked at them (nobody did), and a simple WordPress “site” was born.
In late 2016, I wanted to share the knowledge I’d gained about vitamin/mineral nutritional supplementation with friends and family over email. That email morphed into the permanent /pills page, and I’ve continued developing the site since.
How do I contact you?
Use the /contact page.
Your site is boring/weird!
- Your website is weird!
- Where are all my links?
- Where are all my sidebars and widgets and advertisements and recent posts?
- …Seriously, where are all my advertisements?!
- Can you please put animated .gif’s of bunnies in your background and play a popular .mp3/.midi track while I read?
The web has become disgusting, and I hate it. Most of the internet these days is crap: full of hundreds of links competing for our attention and distracting us from the real message of the page we’re on. Videos are getting worse and worse each year, too. And that’s both 1) if there is even a real message of the “content” we’re reading/watching/consuming (usually, there isn’t); and 2) excluding the sounds, auto-playing videos, pop-ups, forms to fill, and malicious or unethical code in the background. I hate being overloaded when I look at a webpage, trying to decide where to click “next” without even really paying attention to what I’m reading. Like most people, I leave the webpage confused, lacking direction, and less satisfied than when I started.
I want quality content on my website. More importantly, I want a clean website. Images, for instance, haven’t yet proven necessary on most pages, but they’re very useful to show the periodic table and contrast prescription vs. nutritional lithium on the /lithium page.
Other notes on the website:
- Sharing links: I like the “sharing” options at the top/side of each page, but not much else.
- Internal links: As time goes on, I’m removing my own internal links in favor of un-linked /words in order to let people read without mental distraction. Then, if and when you want to visit the other internal pages, you can a) use the menu bar at top if it’s a main, top-level page, b) click the “pages” webpage, which should have the link itself, or c) type the /word in manually to the URL. Please forgive me if this is frustrating, but understand that I do it to help people focus on reading.
- Menus: I don’t like top-of-page menus that have fourteen or forty-eight different clickable pages on them, in addition to hundreds or thousands of blog posts. First time visitors should have the few best options presented to them in an organized manner. Then, if those visitors want to see more of the website, it should be obvious how. For example, I think the /law, /obesity, /hypotheses, /tips, and many other pages are pretty good, but they would clutter the main menu. Thus, I link to them all on the /pages page.
Please use the /contact page to give me useful feedback. Thank you!
[July: Added the ‘okina to Hawai’i and O’ahu, because I finally learned (or perhaps re-learned) that the ʻokina is not an apostrophe. Incorrect: ` or ‘. Correct: ʻ. Copy/paste and increase to a large font to see the difference.]
[16 June: minor edits, re-linked internal pages.]
[14 April: Refined “purpose”; removed unnecessary internal links; added the “your site is weird” section.]
[5 April: minor bio edits.]
[31 March: Added pic; minor edits.]
[10 March 2017: Misc edits. Added the table of contents code manually!]