The past few days have been a weird experience as I actively try to lower the internal bar for what I feel comfortable putting out into the world. As a proud member of the most terminally online generation to ever live, I have a deep and relentless fear of being wrong on the Internet.

In getting everything ready to re-publish this site as my own digital garden, I’ve started using the phrase “caveat lector” a lot. Back in my undergraduate degree, I learned about the phrase caveat emptor and caveat venditor:

  • Caveat emptor means “buyer beware,” to be used in situations where a buyer of a product is responsible for understanding the risk they take in their purchase; and
  • Caveat venditor means “seller beware”, to be used in situations where a seller of a product is responsible for minimizing the risk of the products they sell.

A good napkin example would be a buyer and seller of digital LCD displays. In that case, it’s the seller’s responsibility to make sure that the display actually works - caveat venditor. However, what if a display works, but has a few dead pixels? This doesn’t render the display unfit for purpose - the seller would still be selling a good and usable product that fulfills their promise - but dead pixels are pretty annoying. The risk of dead pixels, then, may fall on the buyer - caveat emptor.

One of my intentions with Chaotic Good Computing is to contribute to the free body of knowledge I’ve benefitted immensely from myself, but to do so in a way that both fits my style and my habits better than traditional blogging or educational entertainment. The commitments that I’m making to you, the reader, are:

  • To my knowledge, the things that I’m posting are accurate at the time that I write them down; and
  • If I learn something in the future that corrects something I’ve written in the past, I’ll do my best to make corrections as I find mistakes.

That said, I’m also just some person on the internet. I know some things pretty well and other things not-so-much, with a pretty vast in-between. By the very nature of learning in public, some things here will be straight-up wrong, if not at least not-as-correct-as-they-could-be.

So, to you, I say:

Caveat lector! Reader Beware!

and, as a follow-up piece of advice, I might also borrow from the Russian proverb:

Doveryay, no Proveryay. Trust, but Verify.