Benjamin Esham


This website is built by the Jekyll static site generator and hosted on an Ubuntu VPS at DigitalOcean (that’s a referral link). The slick pop-up footnotes are powered by Bigfoot. Some other tools integral to my site workflow are Vim, SASS, Git, and Rake.

The color scheme used for this site is based on Ethan Schoonover’s Solarized. I use the typefaces Amaranth, Lato, and Droid Sans Mono, which are all available for free from Google Fonts.


The biggest reason for my not having comments on this site is that I receive only a modest amount of traffic, and so the signal-to-spam ratio would be very low. Matt Gemmell lists some other good reasons in his piece “Comments Off”. If you have a response to something I’ve written here, I’d love to read it on your blog — send me a link via email or Twitter. Or just send your comments via email or Twitter.


I follow Merlin Mann’s manifesto-esque “Better” in publishing only what I consider to be genuinely useful, interesting, or thought-provoking stuff. I may not write much here, but what I do write is of the highest quality I can muster.

Paul Graham’s “The Age of the Essay” changed my idea of what an essay should be: not the formulaic five-paragraph structure of high-school English class, but an intellectual journey whose destination may only become apparent as it’s being written:

An essay is something you write to try to figure something out.

Figure out what? You don’t know yet. And so you can’t begin with a thesis, because you don’t have one, and may never have one. An essay doesn’t begin with a statement, but with a question. In a real essay, you don’t take a position and defend it. You notice a door that’s ajar, and you open it and walk in to see what’s inside.

The original text and graphics on this site are copyrighted by me, Benjamin Esham, with all rights reserved. Text by other authors is included here under the provisions of fair use.

I took the oranges photo used in the title image. It’s released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 U.S. license.