ThoughtStorms Wiki

Welcome to ThoughtStorms

Q : What is ThoughtStorms?

A : Well that's a big question in the 2020s.

ThoughtStorms used to be (back in the early 2000s) the PersonalWiki of PhilJones with contributions by random friends and people who turned up on the internet.

Today, you could argue that it's a kind of over-grown and dilapidated DigitalGarden. Rather like the Lost Gardens of Heligan it's become overwhelmed with weeds. Links are broken, dead and putrefying. Ideas are stale. (Or hilariously outdated). The whole thing is in need of some WikiWorms to chew them up for a good WikiComposting

In the meantime, what you are seeing is a flat web-site, exported using CardiganBay, my new work-in-progress WikiEngine.


CardiganBay is being written partly as a new wiki-engine; one which combines classic wiki ideas and values with new technologies and internet standards.

Partly as a personal note-taking / PersonalKnowledgeManagement / DigitalGardening engine which can help capture and organize my ideas. And even help turn them into actions, or more coherent "products" (such as essays or longer-form pieces of writing).

But it also has specific focus to helping to restore and bring order to ThoughtStorms wiki. I'm working on tools that will help to more easily clean out the dead-wood and broken links, to refactor the useful content into a better shape, and to extract the "value" from this 15 year-old writing.

Quora Answers

In the 2010s I went on a bit of a diversion and got hooked on the Q&A site Quora. At the time I thought it was one of the best online communities out there.

It got worse over time (unfortunately) but I did a lot of (IMHO) good thinking there. So when I finally left, I wanted to bring some of my answers back here to ThoughtStorms. I was able, eventually, to export my answers. And I'm gradually bringing them in here. "Answer format" is obviously a bit different to most of the writing on this wiki. But I've found a way to embed them that I'm relatively happy with. Currently you can see my answers in yellow boxes starting with the bolded Quora Answer : blah blah and then the actual text of the answer.

I haven't quite decided if the ideal is to keep these answers are they are. Or allow them to be further edited and composted into the wiki. At the moment I make very light editing (usually to add links to other ThoughtStorms pages). But otherwise leave them as they were : records of what I thought at that moment.

To see a list of all the quora answers in this wiki, the page QuoraAnswers embeds a search for page containing them.


That involves several challenges. Much of the writing here is part of a wider discussion across the web, linking to blogs that have disappeared, companies that have gone bust, people who were famous in their respective micro-scenes but are almost forgotten as internet time moves on.

How much does restoration require recreating and filling in the blanks of those old conversations, vs. just deleting them altogether vs. trying to extract some essential ideas stripping away the historical cruft?

That's one of the questions I'm trying to answer as I clean up here. The criteria for recreating vs. ForgettingInThoughtStorms.

Another challenge is that wiki is a huge / flat / intertwingled BigBallOfMud. But most people don't want to consume that. (Only dung-beetles really consume big balls of mud)

The new ThoughtStorms will eventually be separated into "zones" or some kind of separate thematic entities. How can the tools and facilities in Cardigan Bay help that?

Please note that this is very much work-in-progress. Some functionality from the old ThoughtStorms is likely to be broken. Possibly permanently. Please bear with me while the text evolves to reflect some of the new realities.

See also ...