Digital Garden Terms of Service

Fabio Rosato

August 9, 2022

Terms for Visitors

Welcome! You are now browsing a Digital Garden. This is my personal space for Learning In Public.

And this right here you’re reading is my Digital Garden Terms of Service. I copied the idea from swyx’s own digital garden. Loved it, so I decided to adopt it for my own garden too.

Base Disclaimer

I am a lifelong learner so everything is a Work-In-Progress. Just like me. But I do not let perfectionism get in the way, so that means that what you read here is not authoritative nor complete, and is not representative of my “best work”.

However, it is representative of my interests and current state of knowledge, and if you have the same interests, then this space is also yours to use as a reference. Feedback and social sharing is more than welcome – that is the whole point of being public!

With that in mind, here are a couple of points I feel strongly about:

1. Right to Be Wrong

I have a right to be wrong or incomplete in my Digital Garden, either due to scarcity of time or knowledge. You will not hold this against me because I will keep learning. With your help, hopefully. Everything in the digital garden is a living document and I will retract or rephrase things I no longer agree with.

2. Constructive Criticism

You are expressly welcome to comment on, tear apart, counter-argue or outright disagree on anything here. Negative feedback is the one we learn the most from. I will listen to you but I don’t promise to agree with you. But please also suggest what else I should include, read, watch, or listen to, or tell me what you would have written or done instead. That’s what constructive criticism is all about!

Better yet, write a better version of what I did and publish it on your own garden. I’d love to read it.

3. Attribute, don’t Plagiarize

I strongly believe that there are no completely original ideas. Nothing is original. Practically all ideas and innovations tend to be derivative or incremental. Everything is a mix up of other ideas. We just don’t know the references sometimes. So you’re welcome to steal like an artist what you like around here.

But please don’t blatantly plagiarize. Attribution will always be appreciated. You’re welcome to quote, share ideas, and riff off of them, with attribution and a link back here when possible. I don’t waive copyright for commercial purposes.

My Commitment as the Digital Gardener

Here are some ground rules I will try to abide to be a responsible digital gardener:

1. Consideration of Others

  • I will not publish private conversations or confidential information.
  • I will consider the feelings of others if I ever write negatively about something people have worked on or said.
  • I will do my best to cover my bases and check that I have not assumed incompetence or malice due to my ignorance of the full body of work.
  • I will err on the side of treating others as THEY want to be treated (the platinum rule)

2. Epistemic Disclosure

  • I will report how strongly I hold my beliefs, always reserving the right to be wrong and change my mind.
  • I will report how much experience I have in the topic, by disclosing how much work I have done so far on it and linking to others who will know more.
  • I will link to further resources so that readers can discover influencing and contrasting opinions from the original source.

In the spirit of this, the practice of disclosing epistemic status and effort originates from Devon Zuegel. I don’t think this always needs be disclosed, for example if it is obvious from context. But it never hurts.

3. Response to Feedback

  • I will not get discouraged if I don’t receive feedback. I plant ideas in my digital garden for my own use, not solely to get visitors.
  • I will reward feedback by listening and immediately correcting things I got wrong.
  • I do not promise to agree with or respond to all feedback.

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