PhD Candidate
Rhetorics, Communication,
and Information Design

Clemson University

About Nathan

Nathan Riggs is currently a PhD candidate in Clemson University's Rhetorics, Communications, and Information Design, a doctoral program that focuses on an interdisciplinary, or rather transdisciplinary, research method and agenda heavily informed by a rhetorical understanding of the nature of knowledge production and work. His own research specializes in the connection between thought, persuasion and writing (here defined in the broadest sense), particularly within the context of technical and scientific communication. Currently, he is focused on artificial intelligence and robotics in particular, and the ways in which they are persuasively constructed and are (or could be) persuasive in their own right. His teaching agenda revolves around rhetorics and writing of science and technology.

Nathan has four cats--Detka, Pilgore, Droogie and Marat--and the best partner in the world. His hobbies include: coding, chess, scrabble, video games (particularly the 8-bit and 16-bit variety), music composition, and building strange devices. For more detailed information on specific interests and endeavors, please click the appropriate link below.

About This Website

Everything here was hand-coded, and currently exists as pure html/css/javascript without a content management system. I find systems like WordPress or Drupal paradoxically too simple and too complicated at the same time: to change the entire look of a site is a breeze with themes, but to change the appearance of a single page, or to build your own theme, is far too much work than is worth the effort. This seems to automatically encourage the development of generic cookie-cutter websites that, while often looking very clean and pretty, are rather boring and inexpressive. This same problem can be seen with games made with software like RPG Maker; in making the task more accessible to those without much expertise, the ecology becomes inundated with bland attempts at copying an ideal.

Not to say that this website is terribly unique or groundbreaking--it's not, really. But this has been the impetus for the development of my own content management system, DirtyCMS, which aims at an audience who wants the convenience of a CMS without making the sacrifices demanded by other platforms. I plan on transferring the content and form of this website to that system, which is still in alpha development, by the end of 2017. After further refinement, security fixes, and so on, I plan on releasing the CMS to the public, as well as making it open-source. I am still deciding on the particular license to be used, but it will be in the vein of copyleft.

You can read my page on DirtyCMS for further details, or read my Design Philosophy for the impetus behind my design choices, here on this website and elsewhere.