Nicolas Bouliane

The duty to document Posted on

If you learn something the hard way, share your findings with others. You have blazed a new trail; now you must mark it for your fellow travellers. Sharing knowledge is an unreasonably effective way of helping others.

Hiking map with hand-drawn annotations

I owe a debt of gratitude to those whose knowledge helped me debug software, repair bicycles, choose camping gear, start a business, and deal with anything life throws at me.

I repay that debt by marking my own trails. When I think “it should not have been this hard to find out”, I make it easier to find out. Over the years, I have documented everything from ffmpeg incantations to Uzbek petrol stations, and made a career out of documenting German bureaucracy.

I figure that if you have knowledge that could benefit thousands of people, and it costs you next to nothing to share that knowledge, it’s your duty to do it.