Thorsten Zöller


Some information about me and this site, in case you are interested.

About Me

Thorsten Zöller

Originally from Oberhausen, Ruhr, in Germany, I have studied physics at Heidelberg University and received my PhD in theoretical physics at Technical University of Darmstadt. I still find physics extremely fascinating, although it has become a very minor part of my life since I left academia. Instead of trying to understand how the universe works, these days I focus much more on the question of how to live a good life (yes, I know that sounds rather lofty…​).

My “philosophy of life” is rather eclectic (which makes me a fox, although I think my nature is more that of a hedgehog) and influenced by the teachings of Zen Buddhism (in particular of the Zoto Zen sect), Ashtanga Yoga, Stoicism (and also the other Hellenistic schools of Epicureanism and Pyrrhonian Scepticism), and minimalism[1]. That might sound like some rather exotic blend of different philosophies, but I feel they all have something important in common, and I am eager to get to know that “something” better.

I live with my wife and my little son in Frankfurt, Germany, trying to live a simple life and to find calm amid the hectic and sometimes chaotic everyday life.

About This Site

This site is entirely static and built from scratch.[2] Pages are created in AsciiDoc (by employing the Ruby implementation AsciiDoctor, which is very fast, extremely well documented, and has a great API), Mustache is used for templating (being logic-less, it enforces separation of program logic and presentation), and a small Ruby script translates them into HTML. Although CSS is used to style the website, one of the design principles of this site is that it should look decent without any styling whatsoever.[3]

Why not use a static site generator? After all, there are lots of amazing ones available (see e.g. Static Site Generators). Well, I like things to be as simple as possible, and although they are all quite minimal compared to a full-blown blogging platform like e.g. WordPress, most still offer many features I do not need. In addition, it removes one more dependency on some external application. Therefore, instead, I use my own little script which does only what I need.

This site is:

1. Or exterior mindfulness, as Paul Jarvis calls it adequately.
3. Can be checked out in many browsers by disabling CSS styling in the developer tools or something similar.