The essential inadequacy of tools.
In your case, the tool is helpful because I can see a graph of activity—and, actually, now I realize: I think I would be interested in illustrating updates vs new material. I do value new material slightly more. And I think I would especially like to see minor edits (50 chars or less) not shown.
Yes, for you, the graph will be noisy. It will just show constant activity. But you do tend to update in clumps. So knowing the moment has arrived—and there is a new clump out there—that helps. It’s even more helpful for the rest of your family’s wikis. Because they are usually less frequent than you. Saving myself the cognitive load of simply having to determine whether the wiki has changed or not (manually) leaves me more time to read.
I think I could also, like you say, use the ability to monitor keywords. I do find messages using my name in search. And I also rank Link Logs higher—your roundups are some of my favorites. But I also don’t want to become too dependant on such things, because I like reading about your afterschool teaching and your meta-discussions about shaping your wiki. No matter the algorithm, there is a danger that the tool starts doing too much of the reading for you. That’s why I feel passionate about designing it to be painfully inadequate.
Assuming you are insane enough to be thinking about the problem, I also don’t know how far you want to specialize that crawlegator. There are many treadmills you’d need to tailor it to.
I think I am content leave it as a ‘bookmark folder’ with some perks. I want it to be like a hammer—an elegant, limited tool with one job to do. I don’t think I need it to become a massive engine. I don’t want to suddenly be spending all of my time with it.
Unfortunately, I spend little time trying to make my wiki RSSable because I have no idea how to make what is salient about my wiki algorithmically pop up for you in an easy manner (for so many stupid reasons). I have a fuckton of noise for you to sift through. What are you sifting for? I just don’t know what you perceive as S2NR for you.
I think you are doing a remarkable job at organizing your wiki! You are so consistent with your naming—so that only left me to parse your whole wiki. This is the best RSS feed I could ask for. I wish every blog could be slurped up so easily. I can form a complete history and plunder it all immediately. I can read the timestamps on everything perfeckly.
Echo chambers, however, can be quite useful in crystallizing; they tumble rocks for gems too often. Further, I’m pissed off that I don’t have the power to construct my own filter-bubbles based upon how other people construct their filter-bubbles in a decentralized fashion. In my wildest dreams, I wish for an aggregator in which I choose the moderators who filter, updoot in ranged voting, and categorize any given of any given sub, tag, or content. I wish I could see through the eyes of my favorite crazy people, and I’d like to see the work which is censored by particular groups as well.
This is a very juicy take. I tend to think that if you find an enemy’s (or a friend’s) blog, then the information is all there. But I think your point is really hot: viewing your ‘feed’ might be a lot more interesting to me than it even is to you! Walking a mile in your shoes. I like this idea. I may crib this at some point.
So, I see two ideas here, actually:
- I share a public ‘feed’ list that you can peruse—barring some feeds I would mark as private, possibly—and you would see the whole thing just as I see it.
- An extension—like the ‘Reddit on Youtube’ one—where you can see related comments from anything in your feed. (It’s very possible that you’ve commented on something somewhere deep in your wiki and I’ll never find it unless I manually search—and I’m not going to do that for every link I come across.)
Yeah, I’m definitely interested in what the average Redditor and HN user has to say, but I’m especially interested in prioritizing what you have to say about the topic or link.
I will reply to you further on the rest of your letter. I have had a great time following the writing of it. I have enjoyed watching my interactions with your family play out.
I wonder how 1uxb0x is handling having a troll-admirer on his hands. I know T-Money probably thinks I am teasing. For me, to read 1uxb0x is to experience life in a very potent way. To only see laughter or amusement in the writing of 1uxb0x is to limit the experience immensely. I worry that he will pack it all up and hide it all away, not knowing the harm of the lights I shine on it. I would understand this. Why go back to the place! Why read my wiki assignments from dad?
I don’t know exactly why he would feel embarassed at being so lauded. (I vaunt 1uxb0x, I VAUNT him.) But I think it is good, if so: to recoil against one’s own arrogance must happen I think.
“There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things.” – Phil Karlton ↩︎
I feel some regret at emphasizing the word “importaint”—as if an error in grammar were just another amusement to kick around. However—how could I pass it up? It is a pun of a higher order—so perfect for the son of Your Filthiness! The whole sentence is so readable. For such a short writing to instantly transport us to the Major’s Cabin, to Greece, to the death of the successful companies of this world. This is as good as it gets. To make our predictions, to cry our disbelief (“2 bucks?!?!”) and to finally say: “Shit.” For such is Sophie’s World. ↩︎