[linux-elitists] open linklogging, anyone?

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Sun Mar 24 19:23:54 PDT 2013

Hi Don,

On Sun, 24 Mar 2013 15:27:06 -0700
Don Marti <dmarti at zgp.org> wrote:

> Hey, so Google is shutting down Google Reader.
> (yeah, yeah, I know... http://xkcd.com/743/ ...beat
> you to it.) and a thousand RSS flowers are blooming.
> Anyone else doing a linklog feed on your own site?
> I have this:
>   http://rtwt.aloodo.com/feed

Seems political. :-(.

> which is just links to stuff.  It's based on a
> fairly ugly minimal feed reader thing that snarfs
> and scores almost 6,000 feeds, some of which are just
> other linklogs.
> It seems like it should be possible to have a
> decoupled network of RSS in, RSS out things, with
> each site maintaining its own subscription list and
> sorting system.

my RSS feed aggregator (not Google Reader, mind) has become a disaster area,
with many feeds accumulating and me spending too much time on it. This reminded
me of how an Electrical Engineer I talked with once described the trickle of
data points in the noise as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_noise - i.e:
very small amplitude noise, whose integral within any finite duration is
zero. And Paul Graham agrees with it:  


Quoting from it:

I know that from my own experience as a reader. Though most print publications
are online, I probably read two or three articles on individual people's sites
for every one I read on the site of a newspaper or magazine.

And when I read, say, New York Times stories, I never reach them through the
Times front page. Most I find through aggregators like Google News or Slashdot
or Delicious. Aggregators show how much better you can do than the channel. The
New York Times front page is a list of articles written by people who work for
the New York Times. Delicious is a list of articles that are interesting. And
it's only now that you can see the two side by side that you notice how little
overlap there is.

Most articles in the print media are boring. For example, the president notices
that a majority of voters now think invading Iraq was a mistake, so he makes an
address to the nation to drum up support. Where is the man bites dog in that? I
didn't hear the speech, but I could probably tell you exactly what he said. A
speech like that is, in the most literal sense, not news: there is nothing new
in it. [3]

Nor is there anything new, except the names and places, in most "news" about
things going wrong. A child is abducted; there's a tornado; a ferry sinks;
someone gets bitten by a shark; a small plane crashes. And what do you learn
about the world from these stories? Absolutely nothing. They're outlying data
points; what makes them gripping also makes them irrelevant.

So reading a lot of boring RSS feeds to find something interesting seems like a
waste of time for me. Usually, I just visit some channels and blogs on various
places like http://www.youtube.com/user/zeldaxlove64 (Christina Grimmie) ;
http://www.youtube.com/user/TiffanyAlvord ; http://esr.ibiblio.org/ (Eric S.
Raymond) ; http://twitter.com/ (the stuff Twitter aggregated) ;
http://perlweekly.com/ (Perl Weekly by Gabor Szabo) ; etc. And I also chat
with people on IRC, IM and email and still am subscribed to mailing lists. Then
I sort of hope that I'll notice the most important thing.

Naturally, people who do monitor RSS feeds are doing a good service, but I'm
not that kind of person.


	Shlomi Fish

P.S: after I've written this post, here are some links stuff I've published
recently as a kind of shameless self-promotion. Feel free to ignore:

* Buffy Facts:

* Facts about the National Security Agency (NSA):

- XML-Grammar-Screenplay: Alternative Format for Hollywood Screenplays


ANN: My Transition From Software Developer to Writer/Entertainer/Amateur
Philosopher/Internet Celebrity

* http://unarmed.shlomifish.org/ - various posts on my Unarmed but Stilll
Dangerous blog.

* http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/Selina-Mandrake/ - “Selina Mandrake - The
Slayer (a Buffy Parody)” (also involves some amount of referncing GNU/Linux and
hackerdom) and http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/Selina-Mandrake/#ebook - its
Electronic book for purchase.

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
Interview with Ben Collins-Sussman - http://shlom.in/sussman

If a million Shakespeares had to write together, they would write like a monkey.
    — based on Stephen Wright, via Nadav Har’El.

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