It's not just this site that's here - tools, strategies, etc.

This site is scheduled to be down for an estimated 10 hours tomorrow while my web host performs hardware maintenance. You probably won't notice as this site doesn't exactly get all that much traffic these days (not that it ever really did). However, I'll find it annoying as traffic to this domain likely comes largely from me and most of it's not going to the "main" site here.

What actually gets most traffic here is an install of WackoWiki which I use for personal note-tracking. The link goes to the software's homepage rather than the Rotundus installation of it as the local installation is intentionally locked down. Don't know my password? Well then, you won't be able to see much other than a login page.

The process things go through

If I look at the pipeline as to how things might wind up getting posted here it usually passes through a pipeline much like the following:

  1. It'll start out likely via either Twitter or a blog I'm following on Feedly, the last being what I personally replaced Google Reader with once that product was discontinued.

  2. The next stop is likely Instapaper, the read-it-later tool. I more often read articles through Instapaper than on the sites themselves, with Instapaper allowing me to add highlights for later reference and to categorize or tag articles (and in the case of most things they'll quickly wind up getting archived from view.

  3. Once I've gone and marked up things in Instapaper, the next spot they'll likely wind up is the wiki. That means further classification and aggregation, and writing up partial drafts of things. As bad as the writing here is, most of what's written I wind up setting aside without it ever having seen the light of day. As is the largest page on the site contains roughly 800KB of text with 188 subheadings, not accounting for the contents of its currently-42 subpages.

  4. The final stage is appearing here. It doesn't happen all that often, even though over time the wiki here has stayed quite busy.

How things have changed / what might in the future

The above is how things works for me but I'm not sure to what extent I'd recommend it to anyone else. It's also changed a bit over time.

For example, I used to also spend a fair bit of time involved in discussions on Reddit where I've got an account with a decent amount of karma. I don't spend all that much time on it anymore, particularly once they started blocking the app that I used to use to access it. Reddit used to act as a parallel ramp to the wiki, where I'd gather info and partially formulate my thoughts, loosely replacing (1) + (2) above. (There are some interesting details there - it's actually Reddit rather than here where things I've written have probably been more widely read. One of the reasons that I'm relatively confident about that is that something I was involved in there came up in a book someone published that got some good reviews and even won some awards).

The wiki started out as an install of (the now-discontinued) WikkaWiki which I'd look at WackoWiki as being the successor of. One thing that's progressively annoyed me more and more over the years is that the wiki syntax those use isn't the relatively widely used Markdown but something slightly different. Will I eventually migrate to a different wiki solution? Perhaps. I haven't decided yet.

I'm also not sure if I'll stick with Feedly over not over the longer term. It can be a bit annoying to self-host at times, but my web host supports Softaculous, a tool for automating the installation and updating of various supported software packages. It's got a couple of feed-reader apps in there and I do find Feedly a little annoying at times. (By contrast, if Elon follows through on threats to make Twitter paid-subscriber only I'll likely abandon that platform).

I'm also not overly committed to Instapaper, with it being inertia keeping me there to a degree. It seems to have some problems at times parsing out the contents of pages into reader format, and does from time to time lose previous highlights on a document if the underlying article changes. I've been considering the pros and cons of moving to Pocket instead.

Then there's this site. It originally started out running PHP Nuke for a few years before I made the switch to Drupal. Now there's the upcoming end-of-life for the Drupal release I'm using, which means that something will have to be done software-wise if I wish to keep the site alive. I've been debating a switch to Wordpress over here. There are some interesting tools like this which you could find on the Wordpress Migration page on my wiki if you could access it... because of course there's a wiki page aggregating info on it.

(EDIT: Just figured that I'd add that the site itself has been hosted on BuyShared in Luxembourg for probably at least a decade so far. Been happy with them and they're quite affordable).

Random links

I Documented “Book Bans.” I Thought They Were All Hysteria. Then I Opened One of the Most Controversial Books.
Kind of interesting how this author goes from their reactions like "flipping through the book’s pages finally, I was a little shocked. I had an involuntary reaction to seeing the nude cartoons, like I needed to make sure I was alone and hide the book. ... I was sure I wouldn’t hand this book to my kids when they are 10. And I began to wonder if in my own allergy to the book-burning fervor, I had been a little too dismissive of the parents at the root of this fight." to by the end of the article seeming to approve of its inclusion.
Realistic Prepper Advice
"Preppers are fundamentally right about the problems, unsustainability, and fragility of the current system… but are utterly delusional about what’s likely to succeed it. Simply put the wish that in a suitably apocalyptic disaster, the state will recoil away into non-existence and leave people to fend for themselves (at which point the prepper will presumably thrive) has basically never happened." (Goes too far down the rabbit hole IMO, but this point and the discussion around it I'd agree with)
Sam Dumitriu on Twitter
"Incredibly, £267m has been spent on the Lower Thames Crossing’s 63,000 page planning application. Norway built the world’s longest road tunnel and the world’s deepest subsea tunnel for less."
Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long‐Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce
"Using 40 years of census data to exploit the variation across states and over time in changes in divorce regulation, I confirm that unilateral divorce regulations do significantly increase the incidence of divorce. Adults who were exposed to unilateral divorce regulations as children are less well educated, have lower family incomes, marry earlier but separate more often, and have higher odds of adult suicide."

The Iron Law of Bureaucracy

I keep thinking about this:

Looking at public health bureaucracies and how they've performed over the last few years it seems like there's a significant element of that at play. I don't think that it gives enough credence though to the long march through the institutions and ideological capture also at play though. (I suppose that you could argue that the ideologues might be dedicated to their vision of what those goals are though).

Could you make reality TV less exploitative?

It's kind of interesting to see this effort:

Except for situations involving following an already-known celebrity it seems tough to arrange shows in the reality TV genre what aren't exploitative as that seems to be how those shows derive the drama they depend on. You might be able to end production of that particular style of TV, but other than perhaps providing a therapist later on I doubt that much will be done.


Subscribe to RSS