No posts yet today: 19/03/2018

View all posts

Last 5

# Comments

Eli linked to an interesting post by Manuel Moreale which details how he has set up the MacOS mail app as a minimal email client.

I have three mail accounts (two for my domains and an address) but invariably use the "All Inboxes" mailbox. Having drastically reduced the amount of email that I receive by unsubscribing from a lot of things it is pretty easy to manage and I always try to keep at close to Inbox Zero as I can.

Manuel's minimal setup for the mail app, therefore, really appealed to me so I've followed his guide (with a few changes to the buttons on the toolbar) and it's almost like making the Mac mail app function like an iOS app except that mails open in a new window rather than take control of the current one.

# Comments

The early starts for work have been leaving me very tired and I've not written much over the past week or so. Even the blog has slowed down.

Consequently, I didn't expect much when I sat down with the iPad last night yet, from nowhere, managed to get down about 700 words towards the book. It might not seem like much but when your mind just wants to be empty that's quite an achievement.

I'm not sure if it is just the tiredness, however. I began a post on the way home yesterday about Tim Berners-Lee's warning for the web and Michael McCallister's follow up but found myself writing the same things I've said numerous times before.

Michael writes that saving the web requires a social movement and that "the value and benefits of the decentralized web have not been communicated to enough people" but even were this communication to happen I don't see many acting upon it.

Social networks have taken over because they are easy. Yes, addiction keeps people there but the ease with which they can be used is the real clincher. Until setting up your own website or blog, maintaining it and, perhaps more importantly, using it to talk to others, is as easy as creating a profile on a social network the open web will be at a loss.

Even with that ease I question how many people actually want to be a part of the open, decentralised web.

It's not the technology but the experience that matters and, although many are becoming frustrated with how the networks operate, there is nothing out there to match that experience for the masses.

# Comments

Had a mild (who am I kidding?) moment of panic earlier as the Let's Encrypt SSL certificate failed to automatically renew. A quick "live chat" with my hosting company later and normality was restored.

# Comments

The iPad keyboard case I ordered arrived yesterday, it adds a bit of "heft" but that doesn't really bother me, in fact I quite appreciate it.

It's got one good feature I wasn't aware of, when you put the iPad in the typing position the case touches a magnetic strip just above the keyboard which automatically turns it on.

So, now I'm going to try to work it into my routine more and not just as a large iPhone.

I'm not going to get into the whole "laptop replacement" and "can you get real work done" debates - they're pointless. Besides, I've been getting shit done on a phone for years - never mind a tablet!

# Comments

Liked: Say goodbye to the information age: it's all about reputation now | Aeon Ideas...

"There is an underappreciated paradox of knowledge that plays a pivotal role in our advanced hyper-connected liberal democracies: the greater the amount of information that circulates, the more we rely on so-called reputational devices to evaluate it. What makes this paradoxical is that the vastly increased access to information and knowledge we have today does not empower us or make us more cognitively autonomous. Rather, it renders us more dependent on other people’s judgments and evaluations of the information with which we are faced."

There is too much information available so we have to rely on others to filter it for us, yet we complain vociferously when social networks do just that, don't we?

There's a massive difference.

When I wrote "The 3 R's of Influence" almost six years ago reputation was one of those linchpins (along with reach and relevance) but it was also underlined by trust.

We have to be able to trust the reputation of those filtering our data. We can attempt to prove the reliability of individual sources, make a judgement of how much faith we place in them, but how could we possibly establish the reputation of an algorithm that pulls data from myriad sources all with their own degrees of trustworthiness or otherwise.

The problem, however, is that it's hard work to assess these sources, establish their pedigree, and trace their information flows. To do so properly would leave many with only a few sources at most; this narrow view - no matter how reliable - could be just as damaging.

So we resort to pseudo-reputation guided by sentiment and confirmation bias, believe those who shout loudest and amass the most disciples.

Truth by consensus.

These same sentiments and biases (or rather those of developers) fuel any attempts to automate the process leaving us at their whim, but we need to find a compromise whereby the task of establishing reputation is not too onerous, retains much of its veracity, and is available to all.

Colin Walker
Colophon. Content: CC NY-BC 2.0 UK, Code: GPLv3
Colin Walker Colin Walker

Thinker, writer, ideas man. Blogger & microcaster.