Yes. The more I think of it, the more this point, the "not cumulative" nature of Quora (or any social media posting) is the crucial question. We are sharecroppers on these platforms if they don't give us the tools to build something bigger ... \1
As way for our work to "add up" to something more than the fleeting attention that it buys us (and buys the platform)

That's what's "evil" about the attention farming platforms. Of course attention is always fleeting. But they could have been set up in a different way ... \2
I keep thinking of things like @threadreaderapp ... in their tiny way they a force for "good". They are helping us turn the fleeting tweets into a more permanent construction.

Obviously this is a tiny, tiny step ... but everyone building tools should think like this ... \3
We are addicted to flows and dynamic interactions on social media. And there is something valuable about the way that this dynamic social interaction stimulates us to write ...

But the tools MUST help us turn those flows into more valuable stocks. ... \4
If the tools don't do that ... if they just take advantage of our addiction to keep stringing us along reading and writing more ephemera ... they are vampires, draining us of our life blood ... \5
The tools must help us build the permanent / more coherent record, by helping us reconnect the tiny pieces.

And help us build something worthwhile for the writer. \end

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More from @interstar

30 Jan
@6loss I think Stallman's politics is left and libertarian (where libertarian is "extreme liberal"). The intuition most of us had originally is that with enough freedom, the good drives out the bad. As you know, I think we might be discovering that that is "wrong" in some sense ... \1
@6loss But it's still a viable and attractive intuition.

And, yes, the GPL etc. is built on that. So freedom is more important than trying to constrain people to do good.
@6loss Furthermore ... pragmatically, this appeal to pure freedom clearly engages and recruits more people than if Stallman had tried to use GPL to enforce his own wider political views. You have "right-libertarians" (ESR, or Lessig) on-board with GPL. \3
Read 12 tweets
2 Jan
The Great Software Stagnation is real, but we have to understand it to fight it. The CAUSE of the TGSS is not "teh interwebs". The cause is the "direct manipulation" paradigm : the "worst idea in computer science" \1
Progress in CS comes from discovering ever more abstract and expressive languages to tell the computer to do something. But replacing "tell the computer to do something in language" with "do it yourself using these gestures" halts that progress. \2
Stagnation started in the 1970s after the first GUIs were invented. Every genre of software that gives users a "friendly" GUI interface, effectively freezes progress at that level of abstraction / expressivity. Because we can never abandon old direct manipulation metaphors \3
Read 12 tweets
28 Aug 20
@wokal_distance This is a good thread but you miss the point about the post-modernists. The PoMos were not ADVOCATING we abandon truth. They were diagnosing and WARNING US, that the media and language were like this. That no cultural institution or language could guarantee objective truth \1
@wokal_distance Neither media nor our langauge etc. could play the role of a kind of a court to give us a definitive verdict.

People complain about PoMo as though PoMos inflicted this problem on us. But that's shooting the messenger.\2
@wokal_distance The Enlightenment tradition said give everyone "freedom of speech" and the good will drive out the bad. But PoMo theorists were cultural studies people, linguists, anthropologists. They KNEW culture and communication didn't work like that. And they tried to tell us. \3
Read 9 tweets
24 Aug 20
@AnneOgborn @rzeta0 After a bit of playing with SWI so far I was impressed with many aspects of it. Running web server and web interface was remarkably simple. More or less the same as doing it in Python / Flask etc.

But there were things in Prolog which seemed inconvenient / counter-intuitive. \1
@AnneOgborn @rzeta0 These are conceptual things, and I guess you could argue that fixing them would mean it isn't Prolog any more. But they managed to stop me going further.

Some examples ... \2
@AnneOgborn @rzeta0 It's a pity that Prolog doesn't have functions for things that we intuitively think of as functions. Ie. numeric calculations or basic string processing etc.

Always having to think and write these in the form of relations feels unwieldy and overcomplicated. \3
Read 9 tweets
10 Jul 20
@msimoni @coreload I think the tablet COULD be a perfectly good device for content creation if people would just do the damned UI design work to make it good. Right now, we haven't figured it out. This is where graphical input could be very useful. \1
@msimoni @coreload This is a whole other story.

It seems that social apps have figured out ways to get users to put a lot of data into their systems. Problem is that the data is just being used for social media type things. \2
@msimoni @coreload Could we make UIs that "afford" input the way that FB, IG etc. do, which actually feed that information into more useful apps?

Read 5 tweets
10 Jul 20
@msimoni @coreload You can have graphical ways of representing lambdas. But then you move away from DM and your graphical objects are now symbols.

AFAIK no one has come up with a very elegant or efficient graphical language. Alphabets typically beat ideograms.

@msimoni @coreload And recursion is particularly hard to represent graphically

If you mean supplement a graphical desktop with extra linguistic scripting. Then sure, I'm all for that. But desktop becomes diminishing vestigial part of the whole. \end
@msimoni @coreload As an example, there is no desktop gui we've seen so far, that can express an idea as complex and as useful as

rsync -avr --delete-after /path/to/data /path/to/backup
Read 5 tweets

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