Lurking on the web, but why? This is oftentimes for fruitless interaction or a simple waste of time in the face of this mass of nameless information that has become the web today.
Today I was reading one of Solène Rapenne’s posts, and I found that the following nicely summarizes the above point:
Having access to the Internet is a gift, I can access anything or anyone. But this comes with a few drawbacks. I can waste my time on anything, which is not particularly helpful. There are so many content that I only scratch things, knowing it will still be there when I need it, and jump to something else. The amount of data is impressive, one human can’t absorb that much, we have to deal with it.
There are many other posts like this, and if you like the *BSD world, you’re on the right track anyway.
Over the years I have accumulated thousands of links. I’m happy when I read some old posts where links I posted are still alive. I don’t want to track all the dead links and replace them with pointers to the Way Back Machine or other archiving system. After all, if they are dead, they are just dead, for whatever reason. At best I can fix redirections to my own material when I find out dangling links, but that’s all.
Anyway, in this post I wanted to reflect on this very specific point, which is that I spend more time looking for information than exploiting it, or even exploiting the information I’ve already accumulated. It’s really not a good thing in reality, it’s even counterproductive: it’s very likely that I’ll forget what I’ve just looked at and find great within 10 days because in the meantime I’m bound to have found something else exciting.
Since I’m pretty busy at work, the only time I can give myself to work on what has aroused my curiosity are my evenings, often spent comatose between an exhausting end of the day and the accumulation of medication in my body (drowned in one or two glasses of alcohol, of course), and my weekends, which I also spend recovering from the physically demanding week and enjoying the presence of my son. In short, I don’t have enough time for everything I would like to do. But if I limit my internet interactions to the bare essentials, which means fewer external links on the micro-blog, I may be able to accumulate enough time to start reading more seriously the man pages, the PDF books I’ve accumulated over the years, and produce more personal and rewarding things.
This is what I intended to do last year already, when I started writing posts about mathematical programming and statistical computing. Then I stopped, for whatever reason again. I therefore declare that the year 2021 will be the year of posts more oriented on specific projects and much less generalist, like my previous reading reviews. Let’s see how it goes.