A miscellany: delinkification, engineer duels and email addresses

I spend a great deal of my time every day reading things.  Not only is it my job, but it might well be a compulsive habit anyway.

And I often want to share these things.  For this purpose, I have begun using Twitter frequently, but sometimes it’s nice to share interesting and amusing findings using other means.  Hence this post.*  The first of what will, no doubt, be many more of its kind.

So, first up!

I’m quite a fan of Nicholas Carr’s writing.  Admittedly, I’ve not got round to reading any of his books (the day only having 24 hours**, after all), but I find his blog to be pretty engaging, even if I don’t always agree with him.  Gasp.  Anyhoo, his latest post is an interesting one: he talks about the subject of delinkification.  Of not hyperlinking in webby writings, but rather including links at the bottom of articles and posts.  Something I shall be trying in this post, and on which I welcome any and all commentary.

Why would someone want to do such a patently unwebby thing?  Well, apparently hyperlinks place extra cognitive load on the grey matter.  They distract us from the content in which they’re contained. And the more links, the more distracting.  As he says:

“The link is, in a way, a technologically advanced form of a footnote. It’s also, distraction-wise, a more violent form of a footnote. Where a footnote gives your brain a gentle nudge, the link gives it a yank. What’s good about a link - its propulsive force - is also what’s bad about it.”

It’s certainly an intriguing thought…

Next up!  Two webcomics, because they’re geeky*** and they made me laugh.

From Dilbert, that bastion of irrepressible misery-inspired humour:

And from The Oatmeal, possibly my favourite new webcomicky site.

the oatmealThe Oatmeal also shares with us other pearls of hilarious wisdom, including “8 websites you need to stop building” .

So, yes, there you have it.  Back to more serious stuff tomorrow, I promise.


* Also, and incredibly irritatingly, the very serious paper on which I was going to blog has, for some reason, fallen over.  I can no longer access it.  I am hoping the situation will rectify itself, lest I be forced to write people letters.

** I’m seriously considering joining the 25th Hour coalition.

*** I’m not getting into the whole ‘geek vs nerd’ thing fight.  Not now.  Possibly not ever.  And xkcd’s done a brilliant job of dissecting the issue, anyway.


Nicholas Carr: Experiments in delinkification

The 25th Hour coalition

xkcd: Geeks and Nerds

Dilbert: May 31, 2010

The Oatmeal: What your email address says about your computer skills