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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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Ads and Feeds

January 26th, 2007 · Posted by Hugo · 2 Comments

RSS feeds are evil! – as so succinctly pointed out by Stefan. (Now if I could only be certain of how to actually pronounce “succinctly” correctly… sometimes if I read a word often enough, I end up believing I know how to pronounce it, thinking I’ve actually heard it.)

I discovered a handful of great blog posts, and blogs, that I have added to my subscriptions. There’s not really any way in which I can get through all the things I’m currently subscribed to. I’m going to have to learn some really good pruning skills.

That’s something I miss from a real-world newspaper – pruning convenience. The amount of information you get by glancing at a page is more than you think. You get a feeling for the importance of an article, you see it’s size, you absorb the headline and the photos, and you easily pick and choose what you want to read and what you do not want to read. I suck at that, when it comes to most websites, and blogs. Generally, I think news websites typically suck at helping you with that. But I am getting better. Much better, out of necessity.

Still, there’s the odd blog that I insist on reading the archives quite thoroughly. Real Live Preacher is one of them. This I do consider as partly a public service (and seriously this time, not like my “San Fran joke”) – as I’m collecting links to some nice historical posts, so you can see them too, without having to go through the archive yourself. There’s a number of other blogs I will also be linking to soon, some really “good bits” I’ve discovered. Why am I stalling? I don’t know. I want to do the posts justice. So for now I’m just collecting links (privately, not the ones in the sidebar, other than Real Live Preacher).

To maintain my tradition of making nearly all my blog posts too long, I’ll mention Google AdSense here as well – you might notice I’ve added some Google Ads to the sidebar. I’ll be discussing/thinking about advertising in some later posts (again, I’ve got some thoughts lined up in my mind), for now, they’re just there. Kinda funny, some of the ads that get listed, I am indecisive if I want to block certain ads or not. (Though, some seriously creep me out – like a “Revlelation” one – let’s avoid any keywords that might encourage more of these ads to appear, hehe.)

There was a time when I clicked on ads I didn’t like (typically in GMail sponsored links), because I wanted to cost the advertisers money… the problem with that? What if it encourages Google to give me more of those ads, based on my “preference” for them? Argh! Well, I’ve calmed down again to the point where I’ll only click on it if I actually have that “huh?! What on earth! I gotta see this, it’s just so stupid!” reaction. It’s better that way. ;)

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 stefan // Jan 29, 2007 at 12:48 am

    In the past, I think “Getting Things Done” used to be a major challenge. Today, it seems the focus has shifted towards “Getting *the right* Things Done”. We are bombarded with information and things to do all the time, and choosing the right ones is annoyingly difficult. Even with things such as e-mail (which should be easy to prioritise, right?), I’ve found myself going through different organisation schemes: first, I kept everything in a single folder, then I moved towards an automated filtering system, and now I am back to a single folder. Why? Because I found that, in the end, I read all of the e-mail anyway, and that it doesn’t really matter in which order (although, threads-ordering do help me to focus on one topic at a time, at least). One day, I hope to be an adept prioritising machine, but until then, the social equivalent of “rough consensus and running code” must do.

    I enjoyed the couple of Real Live Preacher videos I’ve seen thus far (I haven’t read his blog yet). Irrespective of whether I agree with people, I have a lot of respect for those who challenge the paradigms “enforced” by their upbringing. If more people critically evaluated the things they were told, this world would be a better place. In fact, this world would already be a much better place if more people simply practiced what they preach.

    As for Google — ever since they started, not being evil was a big thing for them. Now that they’ve grown into a large company, many people think that the wheels are coming off in that respect. It will be interesting to see how money, morals and politics influence their future.

  • 2 Hugo // Jan 29, 2007 at 10:35 am

    So true. Can I point out, Jesus was one who challenged the paradigms “enforced” by his upbringing? You don’t need to be a Christian to have the utmost respect for him. I should be blogging about this some time, resisting the temptation to share some thoughts here and now…

    Yes, where Google is going will be interesting. Here’s an interesting fragment/thought, don’t :

    “It is true that Gandhi was much impressed by the Sermon on the Mount, his favorite passage in the Bible, which he read over and over again. But for all the Sermon’s inspirational value, and its service as an ideal in relations among individual human beings, no Christian state which survived has ever based its policies on the Sermon on the Mount since Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire. And no modern Western state which survives can ever base its policies on pacifism.”
    – Richard Grenier, The Gandhi Nobody Knows, an essay/article I only read bits and pieces of.

    The role of pacifism vs the use of force, is a rather intricate topic. I found an essay by CS Lewis on “Chivalry” to be quite thought provoking with regards to this topic.

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