Wishlist of features for Google Reader

I use Google Reader as my blog reader.

In the "manage subscriptions" page, where it lists all the feeds I follow and lets me rename, delete, and tag/folderize them, it would be useful for it to also display stuff like "is this feed still live", how many entries per week it generates, and how many other people read it.

It would be also useful to have a "cleanup", to remove blogs who's feed URL is broken, or haven't generated any articles for months.


About Lisp

This is something I posted to USENET in January 2002:

If you learn Lisp correctly, you can grok all programming styles with it: procedural, OO, predicate, functional, pure or full of side-effects. Recursion will be your friend, function references your allies, you will truly know what a closure is, and that an argument stack is actually a performance hack. You will see that the most elegant way to solve a problem is to create a custom language, solve the generic problem, and have your specific one fall out as a special case. You will learn to truly separate intent from the bare metal, and you will finally understand the two deepest secrets, which are really the same secret, which we tell all, but so few understand, that code and data are the same thing, but organize your data and your code will follow.

I have been walking much more and driving much less.

I don't understand how people can complain that Seattle is not a walkable city:

Capitol Hill, First Hill, the Downtown, SoDo, the International District, Lower Queen Anne, and Belltown are all less than half an hour's walk away from my home. Add another half hour and I can get to SoDo, Colombia City, Fremont, or Ballard. Half an hour is less than the average commute, not even counting the time spent parking. Plus it eliminates the stress of close quarters city driving and dealing with one-way streets.

Hopefully I will not turn into one of those people who either preach or desire to compel people out of their cars. I intensely dislike that mindset. I am just enjoying the different perspective.

The different pace and the different experience of the urban environment, it gives me a whole new way of looking at my city home. I notice things I had not noticed before. More of the greenery and odd shaped pieces of unbuildable land that are everywhere. The texture of the sidewalks and roads. The decorations on the houses and buildings and storefronts. Little hole-in-the-wall cafes and shops.

The really big win is that I am literally smarter and more intellecually creative when I am out walking. I suspect it's a combination of exercise being good for thinking, the stimulation of seeing the urban landscape in higher detail, and not having to spend large amounts of brainpower flow avoiding a traffic accident.

Turning that increased mental capacity into actually produced work is being an interesting problem. I'm considering a solid state recorder.


Thought: Microblogs and duplication

Microblog readers should detect duplicates and suppress displaying them. I have a couple of Twitter accounts, an Identi.ca account, and also my Facebook account: I see many duplicates.

It would be best if the microblogging services would generate unique message IDs on post, and then preserve them on read and syndication, but it's probably too late to demand that they do that, as each service wants to think of itself as "Special" and has little interest in "playing well with others" in a larger media stream ecology.

But even without that, a smart microblog aggrigator/reader should be able to notice things like "I've just seen this exact tweet from this poster, just read from another logged in account", and fold them together. This would be useful for the common case of reading more than one twitter account that has some of their follow list in common.

The metarule is "reduce the cognitive load on the user". Anything that makes it easier for the human in the loop to read and understand the stream faster and easier, is better.