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Hypertext Considered A Bit Crap After All

Hypertext is killing attention, stop clicking links!
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Most of our modern lives consist of facing a bit of glass behind which is hypertext markup language - HTML.

Hypertext, as pretty much everyone knows, is a way of making bits of text extend into deeper or further meaning or context, in this case, gotten done by the means of a 'link'.

Historically, this could all possibly be blamed on Vannevar Bush, although more realistically, Ted Nelson's Xanadu project, and the general influence on other tech projects of the time, resulting in the concept of 'hot spots' within documents or pages.

By the time TBL was writing an SGML application to be known as HTML, the discussion of what is and isn't a linkable hotspot was quite diverse, but he took the simplest possible implementation, resulting in the 'hyperlink'. This only goes one way, carries zero context and zero versioning, and as a result, the World Wide Web is full of totally anonymous links to resources that probably aren't there anymore, and if they are, aren't the same version as was thought, and offer no way back at all.

This last point is the one I'm conveying as the bad bit. We all know that attention has plummeted in recent decades. We all suspect that the recent world recession of 2007 onwards coincided with the wider public adoption of Facebook, resulting in no actual work getting done in any workplace at all. We've all been in the situation where we sit down at a computer or tablet or phone and a couple of hours have disappeared, totally unaccounted for.

This is because of the hyperlink. The too-easy way that it is possible to stop thinking and mentally modelling what we're reading, in the middle of a paragraph, and disappear to some fundamentally distinct place and atmosphere, to experience a vaguely connected (in only one tiny facet, not even one dimension's worth) set of information, and progress our churning machine of mental mastication on that new set of information grass. Then we see another link and off we go to another planet again.

This is poisonous to how we think. It's a drug. It should be treated as a harmful addictive drug, and should be regarded as such. The danger of hyperlinks - especially anonymous one way links, but even if they were properly done (as XLink for example) - is that our information is sabotaged by being shot to pieces or torn up and stuck back together badly.

A sub-aspect of this is that because people start reading a thing at the beginning, and not from the middle or the end, almost all information that is partly digested, partly experienced and partly understood will be the information that by chance occurs at the start of a passage or document.

Doesn't this suggest that we've actually reduced almost all of our information to only the basic introductory paragraphs? All of the world's knowledge, not so much connected together in one glorious hole, but all of the world's knowledge reduced to the first tweet's worth.

Ian Tindale, Feb 12 2017

Grumpy Old Man https://www.youtube...watch?v=BbU4Cb4A4-o
And we liked it! [bungston, Feb 12 2017]

Stack Overflow: Open link in new tab or window http://stackoverflo...w?noredirect=1&lq=1
//and offer no way back at all// It's certainly not the default use-paradigm, but it does address the marching blindly onward, ever destracted by fleeting tangents problem. Where not expressly written into the code of a page, can usually be replicated by right-click, open new tab/window user action. [zen_tom, Feb 13 2017]

RDF: SKOS Ontology Reference https://www.w3.org/...reference-20090818/
SKOS is an RDF ontology used to describe the Simple Knowledge Organization System used as a way of describing concepts, topics and the like, in terms of their linkages to other terms and topics. So a kind of hyperlinked framework for dealing with ideas. [zen_tom, Feb 13 2017]

RDF: PROV-O https://www.w3.org/TR/prov-o/
An RDF Ontology for dealing with the provenance of information - describing authorship, publishers, editors, collectors, enbundlements and other relationship chains that might be used to describe the journey a particular information set might have gone through. [zen_tom, Feb 13 2017]


       Could you provide a <link> exemplifying the problem you're addressing?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2017

       probably not top of the world's agenda but I empathise.
po, Feb 12 2017

       I came here via looking for whether the speaker of the house, UK, is the person with authority to formally invite 45 to Westminster.
po, Feb 12 2017

       I feel like you are correct, but the case needs to be made that the pre-link state of affairs was better. It seems to be for those who came of age in that previous state, but for those who grew up around it, perhaps not. Without that argument, it's a bit get-off-my-lawn.   

       I feel that way also about the arguments for truth and fact-based news reporting lately. It ought to be a given that truth and facts are what we should demand and be focused on, however I think that given is not so given any more.
tatterdemalion, Feb 12 2017

       It's not so much the pre link state of affairs had any intrinsic advantage, it often didn't. However, the choice of a simplistic link forward with no real handle on what we're going to, and no way back (other than the return stack of the browser, which isn't integral to the link mechanism but bolted on to something else), results in a situation where we 'surf' (you could call it that if you like, I'll let you have it) from first part of document to first part of another experience to first part of yet another presented dataset.   

       The real thing that's happening is that in doing so, we're going further and further and further away from our intention and purpose. We all find it painful that we can't get stuff done, our intentions evapourate and we feel inadequate because life fritters away and nothing gets done, yet we had all the time in the world.   

       Now, this probably was also the case at any point in human history, but in this situation, we've made a design choice that has a specific impact (well, TBL made the design choice, but the acceptance was ours) and we could (and probably in fact should, in fact I'd say must) alter the nature of the hyperlink.   

       The internet is fairly young, it's not too late, imagine what it would be like if the current architecture of hypertext as it stands were to still persist in the 22nd century for example, almost every link would be assumed to be dead or irrelevant, and useful links would disappear among this rubbish heap.   

       The hyperlink as we know it is one of many forms of mental poison. It could be changed. We need to introduce a different form of link that works better with the way that human attention works. This should be integral to the link architecture itself, not tagged on or superposed by the user-agent alone, or something like that. For example, if hyperlinks resembled the data structure known as a doubly- linked list, frequently used in simple programming, you'd at least have the 'feel' of going back down the road from which you came, and if this were also accompanied by the time spent in each node, and some quantification of results, then imagine how productive we'd all be now that we can actually remember where the morning or afternoon or evening went.
Ian Tindale, Feb 12 2017

       The ongoing issue appears to be (and always has been) that things "now" (whenever that is) are (according to old people) much, much worse than they were "then" (i.e. when old people were younger).   

       Social cohesion, manners, literature, language and morals have deteriorated catastrophically over the last few years. This process has been an ongoing one since the first elderly caveman shook his head and tut-tutted at the way his grandchildren went round wearing aurochs skins and cooking their food over a fire, something unknown when he was a boy.   

       Amazingly, your species somehow survives.
8th of 7, Feb 12 2017

       [Ian], I was about to reflexively pooh-pooh your concerns (I'm a great one for a good pooh-pooh) and then make some humourous remark. Indeed, I may yet do so, or may already have done so.   

       But then it occurred to me that you might be right. I believe that social cohesion and all those other things have, indeed, deteriorated (or "deteriated", as almost every newsreader now says) catastrophically within the last few decades, as [8th of 7/11] points out.   

       But I don't subscribe to [8th]'s argument that old gits have always said the world is going to shit. We just _assume_ that elderly caveman tut-tutted at his grandchildren, because we tut-tut at ours. But it's quite possible that the elderly caveman thought "Wow - fire - that's a good piece of progress."   

       Or take the Victorians. They didn't seem to bemoan change as much as we do, even though change was faster - perhaps because they recognized that much of that change (electric lights, vacuum cleaners, hydraulic sandwiches) was for the good.   

       So, it's entirely and completely possible that we grumble today for the simple reason that things are indeed turning to shit. We have long passed "peak education" and "peak attention span". Nobody knows anything in depth nowadays. In my own field (molecular biology), most of the major breakthroughs are made by old gits like me who are left over from the last generation. For me, that's great, but it's not healthy.   

       And it is high time the WWW died and was reinvented. We have got it into our heads that the Internet is just an inevitable and great thing, and that it will improve only by getting bigger, or faster, or by having cooler graphics. But the WWW was our first ever attempt, as a species, of doing big connectivity. It's not surprising that we didn't get it quite right, and it's ridiculous to suggest that it's the only option. It's been around for almost 30 years with only cosmetic tweaks - far too long for any piece of informational technology.   

       We may not be able to think of any real alternative to the WWW, but that is a sign that it has become too entrenched and ground-in.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2017

       // We have long passed "peak education" and "peak attention span". Nobody knows anything in depth nowadays. //   

8th of 7, Feb 12 2017

       The hairball is what it is. The quality of information is not good, it droppeth like the gentle piss from heaven.   

       My bitch is less with links, but with the links that do not work.   

       Punch the random button of this site 10 times. If you follow the links, about half of them will end in 404, Go-daddy, or "document not found".   

       Science citation index is a set of books that is all links, and many folks salaries are based on the results.
popbottle, Feb 12 2017

       Yep, [Ian], you're right. Completely right. [marked-for-deletion] rant
lurch, Feb 12 2017

       // rant //   

       .... polemic ?
8th of 7, Feb 12 2017

       No thanks, I've just had one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2017

       // We all find it painful that we can't get stuff done, our intentions evapourate and we feel inadequate because life fritters away and nothing gets done, yet we had all the time in the world.   

       I don't think that's a universal experience. Many feel this way, undoubtedly, but many do not. And others like me feel inadequate for totally different reasons.   

       // we're going further and further and further away from our intention and purpose.   

       Depending on intention and purposes, obvs. Those with weak google-fu (you could call it that if you like) may be getting closer and closer toward them.   

       I was ready to award you the argument, but then [MaxwellBuchanan] agreed with you and the illusion vanished.
tatterdemalion, Feb 12 2017

       I always say that if I can bring a small but penetrating beam of darkness to bear on a clearly-lit scene, my day will not have been wasted.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2017

       What's worrying is that every day, at lunchtime, you always remark to anyone in the vicinity "Well, today hasn't been wasted" ...   

       // We just _assume_ that elderly caveman tut-tutted at his grandchildren, because we tut-tut at ours. //   

       Given the square law relationship between age (x axis) and overall grumpiness (y axis), it's a reasonable extrapolation to assert that whatever younger people do (dress in bizarre and unconventional ways, drink alcohol and make lots of noise, work to save rain forests, buy ludicrously expensive sports footwear, sit in bus shelters smoking cigarettes, join the armed services or volunteer in hospices) someone older than them will disapprove.   

       // But it's quite possible that the elderly caveman thought "Wow - fire - that's a good piece of progress." //   

       It's quite possible that there really is a remnant colony of plesiosaurs in Loch Ness, but there is a lack of objective evidence.   

       Forget cavemen; restrict the timeframe to the 5000 years that humans have been keeping written records.   

       // Or take the Victorians. They didn't seem to bemoan change as much as we do, //   

       The Duke of Wellington, a crusty 18th-century holdover, was extremely unimpressed by radical innovations, like railways, factories, and giving votes to people who owned an area of land smaller than Northamptonshire. It is reasonable to assume, based on contemporary documents, that a significant number of wealthy white males in his age group shared his opinions.   

       // even though change was faster - perhaps because they recognized that much of that change (electric lights, vacuum cleaners, hydraulic sandwiches) was for the good. //   

       ... apart from the change that was for the bad, like overcrowded insanitary urban slums, opressive capitalism, widespread adulteration of food, massive improvements in the number and effectiveness of military weapons, and giving votes to people who owned an area of land smaller than Northamptonshire.
8th of 7, Feb 12 2017

       It must be the time of year, as I went all nostalgic for Gopher net a week ago..   

       [update a bit later] It is still possible to get on Gopher net with the OverbiteFF add-on, and found a text version of Neuromancer ...nostalgia hit...
not_morrison_rm, Feb 12 2017

       Aside: maybe there should be a movement toward overemphasising the "ior" pronunciation within the word "deteriorated". Make it so that it sounds like you're saying "eeyore" embedded in the middle of the word - "detereeyorated" where the middle bit takes slightly longer to say than the rest of it put together, and is slightly louder and more significantly expressed with eyebrows, lip exaggeration, etc.
Ian Tindale, Feb 13 2017

       Right-click on link, choose Open in new tab. Sorted.   

       Using this advanced technique, much of the degeneracy outlined in the idea can be neatly averted - documents be read in full, with tangential avenues for further exploration queued up in a collection of documents pre-indexed by the user, just like noting down footnote references while reading through the main text   

       By extension, if we are to label hypertext as being a bit crap, then other early implementations of linked documents must suffer an equal measure of ire and perturbation.   

       Dead-ended and distracting referential conventions like the Contents pages, Indices, footnotes, callouts, references and bibliographies - all these literary devices fail to take responsibility for the things to which they refer in an equally slapdash manner. The fact that these linked document mechanisms were implemented in a 5-thousand year tradition of document collection and inter-reference doesn't make them any more or less crap than what they are already. We still need librarians to take care of the dead-link problem. They might soon be computerised librarians, but I think the segregation of duties is clear.   

       The publisher points out to documents that exist at the time of writing, and the librarian is there to fetch/catalogue/ version/explain/transcribe the provenance of those documents, and provide context and information in the instance where they might not be available.
zen_tom, Feb 13 2017

       Careful, there, though. The (similar but not the same) problem of generating a wide fan-out of open browser tabs is simply deferring making a decision. Who among us has not had an iPad full of about twenty five tabs, remaining open for several weeks, until the guilt of not even knowing why we created them at all causes us to one day cave in and just kill them all in one swell foop. It is still an attention problem, but turned horizontal instead of vertical, and levering guilt instead of the gap between short term memory, to wear us out.   

       The link mechanism needs to take more responsibility. A dual-linked node or chain of path taken should ideally be an entity itself that I can pass or publish for other people to follow. Hypertext linking should be as visible and deterministic going backwards as well as forwards, not prioritising either by design, and should give context or reason (and while you're at it, as I hinted, give a performance hint, in terms of how the following of the linked list is being used in each instance). This would still achieve the purpose of the hyperlink, but would work with attention, not against it.
Ian Tindale, Feb 13 2017

       There is a solution to internet-induced attention deficit disorder, and it is called the 2400 baud modem.
Cuit_au_Four, Feb 13 2017

       Actually, [cuit], that's not a bad point.   

       Maybe, instead of limiting bandwidth, there should just be a 30s latency. So, if you really want to jump from a Wikipedia page on relativity to one about socks, you can do so - but you'll have 30s in which to continue pondering relativity. And a "cancel" option if you decide that socks are not worth the wait after all.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 13 2017

       But people wouldn't use it. Halfbakery is full of examples of a solution to a problem consisting of "in order to limit you from doing what you're doing quite so well, here's a pretty shit way of doing what you were previously doing, and you should all use that way instead". People won't, they'll quite correctly tell you where to stick it and elect to use the rather good way that already exists everywhere all over the place instead. How long before someone realises that instead of the 2400 baud modem, they could just use broadband, like they were doing yesterday, along with everyone else? Same with introducing delays - people would just pay for an internet provider that circumvents it (or claims to).   

       I was wondering, though, that if the Internet instead of being free to use, was paid for on a per-link basis. Of course, that can't be done now, as people would just use the existing free hyperlinks, but suppose there were some kind of accumulated cost of following too many links, in the form of, I don't know, a count which became somehow publicly knowable. People would refer to such slackers as 'link followers', or 'link tappers' (or clickers, if you still use the old fashioned type of 'computer') and such terms of derision would be used to signify people who can't concentrate and stick to an activity for any length of time before checking social media for cat videos, etc.
Ian Tindale, Feb 13 2017

       Curiously enough, the central argument of my PhD thesis was an expansion of this grumble - i.e. that a hypertext link conveys no meaning apart from saying "these two things are linked" - and then an exploration of, and series of experiments to determine, the common semantic identifiers which can be added to normal 'boring' hypertext links to make them meaningful. The history of the internet in the 20-something years since I did my PhD suggest that my revolutionary and ground-breaking ideas almost entirely succeeded in not catching on.
hippo, Feb 13 2017

       Actually, I'd say "these two things are linked" is being quite over-generous. It's really more like "this is linked with that" but you'd be hard pressed to say the obverse, to coin a phrase.
Ian Tindale, Feb 13 2017

       There's rdf, which, instead of replicating indices, footnotes, references and bibliographies (i.e. duplicating existing paper-implementations of linked documents) actually links data with other data through specified predicate descriptions.   

       In this way, you can link from <Cat> to <Mat> with a named predicate described as <SatOn> and use similar terms to define all the other things that have <SatOn> <Mat>s or for that matter, any other object. Equally, you can define the <SatOn> predicate as having an InverseProperty of <SatUponBy> (or something equally tortuous) and being able to determine all the things in the world that are capable of sitting on, or have at one time or other, in the past, sat on a mat. Since the predicates are openly definable, they can reflect both the existing <LinksTo> relationship described in an <a> tag, but using a similar method to the one above, be used to compile lists of things that <CiteFrom> in the opposite direction.   

       This is where the rot sets in however, since to be a source of truth, one has to collect and curate this information, and without owning and centralising the document or data store, it's not possible to maintain details of all the things that <CiteFrom> a non-local document (it's not yours so you can't be expected to know who else is reading it) and this is probably the bit where all these reciprocal types of relationships fail. The fact is that you can't own/host all of the world's data, so you can only state what other bits you want to link to, in the hope that they'll still be there in the future. There's no getting around that without actually downloading and hosting all the links you want to cite.
zen_tom, Feb 13 2017

       SKOS is derived or influenced by HyTime, wasn't it? I'm still disappointed to see XLink (even at 1.1, since 2010) go pretty much nowhere, despite offering extended linking.
Ian Tindale, Feb 13 2017

       Well, why don't we just appoint an Editor of the Internet, to keep an eye on things?   

       In fact, shirley the future of the Internet is to run its own editorbot, constantly trawling and finding links which are either broken or wrong or malicious, and mending them. How hard can it be?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 13 2017

       from Interview with Shirley the internet editorbot.   

       "...works fixing links that are broken, wrong, or malicious. Is that about right ?"   

       "Well Phil broken or wrong are easy. I do it in my robot dreams."   

       "But malicious is a bit harder. Robots of my generation can't tell good from bad. So I just delete every tenth link and all of the ugly ones. I do have a basic aesthetic module."   

       "You do have a nice tie by the way. Next question ? "   

popbottle, Feb 13 2017

       "The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?"
8th of 7, Feb 13 2017

       //since to be a source of truth, one has to collect and curate this information//   

       Might there be a role here for a trusted third party, like a certificating authority? If that third party held the links, and maybe some link meta-data (but not the material at either end of those links), then one could ask of it those "is cited by" questions.
pertinax, Feb 15 2017

       I don't know if scapegoating hyperlinks is the answer. There are way worse poisons out there. Infinite scroll is far worse.
ixnaum, Feb 16 2017

       That's not relevant to this, though, but on your off topic point, I have a thing about ebay and suchlike being tiring partly because such hunting activities are engaged in late at night, but mostly, I think because of a combination of cognitive disjoint between the cogs in the brain that are geared to look for pictures and pass those down funnels to be distilled into meanings, versus the springs that are used to interpret letters into words and then passed down tubes and converted into meanings. Is a person looking for pictures, or words? Secondly, the scrolling is incorrect - it involves hunting whilst scrolling forever downward, whereas our eyes are in fact ideally suited to detect horizontal visual discrepancies instead. The scrolling is the incorrect way.   

       Also, why do analogue clocks go that way around? It seems as they're going backwards all the time. Didn't anybody back in the days they were invented do any proper user experience evaluation? That's the incorrect way around, it doesn't feel like forward at all.   

       But, none of that is to do with how hyperlinks in their simplistic anonymous directed form are harmful to attention and erode cognitive goal maintenance. I can't just pile every incorrect experience in life all into this one idea - this idea is about improving the hyperlink by not having it as it is.
Ian Tindale, Feb 16 2017

       //Also, why do analogue clocks go that way around?   

       There are some very interesting answers when you google that question. My own answer to this question has to do with gravity and our concept of forward. If you imagine that a limp arrow pointing to 12'o clock it can fall forwards or back. Forward in that case happens to be clockwise. But that brings up another question. Why is left to right motion considered forward, and right to left considered backwards? I'm guessing that it has to do with the direction people read (left to right). I wonder if in cultures that read right to left, that concept is reversed.
ixnaum, Feb 16 2017

       Well, that's another issue that I take issue with. Forward feels like right to left. It's obvious. Right is 'over there' whereas left is 'here', so to bring something from over there (which involves reaching for it) and bringing it closer to 'where I am' translates to a temporal traversal, and the passage of time is a temporal analogy. In this respect I think most modern electronic media has got it incorrect. Almost everywhere you see representations of time progression, most of which go back in time instead of forward.   

       I used a computer game*, once, when I was working on a computer games magazine. Normally I don't touch games, they're a pointless waste. On this occasion, my colleagues convinced me to try this one. Most of the morning I got nothing useful out of it, and it turns out that it had been mis-designed. I was trying to move the character forward, but all it did was hit the left wall and do nothing, over and over and over. It turns out that I should have made the character face backward and walk in the incorrect direction, over to the right hand side. This wasn't explained anywhere and certainly wasn't intuitively deduced. A lot of electronic interfaces are backward in this respect.   

       * actually, it was a Super Nintendo game - my job at that time was art editing a Super Nintendo magazine.
Ian Tindale, Feb 16 2017

       are you left handed or ambidextrous by any chance? Maybe that's the reason. I'm right handed and I don't face these challenges that you describe. But I can imagine how someone could. Come to think of it, it would be very frustrating if someone flipped these norms around on me. I'd probably be posting complaints on halfbakery too. No wonder you don't like computer games. Having a game go backward like that would be annoying.   

       In true halfbakery style, maybe there is a opportunity waiting in this frustration. If there is enough of you out there, a new industry could emerge that makes clocks that tick backward and computer games that scroll the opposite way.
ixnaum, Feb 16 2017

       I'm left handed, but I imagine everyone else experiences it exactly the same as I do.
Ian Tindale, Feb 16 2017

       Maybe, the hypertext link use is an indicator of the human psyche rather than the cause. A few more memory connections, via a stem cells, will clear that right up.
wjt, Feb 16 2017

       [Ian] So if you played computer games while observing the screen reflected in a mirror[*], then everything would presumably be fine?

[* - this is the cue for a lengthy conversation on why mirrors flip things left-to-right, but not top-to-bottom]
hippo, Feb 16 2017

       I hate games.
Mirrors flip left-right because of gravity.
Ian Tindale, Feb 16 2017

       // I'm left handed //   

       Witch ! Witch ! Burn him ! Burn him ! Burn the witch !
8th of 7, Feb 17 2017

       I was thinking it'd be preferable to eliminate all those right-handed people, as they're incorrect at a fundamental level. Then again, H7N9 will probably remove about the same proportion of human life in the near future when it reaches full human to human transmission, but it won't be particularly selective about whether it affects correct or incorrect people. It probably won't affect my age, nor the very young, only the 20-40 year age bracket, so that's a good thing - that'll increase any demand for employment. The reason there's no jobs or income is because there's far too many people competing with me for jobs, mostly they're better at lying, therefore they're harmful to my well being. Getting rid of the right-handed proportion would be a considerable improvement.
Ian Tindale, Feb 17 2017

       //there's far too many people competing with me for jobs, mostly they're better at lying//   

       [Ian], in job interviews, have you considered simply saying less?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 20 2017

       Or indeed not turning up at all ?
8th of 7, Feb 20 2017

       Lefthand, righthand, stem cells, in the right place, will clear that right up.
wjt, Feb 23 2017

       //Or indeed not turning up at all ?//   

       "Frankly, Mr. T, we found your personal appearance at interview alarming."
"What was wrong with my appearance?"
"You made one."
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       I don't actually think they still do interviews these days, things have moved on in recent decades - now there is just applications.
Ian Tindale, Feb 24 2017

       // I don't actually think they still do interviews these days, //   

       Gr. "I don't think they still actually do interviews these days"   

       // things have moved on in recent decades //   

       But, sadly, you clearly haven't.   


       // there is just applications //   

       Gr. "there is just an application" or "there are just applications"   

       Presumably you mean "there are only applications".   

       Or are you implying that there are "just" or "unjust" applications ?   

       "This episode of gratuitous, insulting and unnecessarily hurtful pedantry brought to you by BorgCo, the caring face of agressive hegemonizing Assimilation."
8th of 7, Feb 24 2017

       //I don't actually think they still do interviews these days// I hate to break this to you, [Ian], but...
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       What? Interviews? No, not these days. They were an '80s thing. I did have one (my third) in the 90s, which consisted of turning up, being shown the magazine and the offices, asked "well, do you fancy the job?", I said "I suppose so", and consequently for a few years I was the art editor.
Ian Tindale, Feb 24 2017

       Yes, that's the type of thing. They sound right up your cup of tea, [Ian], if you can come up with the sort of interview gold like "I suppose so" completely spontaneously.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       The important thing is, the whole job getting thing isn't working at all, and it urgently requires revision. By putting useless hr people in the way, all that happens is they employ clones of themselves and not proper people, and this is why we're in this situation of no work, no money and endless higher and higher bills and demands. To be honest, I've had enough, I thought last week was going to be the end, but it went on, then I fell out of the attic onto my back a couple of days ago, which just goes to show. I've had it with this ridiculous situation, nothing works, there's no point, it just goes on and on and on, for no reason. I'm not going to continue, what's the point.
Ian Tindale, Feb 24 2017

       //By putting useless hr people in the way//   

       Ah, now I am with you on that one, [Ian]. HR is a completely unwanted profession - it is, in fact, a professionoma.   

       //no work, no money// Damn. I knew there was one of the combinations I hadn't tried. I've only done "work, money", "no work, money" and "work, no money". The second one was best.   

       //I fell out of the attic onto my back a couple of days ago// Well, frankly, that's not at all unexpected. Who's back would you expect to fall onto?   

       //I'm not going to continue, what's the point.// So, out of curiosity, what is it that you would like someone to pay you to do?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       I like hyperlinks. They feel all daisy-chainy, embeddeded, Mandelbrotian-like. I like the idea of surfing down the rabbit hole, trying to figure out why the author linked to this link and not that link.   

       I was not in favour of the recent TPP threatened tax on links, or charging for internet by links used, because back in the day, the internet WAS links. That was the point. It's tradition.   

       On a personal note [I_T], about being here, even after you've fallen out of the attic*: After much personal sturm und drang (and I mean, a lot; book release 2018, unless it goes straight to made-for-Netflix movie), I've decided I'm not dying until I'm 150. I still have a lot of people to piss off. Also, I want to see how 'it' all turns out.   

       *'Falling out of the attic' is a great metaphor for getting out of your head, and healing the body and soul. Might be a sign. Just sayin'.
Sgt Teacup, Feb 24 2017

       It might just be a metaphor for falling out of an attic. The risk of so doing is why I always on having ground-floor attics.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       //The risk of so doing is why I always on having ground-floor attics.//   

       I'm sure 'insist' sits in there, somewhere. I insist that you insert 'insist'.   

       <end pedant-o-rant>   

       PS I have done away with attics of any sort. I have a shop, a shed, and a garage, all easily accessible with a short step up from the ground. I will live forever.
Sgt Teacup, Feb 24 2017

       No, I did fall out of the attic. I was halfway in, and the ladder I was on slipped out and fell, and I ever so slowly fell backwards on top of it. Big bruises on the back of my arms, huge bloody scrapes down my back, doctor saw it yesterday, but no head damage and overall doesn't hurt much now. Strangely, the ladder itself is totally buggered - it got far more bent up than I, and it also ripped the right hand edge off of a switched single mains socket on the wall. And I'd only just fitted that a few months ago. Still, I've a few more brand new surplus unswitched ones in the attic.
Ian Tindale, Feb 24 2017

       //Still, I've a few more brand new surplus unswitched ones in the attic.//   

       Clearly it's time to level the house so that you can safely access the attic, [I_T]. Doesn't BorgCo. sell something that'll do the job?
Sgt Teacup, Feb 24 2017

       I've banged and banged and banged* the ladder with a rubber mallet. It's quite difficult to get extruded aluminium back into perfect shape, but if I'd used a normal hammer it'd have gone straight through it. It's fairly convincing at the moment, but can't slide fully back into storing position. Of course, it is weakened, but should still hold for a while.   

       * and it really did bang loudly, out in the garden. As if there were a 98% transfer of energy from the mallet into aluminiumly distributed very loud clattery sound, and only 2% into the bending sort of energy.
Ian Tindale, Feb 24 2017

       //I'm sure 'insist' sits in there, somewhere// It was meant to. Unfortunately, the 'insist' key on my new wrap-around Full OED Keyboard has a dead stoat under it, and I couldn't be arsed to type it out letter by letter.   

       //Of course, it is weakened, but should still hold for a while.// Survival isn't really one of your strengths, [Ian], is it?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       Well, unfortunately, it seems it is.
Ian Tindale, Feb 24 2017

       Yes, and paraplegia will just make those remaining days fly by.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2017

       That's just a memory discrepancy - ie too much memory.
Ian Tindale, Mar 03 2017


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