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One Shot Web

Break free from your data dependence
  [vote for,

This is an idea for a browser extension which, for a given set of domain names, forbids you from viewing anything that is already listed in your browser history. All visited hyperlinks become plain text; anything you've viewed in the last [arbitrary time period] is verboten.

The reasoning behind this is that with information being of zero cost, one's brain has no incentive to absorb it. People end up repeatedly requesting the same pages, safe in the knowledge that there is no limit to the number of times they can check it. In an era where seemingly everyone has the internet in their pocket, perhaps this is not a problem. But I for one am terrified of my dependence on electronic resources.

No, nothing stops you disabling the filter if you absolutely must re-view something. It simply encourages you to make the most of your browsing, under penalty of a hassle. A number of iterations are possible: pages viewable N times per day, index pages whitelisted, etc.

mitxela, May 17 2014


       This would break the layout of many pages if you remove it or change it to plaintext. You'd need to just hide the <div> it's in or similar "retraction".   

       There is already a built-in browser feature that shows links in a different color (default purple) if the link has already been visited. That doesn't break the layout.   

       Removing "already visited" content entirely would be problematic, as I want to show my kids at the end of the day, the funniest stuff from the web.   

       Also, if we did this on the HB, we wouldn't see the ideas we already visited, which would kill the conversations in the annos, which we often come back to on purpose to keep it going.
sophocles, May 17 2014

       What about your dependence on the phone? Shoes? Rning water? Worst: that easy access to the air, making you soft and complacent, just sucking up that free air like there will never be a problem in the world.   

       I say duct tape your mouth and nose shut except for one small swizzle stick. Work for that sweet air! That will bring things into focus. And that water - time to be weaned from the indoor plumbing teat! Fill your sink with sand and let it drip one drop at a time, then plunge your swizzle stick into the sand and suck out what you can get.   

       Yes, practices like this idea and those I describe should toughen up those dependent underbellies in now time.
bungston, May 17 2014

       Blimey, no one's forcing you to install this.   

       Consider it more like the web-based equivalent of lent. Except instead of the intention being to appreciate something, it's intended to help you memorize it.   

       It wouldn't apply to the HB, or any site with strongly dynamic content, more to things like wikipedia. My original idea was a physical encyclopedia where you manually tore out a page after reading it. That has the benefit of visually showing how far through you are.   

       (Regarding layout: I was paraphrasing blanking the href field. There should be no technical difficulties to implementing this)
mitxela, May 17 2014

       Use a browser with an editable global stylesheet and set a rule similar to:   

       a:visited {color:transparent !important}
vincevincevince, May 19 2014

       //The reasoning behind this is that with information being of zero cost, one's brain has no incentive to absorb it.//   

       Remember all of those tests you took in school, where you complained about it being ridiculous to make you memorize stuff you could easily look up if you needed to know it? Seems to me you're saying you wish life could be more like that.
ytk, May 19 2014

       [vincevincevince], while you'd expect that to work, there are actually a bunch of restrictions on the :visited selector which make it a little more complicated (mostly designed to stop websites tracking if you've previously visited their pages).   

       //Remember all of those tests you took in school// I won't go into detail but I'll just say that that was never one of my (many) complaints. I don't wish *life* could be more like a test, notice again the first sentence: this would only apply to a given set of domains.   

       An example. For years I had a mild interest in knots, however I could never remember how to tie them, always having to look it up again. However, when I actually took a course in aerial rescue, very suddenly I was in a situation where I *had* to get the knot correct or I would genuinely fall to my death. Needless to say I've never since had any trouble remembering them.   

       So it seems I'm in the minority, wanting to memorize things recreationally. I suddenly have this image of a rescue team getting out their smartphones and googling for instructions whilst saving someone.
mitxela, May 20 2014


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