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Bookmarks and org

I’ve been back and forth on bookmarking. For a period there was some noise about appearing moribund. The obvious explanation for some of the noise generally was that Maciej Cegłowski’s smartest guy in the room schtick had finally run afoul of peoples’ sensibilities. The one supporting piece of evidence I had in my own experience was an unanswered bug report about broken feed functionality.

So I tried (didn’t really take), and then just stopped bookmarking stuff because I wasn’t sure where to put it, and then started playing around with beorg to capture bookmarks on mobile, which worked fine but I hadn’t yet figured out a way to make the practice scale.

Well, the bug I reported about pinboard got fixed, Maciej seems to be active online again, and pinboard is my favorite service, so I’m using it. For mobile I like the Pins app a lot. It’s just clean and simple, and it’s a universal app so its share extension works on my Macs in apps like Reeder.

Since I’ve moved blogging into Emacs, it’d be nice to be able to get links I save out of pinboard and into a buffer, and it looks like Dave Pearson’s pinboard.el will suffice. It provides a pinboard client in Emacs: invoke it, get a list of your bookmarks, do things with them. Konrad Hensen wrote a function that can store a pinboard.el link as an org link.

Blogging and org

I added ox-hugo to my blogging toolkit as an experiment in blogging with org-mode. You just add a section to a monolithic file, compose with org markup, and save. ox-hugo exports the content to a well-formed Hugo Markdown file. Used in conjunction with Hugo server’s --navigateToChanged switch, realtime feedback is easy.

Some things I like about it:

  • Adding TODO to the front of the heading makes the post a draft.
  • Normal org tags at the end of the heading, e.g. :emacs:gtd:blogging: become tags for the post.
  • Participation in the org ecosystem, e.g. being able to use org-refile on stuff that’s not quite ready for today’s edition.

I’m not so sure about it as a longterm document pipeline. This isn’t a workflow amenable to anything other than a normal computer that can properly run Emacs. That’s not a big deal right now: My iPad is pretty strictly for content consumption these days. But when I think about camping season arriving and how much better suited to that an iPad is, I have qualms. I have no problem imagining an iPad-centric Hugo workflow using any of a number of tools, especially given my publishing pipeline. I don’t like the idea of dragging a laptop along.

I get the feeling this is going to land in the “fun but not for me” pile.

On the other hand, I’ve got Tailscale running and there’s Blink. I can always get to something that can run Emacs that way. If I’m on the grid enough to blog, I’m on the grid enough to mosh into something and push out a post.

It’s worth a little thinking because the more I do with org mode the more I realize it’s how I’d prefer to author stuff of any complexity, or stuff that could become part of something more complex at some point.

Hoping Yellowjackets won’t disappoint

Al and I have been watching the first season. We’ve arrived in the traditional part of a ten-episode season, where things begin to bog down a little and I’m hoping it will get a little more sprightly again. And I’m going through my usual qualms about shows that look and act like this one: I don’t mind some mystery, but I have lost my tolerance for series that won’t resolve anything. If it looks like it’s going to be an endless puzzlebox, it’s not going to get my time.

The ten episode thing: I wish I knew some television writers who could walk me through the realities of doing an eight-, ten-, twelve-, or twenty-episode season.

Sharp Objects, Mare of Easttown and Severance all came in at seven or eight episodes, and they felt just right to me. Things stayed tight and they kept moving. For All Mankind comes in at ten per season, and sometimes it drags. The Wire ran 12 or 13 episodes per season (except the last), and I’d say it could have tightened down, too.

You just hit those moments, I suppose, where all the setup is done, the Big Problem for the season is established, and … wham, into a bottle episode or a dream episode that feels loosely connected – or a subplot goes on unresolved for a few episodes – and you feel the momentum seeping out.

I suppose there are some economics around the first run and eventual syndication, and probably increasingly good metrics around what audiences will stick with in what numbers. I just wonder what about the structure (at the episode level and the season level) makes things seem to get a little pokey at ten episodes. I took a writing for film class years ago where the person who did the screenplay for Erin Brokovich sat with the class and walked us through the structure, and I’ve read since that these things follow predictable patterns you mainly notice when they’re broken. I can see how perhaps writers learn a certain tempo within a certain framework and end up with more time than they know what to do with.

And maybe it’s just me being affected by streaming and binge-watching. I’m still generally on team “3 hours for a movie? Sounds like a good deal!” so I don’t think my attention span has been completely ruined, but there’s just so much out there – maybe I’ve been conditioned by the bounty that is Peak Television to look ahead to the next thing in a way I have not by movies.

Anyhow: We are enjoying it for now. The cast is solid, the timeline switching keeps things moving, and showing us the fate of one of the main characters in the first scene of the first episode seems to have worked, though I get the feeling something will happen along the way to complicate that.