Thinking About Being Overwhelmed
Good Morning, Augustin
I spent an hour before breakfast on Minguo, but sometimes on Linux. When I quit for breakfast, I was exhausted. I'd followed uncounted lines of thought, read "Hierarchy of contribution in Open Source" in its entirety, and found myself helplessly and completely lost.
Can this be helped?
I'm not sure.
The power in the site is overwhelming, not in a negative sense, but in the sense that there is so much more power than I ever thought possible - and clean power. Each action produces a crisp response, but there are just so many of them.
Let me digress for a moment ...
Years ago, I was a transcontinental truck driver. It was a job that allowed hours upon hours of thought. One of the things that intrigued me was the working of my own mind. A thought would come into my mind, and I'd try to trace the thought back to its origin. I don't think I ever succeeded. When I looked at a thought, I could remember the thought that preceded it and, sometimes, the one that preceded that one, but I soon uncovered a thought that sprung from multiple thoughts. No, I don't think that's it. I think that I uncovered a thought that generated a new line of thought. In any case, trying to follow multiple tracks soon became impossible.
Although I didn't think of it that way at the time, that was an indication of the power of the mind.
Now, I've encountered the same phenomenon on Minguo.
I don't know whether to be excited or frustrated.
In Minguo, the 'back' button let me return the way I entered. My mind doesn't have a 'back' button. But, sometimes, when the new line of thought is equally or more compelling, the 'back' button is inappropriate. More than that, going back one step at a time may not be desirable. What is more important is knowing that I can get back to the original track easily, when I've pursued the current thought as far as I wish. That capability is actually available in the mind, but it requires at least two things: foreknowledge that the original line must be preserved and a 'compartment' where it can be held, intact.
It was not my intent when I started this report of my experience, but it now occurs to me that I may have a suggestion to make:
When I go to, for example, CONTENT FORMATTING, there are a number of displays. I may critique that at another time. For now, I'll concentrate on the display at the top left:
Blogs My account Polling station Search Create content Log out Messages My projects
Would it be possible - more importantly, would it be wise - to use that area of the screen to list previous pages? (What follows demands a more complete discussion of this area of the screen, and I don't want to digress. I'll do it later.) Suppose, during my current visit, I generated a listing like this:
FredGohlke RECENT ACTIVITY Fred Gohlke visits Minguo - The Realm Of The People Other Writings by Fred Gohlke Create Fred Gohlke book page Preview Preview Preview Preview Taming Our Monsters
If so, I think, if I were to select one of them (to go to that page), all the succeeding pages should be deleted from the display. For example, if I were finished with my current task and clicked on "Other Writings by Fred Gohlke", the display would only be the top to items.
Would I use it? Would it have helped me this morning? I'm not sure.
One thing it does call to mind, though, is the difficulty I have getting to my home page. The only way I can do so (that I know of) is to enter: en.minguo.info/fred_gohlke on the command line.
Please do not act on any of this. I've gone to my home page and want to offer comments on that, too. It seems to me, the home page is the place to start. The discussion above will be significant later.
Note: I don't think this is the proper place for this comment. I intended to enter it as a response to your message to me, but now I can't find it. I could go back to my email and get the link there, but believe it helps display the navigation problems I'm experiencing by putting it here.