07-16-10 - Content

Where the fuck is all this content that we are supposed to have in this age of the internet and vast media ?

News sites covering sports events should have a "spoiler free" mode. They should let you view the information in chronological order (past to present), and let you block how far ahead you want to see. eg. say I have game 3 of the NBA finals on tape, and before I watch it I want to catch up on what happened in game 2, I should be able to mark "don't show me game 3" and go read the news. I'm hitting that particular problem right now with the Tour de F.

Why is there no fucking decent blog of someone telling me news about the Tour? Yes, I know there are plenty of news sites like velonews or cyclingnews or whatever, that's not what I want. I also don't want a "tour diary" from a rider. I want a smart, funny, 3rd party who is following everything and can write about what happens and also some editorial info about the secret dramas. Where is my content?

For ages I've wanted a blog I could follow that was just a well-curated extraction of amusement. I like to see a funny photo or some hot chicks or whatever trashy internet amusement there is, but I don't want to have to slog through the mass of crap that you're bathed in when you go to the massive aggregator sites like milkandcookies or daily* or whatever. Like just one little high quality nugget once a day, why the fuck do I not have that?

The other thing I've wanted forever is a science news site that's targetted at science degree graduates, but not specialists in that exact topic. There's a big gap between popular reporting, which is just woefully low-level, often just wrong, or completely inane (like reporting crackpot fringe loonies as if they are real science), and the full-on rigor and impenetrability of actual research papers. There could be a middle ground, intended for intelligent scientific people, written by people who actually understand the full depth of what they're writing about. The only place I know of to get that is in college magazines; for example the Caltech Engineering&Science magazine that I occasionally get is actually a pretty good source for that depth of material.

In other news, the opening of the Montlake bridge almost every day of the summer so that a few fuckers can get their over-height sailboats through is a really ridiculous slap in the face of any kind of civic sense. I've been on a sailboat and gone from Lake Union to Lake Washington, and it is a delight, but you can get through just fine on a moderate size boat without raising the bridge. You have to almost intentionally get a really tall mast just so you can fuck up the lives of thousands of people when the bridge raising causes traffic to back up onto the 520 and leads to a massive traffic jam. It's really appalling.


sylvain-v said...

""Why is there no fucking decent blog of someone telling me news about the Tour?""

Because only old people would look at the Tour, and they usually don't know how to use a computer or intricate web sites with intricate spoiler modes =p

Dim-bim-boum pshhh.

Tom Forsyth said...

> a science news site that's targetted at science degree graduates, but not specialists in that exact topic.

New Scientist is the closest I've found. It's not quite degree graduates - more like high school graduates - and some of its reporting is somewhat long-winded going through the basics. But it is often written by professional scientists, and even when it's the in-house journalists they're pretty good at cutting to the chase. So about half the article is setup you already know, and half is interesting stuff. Still way better than the average.

Scientific American is... OK. The problem I find is every time I go to the news stand at an airport the SciAm is a "special" on something, which usually means a bunch of filler crap to pad it out. Don't give me bullshit specials, just carry on doing what you do - I want the broad picture, not a narrow (but no deeper) picture with lots of filler.

Popular Science is basically robot porn. Which is fun. But it's still just porn.

Emil said...

What about ars for science blog?

cbloom said...

"What about ars for science blog?"

Yeah no, that's not what I want; I guess I wasn't very clear.

What I want is actual articles that go fully in depth and explain something. Not just news.

I actually think that "news" about "breaking scientific discoveries" is very harmful. It should almost never be reported in the mainstream press.

Once in a while Science or Phys Rev Letters will have something on the order of what I'm talking about - an actual expert in the field summarizing the current understanding of a topic and recent progress.

old rants