More often, I'll come across a problem and remember something that I've read that's applicable well enough to at least find it later when I need it.
I consider my time on HN and similar outlets at least partially "professional development."
Finally, for years I've used HN as the fastest way to check my internet connection. :)
>"I still probably spend five or six hours a day reading," Buffett says ...
>Buffett typically reads six newspapers each day: The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The USA Today, The Omaha World-Herald and American Banker.
That being said, I use this bookmarklet to shift through content faster and waste less time. https://smmry.com/bookmark
I also "Pocket" everything that is too long to read right now.
A lot of what I know I know through Hacker News. HN has shaped my world view. Over the years I learned about starting a business, databases, programming languages, meditation, web development, interpersonal relationships and many things more. Writing HN comments and getting immediate feedback through comment score has improved my writing skills. Even more significantly, I found my previous job which was amazing through Hacker News. I moved halfway across the globe to California for it.
But over the years, I feel like HN becoming less and less valuable for me. I feel like I am wasting a lot of time here these days. Maybe HN has changed. Maybe I have changed. Maybe I just know a lot more about startups and webdev so there are diminishing returns. It's becoming more and more like addiction.
I'm wondering what the solution is. I tried blocking HN in my host file, but I found worse ways to waste my time on the internet. Maybe a reading later app is it, but I doubt it.
A good rule of thumb -- if you feel like you might be addicted, you probably are.
> I'm wondering what the solution is. I tried blocking HN in my host file, but I found worse ways to waste my time on the internet. Maybe a reading later app is it, but I doubt it.
I've struggled with this an extreme amount over the years (on Reddit and here and so on). The most successful strategy so far is to partition my hard drive and install several different Linux distributions, each with different purposes (currently NixOS: work, Deepin: casual browsing, OpenELEC: watching stuff). I've different emails, firefox signins and so on. It can be irritating, but sometimes you just want that. Getting pissed off - I mean really, really pissed off - about being influenced by websites which optimise for stealing neurons can be very useful.
This place has gotten me interested in so much more than the tech ecosystem I live in.
One thing I find concerning about HN is I think there is an increasing prevalence of political and social commentary on the front-page. Those kinds of posts are worse than useless, because they displace potentially really good content.
The thing is, I care about a lot of the issues that come up here, and sometimes they end up really distracting me.
I wish there was a feature to auto-hide everything from certain domains. That would go a really long way to make the site better (for me, anyway).
Any chance you could share some of those outlets you personally consider similar to HN?
Here's a little experiment: Set aside a scheduled chunk of time each day to specifically read HN. You'll find it's a lot harder to do this in a focused manner.
I often click to read the HN comments first, because they are often full of insight and interesting links. (This is also why I read HN from a custom #newsyc channel in our work Slack that posts links once they hit 20 points: it allows time for initial comments to accumulate, and Slack helpfully keeps track of "new" posts.)
Simply bookmarking the article itself to read later would not be as useful to me personally, but I bet there are lots of people who would find your approach helpful.
Would be really interested in that Slack bot if you have the source handy.
I actually send the HN discussion itself to my Reading List. So when I find some time I start with the comments here and then decide whether or not I should read the article. And tbf most of the times I get enough information here and never follow the link to the main reading.
The one I use currently picks things from my org-mode agenda and inserts them across various places, but that should be fairly easy to change and integrate with any other todo list app with an API. I'll try and clean up personal information from the code sometime this week and update the project.
Now anytime I want to visit HN i have to switch to slow 4G and it makes me concious of my decision and slow internet also makes it less fun.
I haven't visited reddit in almost 6 months now (used to refresh it every hour). HN too is 10% compared to what it was before. As other users have commented the reason I still check it 3 4 times a day is because there is often news that relates directly to my business (launch of Google wavenet for example) and benefits me.
Another thing that worked for me was writing a custom js script to filter out posts I hid without loading other content to replace it. That way I could filter things down so that there's only 1 or 2 threads left that I'm interested in and there's no need to keep scanning the same headlines over and over.
This entire concept seems to allow phone providers to not implement real controls over eg actually providing access to a host file or concerted network blocking software.
That wouldn't work in Australia, 4G is considered fast for most of us :)
Does anyone know of an existing way to disable auto-complete just for some websites? I still need it for work related stuff, but I bet that if I had to type everything all the time it would be easier to prevent constant checks.
Personally, I like tools that prevent me from resolving HN/reddit/etc during "vulnerable" (afternoon) hours.
However, you can delete autocomplete entries by highlighting them with arrow keys and then using Shift+Delete. (Contrary to intuition, this will not put them in your clipboard.) I'm not sure where this started but I remember using it in Firefox about 10 years ago as well.
"I went to a web page sometime in... February? Or November? It was something about widgets... types in 'wid' Oh there it is."
Even more fun, when I type "you", Firefox not only suggests youtube but also the github page for a small script that extracts the rss feed link from youtube channels and playlists. I use that maybe once every few months. It's amazing really.
I have the same experience as you guys, and on one occasion I think it saved me days of work by helping me recover a certain almost ungooglable resource I knew I had seen at some point.
You say you open a new tab and then three keystrokes you're there. Well, My _four_ keystrokes include opening the new tab.
Depress CTRL; T; release CTRL; N; Return.
Or I could say it's three "keyboard phrases" by saying it's ^T N Return, but that feels like cheating.
TL;DR, "n" fully autocompletes to HN.
At one point adding a "/" at the end of the URL (autocomplete just filled in the domain with no trailing "/") would complete to "/best", but I seem to have to do "/b" now.
This is so on-the-mark for me it’s unreal! :) I feel I’m in a sizeable segment of the HN population in that I spend more time in the comments than on articles, so something that helps provide wholesome access to more article content is a great initiative.
Thanks for creating something that attempts to solve this ‘problem’. Kudos to you for shipping an Android build!
PS: no affiliation with that website. Just a happy user.
Anything I can do to make it even better?
1- Reading List: Allows you to save current tab to your reading list, later from which you can search and mark as read. A nice bonus is you keep your article history at the same time.
2- Tab Snooze: This extension closes current tab and prompts you with options on when to pop it back in the future.
You could tweak it so that every user can set their own amount per credit (so that the app plays fair to all income groups) and this way the user is satisfied and understands that the payment is both a donation to your app and a penalty for their instant gratification.
More apps should try this model. The key is to also let the user set their own penalty otherwise it will not work.
Mostly unrelated to the post at large, but coming up in 1.3 they are no longer experimental: https://blog.jetbrains.com/kotlin/2018/07/see-whats-coming-i...
A bit like biological weapon researchers trying to immunize themselves against their own weapons.
Sorry for the crass example, it's not meant as negative as it sounds, but overall it's a pretty good comparison.
I would recommend you to add some examples of what your extention actually does. The code of ethics only gives me a vague idea.
$ sudo su;
$ echo "127.0.0.1 news.ycombinator.com" >> /etc/hosts
$ sudo vim /etc/hosts
Saves a few keystrokes!
supports multiple domains stored in ~/.selfcontrol
Last year I made a little website to control how much time I want to spend on HN. For instance I have one page where the 10 most upvoted items for the week are listed, and I hide them as I read them. When the list is empty it means I'm done for now.
(open sourced here: https://github.com/vinc/news.vinc.cc)
Also work for Reddit.
I think there can also be an issue with always saving things to read later. I often end up saving more articles to pocket than I actually end up reading. It may be a good idea to reduce overall "unfocused" browse-and-click time too...
You can write an app if you want though, but I like simple.
Works well, works simple, and works for many more sources besides hn.
By the end of the day, or while commuting, the Pocket app has links with X points that I can then consume.
Anyway, good job on coming up with a solution to fix the addiction.
I have my HN set up so that I need 3 hours between each 20m visit.