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Using RSS to replace social media (lukesmith.xyz)
241 points by Researcherry 32 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 119 comments

Social media tells you what you should see based on some implicit determination. Sure sometimes you can discover new things that did not interest you. You can feel serendipitous. With RSS feed, you can actually gain control, you could actually say when you see items in the feed, alert me. With current social media, I am constantly discovering things, which gives me a short high of finding new things which lasts for few minutes and then I find another new thing. I haven't been able to find what interests me for eg. In YouTube, where I get bored quickly even though I keep seeing new things, new domain I just discovered.

YouTube is far better if you can completely bypass their algorithm.

Half the time I use YouTube through NewPipe, a FOSS Android alternative to the YouTube app. If you import your subscriptions, it shows you exactly all the videos from your subscribed channels in chronological order, not what it or YouTube thinks you want to see. The search is seemingly less algorithmically influenced and there is no autoplay. There's a "trending" tab, but that's easy to ignore and you can just set your subscription feed as the default tab. The very fact that I don't feel like what I'm seeing is what corporations and billionaires want me to see changes my usage into something that is active rather than passive. It feels different, better, to participate in the power process to not only have confidence in that I'm seeing all the updates I specified to see but that I have to seek out what I want to watch/listen to. Psychologically, it's healthier, IMO.

YouTube itself does have that same option under the subscriptions tab, it will only show videos from your subscriptions in chronological order.

That is true, except YouTube doesn't always show you all your subscription content. In fact it frequently hides subscribed content from me, including live streams, even when I set the bell-icon to "All". The difference between the subscriptions tab on YouTube and NewPipe is that the latter literally scans every subscribed channel for uploaded content, so I have yet to find out that I've ever missed something through it. Whereas on YouTube I often discover that I missed out on either a live stream or an upload that did actually interest me but it never appeared in either my notifications or in the Subscriptions tab. The subscriptions tab is better than anything that's on the home page, but I prefer to not have an algorithm lie to me that I can see "All" new uploads.

EDIT: Also, random semi-related complaint; YouTube on web never honors when I click "Set Reminder". It doesn't matter if I permanently allow notifications in my browser or what. I get no emails either. I have a hard time believing the YT devs have written any tests for it. Then again, I've never tried it in Chrome. ¬‿¬

Not sure about YT app which I don't use, but on desktop browser it does show all including live streams from subscribed channels, at least for me.

Newpipe is fantastic.

> there is no autoplay.

There is now, it got turned on when I installed a recent update. The option is: settings->video and audio->auto-queue next stream.

Peep the settings, you can remove the Trending tab altogether.

YouTube has rss.

Serendipity is sadly an endangered experience with today's popularity algorithms. If every suggestion you see is based on what you and people with similar behavior as you are most likely to click, then what you get is a rut. The things you discover may be things you haven't seen before, but they can hardly be called new.

The beautiful thing about flipping through a magazine, or browsing a library, is that everyone gets the same options regardless of who they are. It allows me, someone who isn't into a particular thing, to discover that thing. To accidentally read something I wouldn't have thought I agreed with, and discover that they actually made a decent point.

I think these types of popularity algorithms are deeply problematic.

The difficult part is replacing the comment section and the network dynamics that make those sites grow.

I think all alternatives to youtube fail because of the dead comment sections. Not sure if there would be some way of creating distributed comment sections without them turning into pure spam and . Maybe chains of trust where you only see messages by users that have been "whitelisted" by someone you trust.

Signed ActivityPub?

Twitter is especially good for RSS as you can see almost all 140 chars in a single line and see all the recents tweets for the twitter account. I've no interest in comments in twitter.

With Reddit you can subscribe to RSS feeds of subreddits and see the new topics. Click through to reddit if you want to engage.

It has its uses and frankly it's my method for info consumption. If something doesn't have an RSS interface then I don't use it. Life is too short.

> Twitter is especially good for RSS as you can see almost all 140 chars in a single line and see all the recents tweets for the twitter account.

Twitter used to have RSS (Atom?) until March 2013.

Any suggestion for a good HTML scraper that generates RSS feeds from Twitter profiles without relying in the API or third-party services?

The RSS service I use has a Twitter gateway which does translation. It works really nice.

What RSS service you're using? I'm in the market.

INO Reader - think Google Reader. Good deals around Thgiv.

Nitter (https://github.com/zedeus/nitter) provides RSS for Twitter.

Now I use rss.app for that.

I have a whole bunch of Subreddits in my RSS reader.

I hope RSS is finally old enough to be in fashion again, and people are starting to wake up to the fact that it's much superior to social media as a periodic content consumption venue. Social media is for posting cat pictures, wedding invitations and ancient jokes you heard for the first time yesterday. RSS is for creating curated periodic content streams. I've been using it since forever, and there's never been anything better. Well, maybe better format - RSS, Atom, whatever - but the idea is the same.

Hopefully people start to wake up to this finally? One can hope.

I think it's been on an upswing for about a couple years now.

I think RSS is a way to read social media, it's not a replacement for social media. But that's a good thing! I just want to stay updated with blogs, forums, and social media – in one place. I built and use https://sumi.news to follow Twitter, newsletters, and RSS in a peaceful, chronological feed, and it works well for me. I still comment, reply, and interact, but I only have to check one website for updates.

Why? We could have something federated where I add my response to a particular post/thread to my RSS feed. We then leave it up to the client to generate a proper tree representation of a discussion.

Mastodon uses an HTML microformat called h-feed for federation of user feeds. h-feed is based on hAtom, which is a microformat encoding of the Atom feed format. So your idea isn't all that far off from how the most popular federated social network system is designed (though there's more to it).

How much of this does an end-user need to think about? It seems very complicated.

The issue with these solutions is that they're only really one way, if I actually want to interact with anything posted to the RSS feed I have to navigate to the main website anyway, which renders the initial reading of them in a freer way pretty pointless.

If you want to interact, the way you do that is to own your own blog where you post your “reply” and use a trackback[0] url. Then the conversation is even freer and you’re in control of your content. Don’t forget to create your own RSS feed for others.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trackback

This is another way of achieving the same end, yes. Like any such solution, it requires both author and commenter to use software supporting it, which Twitter does not.

I agree, but that is beautiful right? The choice is in user’s hand if they want to interact with content or not. If they don’t want to read the content from that publisher in future they can simply do that, rather than getting three drip mails in 2 week intervals on why I haven’t read emails sent to me by them.

Since you mention choice, then this is just an option rather than a replacement. If it's a replacement then it takes away the option to interact with content (such as commenting).

I use the RSS feed as a link stream anyway. I just open the links and I'm at the main site. If I want to post a comment, and nothing else stops me like CAPTCHA I'll do it.

Replacing existing approaches to social media needs a two way protocol like activitypub https://activitypub.rocks/

RSS plays well but is not sufficient

to add on top of this, we *really* need players like media, institutions, and government to start adopting ActivityPub and to have those groups start spinning up sites which pump out communication onto this system.

This could look like a WordPress blog with the ActivityPub plugin installed.

It could also look like the incumbent social media services white-labeling their websites so orgs can be social from their own domains.

Groups I'm talking about are your newspapers, cable news channels, fire departments, colleges, heads of state, et cetera.

Technical correction: YouTube, GitHub and GitLab all produce Atom feeds, not RSS. (Nitter has /rss in its URLs but I can’t confirm they’re actually RSS because the feeds seem to be broken, producing HTML “user not found” error pages.)

(If you want to know more of my beef against RSS (both as a technology and as a term for web feeds regardless of actual format): https://hn.algolia.com/?query=chrismorgan+atom+rss&type=comm.... RSS should have been killed off about fifteen years ago in favour of Atom.)

RSS seems to have taken over as a generic term encompassing both actual RSS and the superior Atom.

I'm curious, why do you think it should have been killed off in favor of Atom? Do you mean in the sense of the terminology, or is there something inferior about RSS?

Perhaps both should be killed off in favor of a JSON-based format.

Refer to my earlier comments: Atom is technically superior and more sound, and calling them all “RSS” is harmful by encouraging the inferior.

JSON stuff? Eh, I feel that’s largely a solution looking for a problem. It’s too late to get universal support in clients (feeds aren’t popular enough and too much of the software basically on life support), so you’re always going to need to serve Atom or RSS as well, and once you’re implementing one of them, why would you bother with the JSON format at all? As for the one serious attempt, JSON Feed, I have one thing that I really like about it and one thing that I don’t. The don’t: it specifies that titles are plain text, which I think is a shame; Atom lets you put HTML in your titles so you can do things like <code>, <em>, <sup> and so forth (and I do, oh yes! I do)—though I wish Atom had let you specify both plain text and HTML (sometimes I want <code></code> to “degrade” to backticks; refer to the titles of my last few blog posts for examples, with plain text in the <title> and HTML in the body). And that’s the thing I think JSON Feed got right for the content, that you can provide both HTML and text, whereas Atom forces you to choose.

> JSON stuff? Eh, I feel that’s largely a solution looking for a problem.

Before I say anything else, your viewpoint is totally valid. :) I can't truly argue against it in an objective sense, I think.

It's funny that you say that, however, because that's my perspective on XML in general; it's a solution looking for a problem. Sure, we have Atom, it's here, let's just use it, and I kind of agree. Yet if Atom has already been in a sort of decline, if you will, the complexity it adds only detracts from any sort of resurgence in adoption. The entire syntax is designed to support types, which as far as I've seen is something that has never really been used. I mean, whose feed actually uses custom XML namespaces/tags? Feeds are these verbose and overly-abstract markup files for a purpose nobody really asked for. If someone needs to stick more metadata into their feed, they can already do it with JSON by just adding a non-standard key to the object. Done. No need to have anything beyond primitive types or declaring namespaces.

As far as the HTML thing goes, that's a fair point, but I have to disagree. I don't want HTML to taint titles of things in a feed reader. It's bad enough that people can use emojis and different stylized unicode characters in them, but HTML would just make things worse. I don't need titles to have bold or italics or colors or whatnot. If that's going to be in the actual content body, then so be it, but what you are suggesting sounds like a horrible idea. Granted, I didn't have that problem back when I used to use a feed reader.

> calling them all “RSS” is harmful by encouraging the inferior.

Where did this come from? You refer to an atom feed as RSS, someone decides to add RSS to their site, and they implement atom because that's how you do RSS. What's the problem?

> they implement atom because that's how you do RSS

No, they implement RSS because that’s all they’ve heard of.

> Perhaps both should be killed off in favor of a JSON-based format.

As long as XML has DTD and Schema, it will be superior to JSON

I've been enjoying using https://fraidyc.at/ for the past year or so. It ingests RSS and is smart enough for everything else. I use it to follow people on Twitter, know when a favorite youtuber uploads a video, subscribe to a number of blogs, and know exactly when a new post is added to the subreddits I frequent.

I've thought about how RSS and social media relate to each other a lot. Social media works off the "feed" paradigm pretty explicitly (News Feed, Twitter feed, etc.).

I've thought about how to implement an open-standards social media site. Maybe with a feed server (FastCGI or otherwise) that takes authentication tokens in the request header or URL (over HTTPS only obviously), and - if the token is linked to a valid "friend" or "following" relationship, returns an RSS feed of the person's recent posts.

Forgotten OStatus have we? That was essentially RSS feeds + optional extras like ActivityStreams and push, all gracefully degrading into plain ol' RSS / Atom feeds.

Along with Atom, RSS is simple enough (it's in the name) that you can add RSS support even for static sites. ActivityPub, the most popular carrier for ActivityStreams, is "designed around the concept of an inbox and outbox" <https://lwn.net/Articles/741218/>, requiring that the server itself provide support. If you know of a realistic demonstration of ActivityStreams-without-ActivityPub that establishes a pattern that can be appropriated for re-use elsewhere (e.g. on static sites), then ActivityStreams is worth discussing, but otherwise probably not.

It's my claim that for all the work that goes into Mastodon, Solid, etc, none of them will truly succeed without the ability for programmers themselves to effectively put them into practice on static sites, especially those associated with their GitHub profile using GitHub Pages. (I despise GitHub, FWIW, and really hate that so much of the world of development has settled there, but I can know what I know from seeing what I see.) When it's simple enough to do that, that's the point where non-niche productized services for non-programmers to do the same will start popping up and off-Twitter chatter will take off. Despite the inroads that Mastodon has made, I don't consider in non-niche; it's being held back by the same factors described here.

ActivityStreams was originally an XML extension for Atom <https://activitystrea.ms/specs/atom/1.0/>. It worked just fine with a static site.

https://www.w3.org/TR/websub/ formerly PubSubHubbub was used to notify subscribers, but it was optional and subscribers would fall back to polling. WebSub could be a separate service.

The trickiest part is handling replies, which involves some cryptography to prevent spoofing. But this too could be done by polling, only then you only get replies from those you subscribe to. ActivityPub does this with crypto too IIRC.

Is there one for Instagram?

It could be a solution! But in both cases (RSS reader or social media) there are a lot of noise...

We are on our way to fix this problem :) https://newzy.io

For Twitter I use this Bridge to get RSS


Just saw, it works also with other websites like youtube. But I have never tried this.

I love the loud colors and 90s feel to this site. RSS does not have the breadth of a combination of twitter, reddit, and curated youtube. I only read a couple news sources and blogs so bookmarks are fine there.

> RSS-bridge is the ultimate RSS feed helper and will not just give you RSS feeds for Facebook pages, but basically anything else.

This has been my opposite experience, all RSS bridges i have tried gets error with Facebook pages.

I share this experience. Frustrating. But made me give up on FB completely. For good.

Has anybody used rss-bridge to replace the Facebook newsfeed? It seems like you have to point to individual people so I'm curious if you'd get blocked if you tried to follow more than a few friends.

I’m doing it the other way, using social media instead of RSS! Ok, only half joking.

Facebook is now what RSS was supposed to be, but for the non-tech masses. Sure, I still use RSS for tech blogs, but how do I find about local concerts and events, schedule changes for kid’s aikido, etc? All these small organizations, clubs, bands, artists, venues use Facebook as a way to notify their members/fans.

After some curating, I really like my Facebook. But I don’t use it as a social network, i.e. there’s not much social stuff there. “Loud” friends or relatives they are muted. But that’s where I find out about next concert of bands I follow, which I wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Uses this for Miniflux


You mean you use Miniflux for that? which I do as well.

I use Reeder to follow the sites I enjoy reading e.g. slashdot, ars technica, xkcd, swift and golang blogs, some sections of the NY Times, etc.

I never read social media feed. For Twitter my Tweetbot client is configured to filter out all retweets and I use a 'mustered' list for the people whose tweets I don't want to miss.

It's fascinating to me that even in a post for something as simple and mundane as RSS feeds somehow Luke Smith still manages to sprinkle in some of his disgusting alt-right vocabulary. I have to respect the grift.

"Eschew flamebait. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents."


It's important not to react to the most provocative thing in an article by copying it into the comments to complain about it. It just leads to the threads turning into the same flamewars over and over again, which is the opposite of what HN is supposed to be for. We want comments to come from a place of curiosity.

I know it takes a certain self-regulation not to take the bait, and this is not easy - it seems to go against hard-wiring - but it's something that we all need to work on as a community. The idea is to optimize for interesting discussions, not hideous ones.


Can you please explain what you mean by 'disgusting alt-right vocabulary'? After your comment I read his post twice and didn't find anything remotely political.

> Nitter.net is a Twitter proxy that mirrors Twitter, but without Javascript soyware and spying.

With "soy" here being an old dogwhistle that refers to the "theory" that men are being feminized through the estrogen contained in meals that have soy as ingredient.

You are offering significant interpretation here. Note the adjaceny if 'o' and 'p' on the QWERTY.

'Soyware' is possibly a simple 'spyware' typo.

I know neither you nor The Famous Article's author, but your remark does not instill confidence in your judgement.

It's not a typo, the author also uses this on their YouTube channel.

by definition a dog-whistle. something which can be innocently handwaved away by those not attuned, but sends a clear signal to those capable of reception.


This is interesting because I passed over the word without noticing and even didn't understand even when it was pointed out. Now that it has been spelled out for me, a word has gone from being unnoticed to communicating the idea that the complaint is against. By making a larger issue about this, the objection has enabled the idea to spread giving the author more reach for his views than he originally had.

Because the "soy" thing is an overt aspect of alt-right and toxic incel discourse.

Are jokes on the debated but possible phytoestrogenic side effects of soy really exclusively alt right?

No, but the associated cultural memes were born in and currently thrive in the overlapping alt-right and toxic incel cultures. And Luke Smith openly associates himself with the former.

Because Luke Smith is not shy to express his alt right political views both on his website and his YouTube channel. As long as he's free to do that, I'm free to criticize it.

I would completely agree on that, if his general blog would be what was posted. But this is an unrelated informative article, which is why I don't think discrediting critique of the person is valid. Especially since the 'offenses' seem impressively minor in this case.

I agree that this is an unrelated article, but he opened this can of worms himself by inserting dogwhistles in it. Which is unfortunate, because the information in there is actually useful and something I would gladly link in the "Library" section of my blog. But I can't do that now, otherwise I'd be platforming speech that wants me dead.

Would you care to explain to me how "consooome" and "soyware" imply your death?

In my vocabulary those are a joking reference to overconsumption and a play on bad software that serves as spyware, which social media sites arguably often are imo.

If you argue that you associate these words with people that want you dead it would seem to me that that is your narrow personal perspective. I certainly don't want you dead.

> platforming speech that wants me dead.

can you point to a single instance where luke smith has advocated violence, against you or others?

Perhaps you’re over sensitive or you get a kick out of derailing. Either way, time here has been lost to the topic.


Sorry, that was definitely bad wording on my part. But still, I think my hesitancy to platform people who openly use the vernacular of people who actually do want that is reasonable. I obviously don't know Luke Smith and have no idea on what he actually wants, but I know the people who use those words and what they want.

Do you have some examples of his alt-right political opinions? I've watched a few videos of his that were recommended and don't remember anything there.

If I remember correctly he's very critical of modern society and the modern human living conditions. Very disillusioned from big cities and academic institutions. Example; "modern man is a slave to his impulses and calls it freedom. Previous societies forbid giving into these impulses and thus were more free." ~see his blog

To me it seems quite conservative and always well explained but never outright alt-right.

I think the FAQ (https://web.archive.org/web/20180523034252/http://old.lukesm...) says it all really, especially the section where he talks about "the SJWs".

After reading I think you are blowing this out of proportion by stating that "it says it all". There is a section there about his political beliefs and he says his main belief is that tech-monopolies should be broken down and society should be governed on a smaller scale. I think half of HN readers would agree with some version of that. And about "the SJWs" - he only says that people are asking him to make video about them and he is not going to do that.

Maybe I don't know what alt-right is but I don't see how this is alt-right. Just because he uses the term "SJW" ? I don't use it but I know what it means. You apparently do also. That doesn't make us alt-right, right?

There isn't much alt-right about that specifically, but it's clear wording that the alt-right has been using online for years. Talking about "SJWs" controlling the media and universities (and in the very same paragraph saying every "normal" person wants them "gone") and calling things you dislike "soy" are both plays in the years old alt-right playbook. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck...

I have noticed that people commonly referred to as SJW often consider everyone who is not them to be alt-right.

And yes, people sharing social justice values do obsess over it and it shows.

Anecdotal example: random article brought to me by sliding android home screen to the left about new Foundation series spent more than half of the volume addressing the diversity of the cast and lamenting that on-screen sex was showing only heterosexuals.

This can be said about almost any article about any piece of media directed to me by Google, from which I do conclude that SJWs, indeed, control the media.

(I have no personal experience with the US universities, so I can't say anything about them being controlled by the SJWs)

Ah, the blessings of the Google-free Android experience get proven once again by this counterexample of Google - or rather those working for Google who are in control these feeds - pushing their agenda onto unsuspecting (...?) victims.

May I suggest removing whatever stock distribution you have and replacing it with e.g. LineageOS, doing away with Google services - use microG [1] et al if you need something which depends on them - and dropping whatever "news aggregator" feed is offered by third parties? Use something like Nextcloud News [2] and add the feeds for a number of publications, both corporate as well as alternative, from all sides of the political spectrum. Compare how events are reported between them and form your own conclusions. Also give up on the hope of non-political culture reporting from corporate media, this seems to be one of the most heavily politicised areas with nearly all publications slanted towards the "left" side of the political spectrum.

[1] https://microg.org/

[2] https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/news

I think they refer to terms like consoooom and soyware which are not political, but can be connected to 4chan and therefore to the alt-right. It's a bit of a strech if this is the first time you heard of Luke Smith, but generally he's not shy to express his political opinions on the far right of the spectrum. Which is a shame, because otherwise there's a lot I can agree with him on.

Well, at least most of the blogs on self-hosted freedom-of-expression-respecting solutions I read over the net are written by boogeyman "alt-rights" and "4channers", unlike the so called "liberal" ilk that are bowing day and night to big media.

I have my criticisms on Luke Smith, but as a fellow man, I respect him.


Please don't take HN threads further into ideological flamewar. It's not what this site is for, and we ban accounts that do it. Specifically, when an account is using HN primarily for ideological battle, we ban it, regardless of which ideology it's battling for—we have to, because it's destructive of what this site is supposed to exist for.

Your account has been veering back into this territory quite noticeably, and if you keep it up we're going to have to ban you again. If you'd please review the guidelines and stick to the rules from now on, we'd appreciate it.


I had a look at one of his Peertube feeds and I see that "soy[noun]" is something he uses often enough that it's probably not a typo. Example: "climate soyence," "OBS is major soyware." All with the soyboy meme guy overlaid. The "soy" thing is very much an alt-right dogwhistle, but those have a way of leaking out, so it's not always a red flag in isolation. I don't think such a charitable read is warranted in this case: he's all in on the meme. Put it together with all the pepes and whatnot, and it's clear he's at least well into the pipeline.

This is why I'm usually against making such accusations without extra context. There's no way a casual reader could have seen this. If you don't have that context, it's clearly just a typo! So Kaze404 looks like a goofball, unless you have context.

edit: more context that removes all doubt https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28653868

It’s 2021. Like it or not, what you’re describing is common slang of internet youth culture.

Edgy antisemitic[0] language (like "unJewgled"), along with transphobia, homophobia, and racism, was normal when I was an internet youth, too. Then I grew up. I don't think he's an internet youth unless I seriously misjudged the photo on his website.

[0] https://www.adl.org/spelling

"unJewgled Chromium"[1] was the first one that came to mind. He's normally a little bit more subtle, but I guess he was feeling randy that time.

I'm not going to dig further through his blog posts (they're insufficiently interesting from a technological perspective; mostly longform versions of what someone with only opinions from 4chan would write), but you're welcome to.

[1]: https://lukesmith.xyz/articles/every-web-browser-absolutely-...

I did so in another comment on this very thread. And unfortunately for you, even if I didn't you don't have the power to stop me from saying it. Maybe next time read the rest of the thread before commenting.

I use social media because it's social.

A one way rss feed of content is the complete opposite.

You could import the RSS feed into a tool which allows you to comment to specific entries with your comments being served through RSS to interested others...

...upon which you'd have re-invented something resembling Mastodon, GNU Social or XMPP, give or take few bits.

The bad thing about Mastodon is that you don't own your handle and your data unless you run your own instance.

Maybe it could have a crytographic addon where you own handle and data cryptographically and can move it to a new server as long as you keep a backup locally and the private key.

Maybe you could but there is something to be said for running your own instance of whatever platform you use to spread your thoughts. It is close to the last word in avoiding censorship as long as the network operators remain (or become in the case of AWS and probably some others) neutral. As to whether this is scalable... remains to be seen but for "normal" people with a few thousand "followers" at best it should work fine even on a single board computer like a Raspberry Pi. That same SBC could host your mail - using a smart host (which could be run as a service) to push mail to the world so as to avoid an avalanche of spam. While it is doing its thing anyway you may as well add whatever web-related thing you might want to put out for the world to see, or maybe not for the world but at least for family and friends. It can host media services, a VPN service, etc. In short, it can be a stepping stone towards a decentralised net - which I deem to be a good thing.

I'll post this every time someone tries to launder Luke Smith through HN: he is a reactionary with a relatively popular YouTube channel in which he openly espouses and trades in racist talking points[1].

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2eYFnH61tmytImy1mTYvhA

Yeah we know. Does not keep me from cloning his st config. But yes, I liked watching his stuff much more when he was going thru his Linux/Dektop setup or advocating useful but little known command line tools.

Not unlike Scott Adams. I find Dilbert funny. Am I supposed not to laugh because his political views do not align with mine (at all)?

You can do whatever you please!

Not everybody knows, because he's a relative nobody who occasionally gets laundered through HN. My only role in this entire thing is making sure that the bits that I know are available for consideration.

Thanks! I, for one, have never heard of this person.

He does not seem to be a complete mindless dummy. Ever tried to contact and argue with him? I'd honestly watch that.

Same thing with Jordan Peterson. I must not agree with his stand points and positions, but his arguments are compelling at times and it is fun watching and following his stuff. I can only broaden my view if don't look into the same direction all the time.

Both Peterson and Smith’s content falls squarely into the tarpit of bullshit asymmetry: anything that they chose to mouth off on takes an asymmetrically large amount of effort to rebut. That’s not how I’d prefer to spend my time, and it’s not something I can reasonably ask any person to do.

> takes an asymmetrically large amount of effort to rebut

And so... you'd rather just badmouth him on HN instead? This entire subthread is an ad hominem, and entirely inappropriate.

> And so... you'd rather just badmouth him on HN instead?

Where's the badmouthing? His reactionary politics are a critical part of the personal brand that he uses to advance his (again, incredibly mundane and well-trodden) content.

And guess what: I agree that it's inappropriate for HN. All things being equal, I'd prefer not to spend even the limited time I've spent today thinking about this. But for as long as reactionaries continue to use HN to launder their reputations, I'll continue to be the annoying commenter who points them out. I'm sorry if you think that's inappropriate.

That's... bad, and also totally orthogonal to the linked blog post?

Should we not be using RSS to replace social media because the person saying so might be a racist? Should racists be silenced when talking about other things?

> That's... bad, and also totally orthogonal to the linked blog post?

The linked blog post is the kind of informational pablum that anybody with a handful of years of programming or IT experience could write.

That's what Luke Smith specializes in: milquetoast technological advice wrapped in a veneer of alt-right language designed to titillate his audience. I see no reason why we should give him center stage in our attentions when plenty of other, better, and more qualified people can talk cogently about the same topics.

> when plenty of other, better, and more qualified people can talk cogently about the same topics

You mean Brodie?

I don’t know who that is.

Brodie Robertson is one of the Linux Protonerds on YT worth watching.


Accusing your critics of being communists is a famously strong argument against being a reactionary, as all of modern history has shown!

There is no critique here other than “reported for wrong think”.

You do realize that this is an Internet forum and that nobody has been reported, right?

It’s incredible how we’ve descended from “someone pointed out that the author of TFA is a reactionary” to breathless analogies.

That guy knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s hoping that more of the hivemind jumps on Luke and tries to further punish him for his dissent from the global technocracy.

Comply or face the consequences. No doubt that guy believes he’s a true individual lol.

I'm the same guy.

I'm not particularly old, but I am old enough to remember when it was possible for someone to be Unpopular On The Internet (for good or bad reasons) without it being a matter of grave political importance ("hivemind", "punish", "dissent").

In other words: you're overplaying your hand. If you like what Luke has to say, just say that. Behaving as if my dislike somehow amounts to oppression is childish.

"This guy's racist"

"Ok commie"

About right for the level of discourse.

This is the comments section of a post about RSS.

Twitter with an RSS feed is a waste of crawling traffic.

Suppose you follow 1k accounts, you have to subscribe 1k RSS. What a waste. Twitter's core functionality was based on how to aggregate all 1k updates into one feed.

There's a tool built by friends in the IndieWeb community called https://granary.io that allows you to produce a single RSS feed for lots of handy things - like your full feed, specific lists, or specific people!

This is something epic! It would be nice if I could filter out images though, like I just want the links from my timeline.

I mainly subscribe to sites that don't have RSS via Twitter. Or sites that the generator couldn't create a feed from.

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