Over this long long event-less weekend, I’ve had some time to breathe and cull my Pocket archive (without much care for the stuff I cull; see the note on calling bankruptcy below). I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of those that have been lingering at the bottom of my backlog that may be fun or interesting.
The Dark Side Of Polyfilling CSS - a fun article that really spells out the benefit that Houdini will bring to web development – though it’s still not here yet
A Cartography Nerd’s Guide to Custom Map Making - bookmarked this during a phase where I wanted to craft custom maps
How to work within power structures that don’t work for you - a more serious one here, I like the pragmatic tone struck by articles on The Creative Independent
Design criticism - a good reminder that has forced me to reconsider what opinions I should be bringing to the table at design and engineering collaboration meetings (hint: it’s less than you think)
A Beginner’s guide to funemployment - just kinda a funny article
Leverage points: Places to intervene in a system - I own a copy of Donella Meadow’s “Systems thinking: A primer” but this is an essential (and at times scathing) read for anyone learning about system dynamics or wanting to solve systemic problems in whatever context
Ambassadors recommend the one book to read before visiting their country - does what it says on the tin
An extremely short meditation on calling bankruptcy
I realise that for some, the idea of calling bankruptcy on your long queue of stuff to read might be wrong, that you’re missing out on. But we unthinkingly miss out on things all the time, and that’s okay. I’m becoming okay with the necessity of sometimes missing out (NOSMO), if it means I can enjoy what I’m reading more deeply and without a sense of stress that I won’t get through “it all”.
I think that maybe the structure of apps like Pocket are not doing a good service to their users and allowing them to stagnate in an unread queue by:
- the system does feel very much like it’s not designed to let you archive or delete articles en-masse (there’s no bulk archive / delete options in the desktop or iOS app that I could find).
- they make you pay for full library searching (disincentivising me from just archiving things in the event that I decide) and quite honestly for the rate they charge there’s not a lot of compelling ongoing value apart from the search (I dislike the nickel-and-diming approach to highlights)
I found an app that feels more forceful in trying to get you to make it through, rather than let things linger in an ever growing backlog, called Reading Queue. I stumbled across it while googling for definitions of Pocket bankruptcy, with a article written by the author talking about the principles that drove them to make the app. I clicked through to the app store expecting yet another dead link, or worse, an app that hasn’t been updated since the iPhone 5 was in vogue. To my pleasant surprise, the app seems to be in active development and now has a macOS application too. Very cool.
It’s only for Catalina, so I’ll need to upgrade at some point before I can test it out, but if it’s any good for my needs (there aren’t many!), I’d be seriously considering moving my archive away from Pocket and starting to use something like Reading Queue.