I’d love to be a sounding board or just chat about interesting things adjacent to any of these!

Inspired by Dima.


Meta Tasks #

  • Ability to generate, update, and search pages like this one
  • Subscribe to arbitrary selections of text on similar pages elsewhere, even across a restructure
  • Make pages like this more useful to existing search engines and aggregators
  • Everything hyperlinkable, shareable, embeddable, and quoteable across platforms

Collaboration & learning #

  • A regular series where a bunch of friends and I log onto Zoom and watch a lecture, followed by a discussion about it
    • For blog posts, there is posobin’s blog club.
    • Going in-depth on psychadelics research papers.
    • Phrased differently: how can I chat with 5 other people obsessed with the same thing as I am this week? Be it a concept, company, question, or idea?
    • Twitter seems like the perfect platform for spawning this.
  • Online video discussion platform with automatic transcription, Reddit-style upvoting for questions, auto-merging of similar questions, deep-links to referenced books, talks, podcasts and an auto archive version.
    • Balaji S. Srinivasan: Someone should build Zoom for full remote conferences, and do it right now. (Twitter thread)
    • @DennyCloudhead: I wish holding a conference in VR was a thing but current gen is like trying to hold a nuanced, serious business conversation at a furry convention. Until facial tracking is front-and-center, we have a long way to go until VR actually works for personable/readable conversation. tweet
  • Livestream a group of programmers (remote, in-person?) collaboratively building something over the course of a week open source on Twitch.
  • Online education platforms that aren’t just digitized textbooks. (tweet)
  • A platform to host casual, unplanned, dynamic events like house parties note:How do we throw an online party?
  • Notion: habit-tracking app.

Information retention #

Better ways to publish information #

  • Being able to publish text online without worrying about security, hosting, searchability, ease of translation, monetizability, ease of reference
    • I’m a software developer, and it took longer than it should to set up a blog from scratch.
  • Arbitrary platform agnostic annotation system
  • CJ Eller: Blogging Futures
  • tweet:Azlen Elza: “The ability to zoom out and explore interconnections, whether within your own blog or external links to other sources”

Information organization, discovery, visualization #

Browsers #

Wikipedia #

  • Homepage customized to my interests, topics I’m following, and articles I shared/highlighted previously.
  • Search mode which lists all articles which cite particular book/website as a reference. (tweet)
  • Color text on Wikipedia by various metrics
    • how long it’s been part of the page
    • how frequently this this area is edited/reverted
    • how many times this section is referenced relative to others on this page and/or article family
  • Let me explore people’s Wikipedia binges and any notes or edits they made along the way

Calendar apps #

  • Search by all local events happening within the next hour that I might be interested in, which are hosted:
    • by venues I have been to recently
    • by foundations and projects I am supporting or following
    • by people in my network
    • about topics I am interested in
  • Let me easily be found by organization that need volunteer support in something I can help with
  • Google: instead of that stupid note field, at least give us a linked Google Drive document with some metadata pre-inserted
  • Let me see my calendar on my map
  • Ability to create ad-hoc reading clubs
  • What emails did I have open when I created this event?
  • Auto-find a time slot based on past instances between any number of calendars
  • Turn any text which looks like a date and time on see on my screen into an event in my calendar
  • twitter:Christopher Mikel Shelton has thought a lot about this

Zoom & most other video chat apps #

  • Link Twitter profiles to Zoom accounts instead of everyone dropping a dozen links into chat
  • A useable chat, preferably approaching the level of Slack’s
  • Toggle to just override other people’s backgrounds with a gray screen so I can focus on what they’re saying
  • Breakout rooms I can switch to faster than it takes my computer to boot up
  • A repository of publicly-accessible events and lectures happening now
  • Integrated agendas

Slack probably deserves its own page #

  • Abe Winter: Slack is the opposite of organizational memory
  • Julian Lehr: Superhuman & the Productivity Meta-Layer
  • Kevin Kwok: The Arc of Collaboration
  • Alex Petrache: How Focus Became More Valuable Than Intelligence
  • Ability to send people non-urgent DMs (tweet)
  • Notify only one person in the channel of each message round-robin style
    • A sort of ad-hoc pagerduty
  • Use more distinction than a red unread icon: DMs from execs and bots in #random should not be given the same alert weight
  • Synchronize my base notification preferences across workspaces
  • Get rid of that asinine Slackbot
  • A more useful Unreads screen
    • Centralized unreads center across my 15 workspaces
    • Unreads are grouped by channel and arrival making it hard to triage
    • Clicking on a message takes you to the thread that messaged happened to be in, as opposed to something like a focused email chain
    • The issue/bug/disaster may have already been resolved but there’s no way to retroactively pull notifications back
  • Ability to view multiple threads at once
  • Freeze gifs if the window isn’t active to stop distracting me
  • Enforce a more rigid channel hierarchy
  • Ability to annotate messages with types, to start: question, decision, announcement
  • Ability to quote a message to reply to it directly, like on Telegram
  • There should be no distinction between messaging, documentation, and issue tracking as much of this data is copied back and forth anyway - as soon as text is copied you lose context

Twitter #

I have a love hate relationship with Twitter. It’s an incredible tool, but I think certain product decisions are keeping it from reaching its 100x potential.

  • An API that works and doesn’t arbitrarily deny people like me. patch notes v2
  • Search that isn’t garbage in every way, shape, and form
    • Ability to search every tweet, reply, or profile bio I’ve ever looked at
    • One-click search from someone’s profile page to the search bar pre-populated with from: username
    • Ability to search through my bookmarks
    • Let me filter out duplicate tweets and URLs
  • Ability to navigate tweet threads more comfortably
  • Some magical buttons
    • “notify me of further responses to this tweet” button
    • “have I interacted with this person before?” button
    • Show me their tweets I’ve liked, tweets of mine they have liked, tweets we have both liked, replies to each other, etc
    • “I would like this answer questioned as well” button, more granular than the retweet button
    • “I would pay for this” button
  • Ability to assign a type to a tweet:
    • question
    • announcement
    • proposition
    • assumption
    • request for information
    • request for action
    • request for advice
    • reference
    • update
  • One-click addition references to dates and times into my calendar
    • Let me book & pay for the event from the app, take a cut
  • Mute a thread from appearing again
    • Ideally this could be extended to muting a conversation or meme as well
  • Ability to add a note to any profile
    • Ability to see what other accounts I followed at the time I followed this one
  • Ability to filter by topic
  • Buckets that can automatically collect tweets until there’s enough to look at
  • Ability to filter for someone’s most popular tweets
  • Give me more insight to why someone followed me
  • Let me message every mutual that lives in $city when I land there

Hacker News #

Gmail #

  • Unified inbox on desktop
  • What searches did I run over the course of this thread being open?
  • What documents did I edit last time I emailed this group of people?
  • Show me emails in Google search other than my flight bookings
  • 1-click delete & mute filter

Roam Research #

  • search aggregator for publicly accessible instances
  • ability to embed other people’s blocks into my own private db
  • more granular sharing
  • updates on changes to other databases
  • a lot more…

Podcast apps #

  • CJ Pais: Project Goals is building something in this space and I am very excited
  • iOS: Airr - Share podcast clips
    • twitter: AirrAudio
    • supports making highlights on episodes directly, with some podcasts pre-transcribed
  • The ability to take timecoded, transcribed comments on any part of podcast
  • better ways of finding episodes
    • What are the most popular episodes in this podcast?
    • Has a person I follow on Twitter appeared in this podcast?
    • Have they recommended an episode recently?
  • better navigation
    • possible to process waveforms into different color by different speakers?
    • have scrubbing snap to long pauses or changes in tone?
    • Search by keyword instead of scrubbing
    • Voice control, “navigate 15 seconds back”
  • sharing and archival
    • share a link with a timecode on Spotify
    • ability to add a podcast episode to a playlist on desktop
    • complaint tweet - response: “do it on mobile”
  • Save a history of my played episodes (how is this not a default feature I do not know)

Voice interfaces for controlling software #

  • Voice recognition that can keep up with the speed of a rambling caffinated speech accurately
    • We are getting closer with Otter.ai for transcription
  • Voice interfaces (Alexa, Google Voice, etc) should pause the audio/video stream at the timecode the first cyclable was uttered, not at that point it finished transcribing your speech.
    • I suspect this would make them feel much snappier.

Misc

  • Standardized one-click annotations from a Youtube link to a URL

Hardware #

  • Augmented reality that works.
    • Needs to be cheap, useable, and affordable. It is none of these yet.
    • Navigation is probably the first thing I would add here, what Google Glass was supposed to be able to do
    • Interactive education about my environment would be next
  • Bluetooth headphones that don’t take 5 seconds, several beeps, and a burp or two to switch from my laptop to my phone
  • Wall-size touchscreens that I can afford

Software development & debugging #

  • One-click search of every line of code I’ve typed for this organization or in personal utilities
  • Instant visualization of every PR comment or bug tied to this line, function, or file
  • Weigh StackOverflow questions I looked at higher in my collaborators’ web searches
  • Have a one-click button to turn a series of Slack messages into a documentation page

Tech support tools #

  • A service to let family members collaboratively manage an email for older/non-tech savvy relatives to prevent phishing, and to maintain easy access for tech support.
  • Screensharing that’s easier to initiate than the buggy iMessage version

Productivity & Health #

  • post:concentration compromise is everything I know about the intersection of productivity and digital communication
  • Try associating left hand phone use with productive things like reading and flashcard review, and right hand with social media
    • Not sure if this would actually help anything
  • Disconnect Day: no internet whatsoever, save for 2 email checks. Ideally weekly.
    • John Carmack: “I was doing a remote study/think time this week, and I tried a “no screen time day” as an experiment … It was inconclusive” (twitter thread)

This page #

  • Upvote and downvote buttons
  • Tags and filtering
  • Ability to navigate it better
  • Add cool hyperlink previews like on Gwern’s site
  • More organized hyperlink formats
  • Table of contents
    • Some way to autogenerate it