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    This is an interesting concept. I’ve toyed with the idea of transforming my blog to PDF in the past (it’s just Markdown, so it shouldn’t be too hard).

    The publishing system used looks cool too:


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      Whatever blogging tools or CMSs we use to publish on the web, we ought to start finding ways to have them generate well-designed books as well as web pages. The services and technology we need are already sitting there, ready to print those books for us.

      Indeed they are. These are the man-pages for the UNIX operating system.. They were written in troff, a semantic markup language not unlike the markup language one probably uses to write their blogposts in. A typesetter read the troff files and produced these beautifully typeset document pages.

      History isn’t always obsolete.

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        Oh, the author was thinking of dead trees when he said ‘immutable’. I thought he was going somewhere else with this, like IPFS.

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          Heh. This was my immediate thought, and I was waiting for them to bring it up basically the entire time.

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            Would using IPFS remedy the issue of temporal permanence raised in the first paragraphs of the linked post?

            I’m asking because I don’t really know enough about IPFS to compare to “normal” content storage.

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              IIUC, addressing the impermanence problem was one of the design goals of IPFS. They tout it as a solution that provide permanence. I can’t personally attest to their claim. Here’s some marketing materials: https://ipfs.io/#why

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                Thanks for this link! For some reason I thought IPFS was just the latest iteration of the FreeNet idea. It looks as if there’s a bit more meat in it than that.

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                  I don’t see where the meat is. It always looked like a worse freenet to me. Especially with regard to retention (which is a real issue on freenet), I don’t see any solution. “Each network node stores only content it is interested in” sounds like a real problem. In practice, you’d have to always run your server to ensure the content you want available is available.

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            To be honest hard copies are not in a much better shape.

            Do you have copies of your essays from middle school anymore? So many documents will just fall by the wayside. There are mystery novels from the 50s where basically the only way I could find to get a copy is to buy the French translation of them. I bet a lot of radio disappeared.

            I remember reading an essay about the obsession with having everything permanently stored, forever. I’m starting to question the inherent value of this mentality, because I definitely don’t apply it to the physical world.

            But… there’s a lot of things out there that people do want to keep forever, and it would be good to have a nice answer to it beyond Internet Archive

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              Information is only valuable if it can be accessed and used. The mechanism for this in print is the library system. In fact, making the information available and accessible is a career: Library Science.

              I look at print as a different way that humans can access information. It’s a distractionless delivery system that helps a reader remember items with location based cues – you remember where you were reading a good book, and you may remember what part of the page or how far into the book you came across an idea.

              So maybe not better, but different and there’s definitely value in that.

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              Excellent use of Pollen, glad to see this out in the wild. I’ve been experimenting with it recently to do a larger site.

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                I was pleasantly surprised on how this article described what I’ve been feeling about the ephemeral nature of the internet, specifically hosting a blog. Gotta keep my projecter running I suppose.

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                  It would also be nice to be able to compose multiple articles into single books.