A few rationalist-adjacent friends have told they treat my newsletters as link posts, and largely ignore the content itself (thanks, guys). I get it, gonzo party journalism isn't everybody's cup of tea. 

But most people love a good, long link post. So, I wanted to run an experiment.

I counted, and there are 48 hyperlinks in my most recent post alone, linking to all manner of content. Here's a quick sample, chosen at random:

So, read my newsletter, linked above. But skip the content, if you wish—you're allowed to!—and go directly for the links! Pretend the title is, I dunno, September Links, or something similar. The links themselves are highlighted in an eye-searing neon green, against a black background, and white text. You can't miss them:

Some Vim wizard could probably show me how to grep my markdown files and spit them out as a bulleted list, to published as-is. Or perhaps I can ask ChatGPT to do it. If there's enough interest, I'll give it a try with my next post.

But still, two posts, for the price of one! That's not bad...

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6 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 2:03 PM

time spent summarizing each link to establish why I should spend my time on it is too high for high-branching posts that don't have technical explanations, imo. but then, I'm the kinda gal who posts the kind of linkposts I do here, which don't seem to be your kind of linkposts at all. Nevertheless, I imagine we both suffer from this same trivial inconvenience problem trying to get people to pick from the links in order to find the ones they want to spend time with. Trying to beat search engines at their own game is hard...

Sorta reminds me of the old jwz gruntle (predating modern blogging).

I'd link directly, but he does things with referers sometimes, and don't want to risk it.

Actually, no, not “sorta”, it very much reminds me of gruntle.

What writing on the internet could have been.

I almost never click links. (in yours or anyone's articles) but I generally enjoy your articles. They're an interesting glimpse into a very alien world.

What would need to change about the way articles work for this to change? would link hover previews make a significant difference? copy and pasting the intro from links?

I would probably read an inline intro, depending on how many of them they were. (Like I would probably read the first few, and then skim after that.)

Hover previews wouldn't do much; I usually read this kind of content on my phone.

It's less about convenience and more about me mildly disliking the nonlinear media experience. Sometimes a link is so intriguing that I do open it, but I almost never stop reading the original page to read the link — it's usually ends up in a queue as the next thing to read after I finish the original page. My prior for any given link being worth my time is pretty low, so I either need to need the additional info to understand the current context, or I need to think that the link would be worth reading on its own, completely separate from the page I'm on right now.