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When the number of layers grows, the only thing that really works is metrics that cannot be goodhearted. Whenever those metrics exist, money becomes a perfectly good expression of success.

It might work to completely prohibit more than one layer of middle management. Instead, when middle manager Bob wants more people, he and his boss Alice come up with a contract that can't be gamed too much. Alice spins out Bob's org subtree into a new organization, and then it becomes Bob's job to buy the service from the new org as necessary. Alice also publishes the contract, so that entrepreneurs can swoop in and offer a better/cheaper service.

The ability to put up with bullshit is valuable: bullshit cannot be ignored once it is reified into real world objects, documents, habits.

Markdown has syntax for quotes: a line with > this on it will look like


Honestly "fiction" was enough of a spoiler. "As a child, we were always told that every sapient life is precious." made it a certainty.

Suggestion: "sangaku proving the Pythagoras' theorem". I wonder if it can do visual explanations.

Since Semyonova did not care to look at things from the peasants' point of view and mixed her research with attempts to convert, I wonder how many of the things she recorded were directly intended to shock her.

Hmm, I guess conflict resolution would be garbage, but simultaneous editing is rarely a good experience anyway. Otherwise storing and sharing text files using a file sync service is fairly good compared to other options. Thanks!


I wasn't aware of Etherpad. Other Google Docs equivalents seemed impossible to self-host and extend, so a non-starter.

I agree with your overview:

  • Etherpad provides collaborative editing, but integrating it with other services will probably take extra work
  • Logseq has better structure, but worse automation
  • Emacs can do most things on one computer, but rapid sharing is even harder

Pieces for a general purpose personal computing system. Ideally:

  • Edit data by hand
  • Store as plain text
  • Self-host, access from any device
  • Write formulas to derive data automatically
  • Mix and match structured data (markdown, tables, nested lists, whiteboard)
  • Search and navigate, like any wiki
  • Automate through a web API and webhooks
  • Collaborate in real time

The strict divide between high slack and low slack reminds me of synchronous and asynchronous companies: hybrids seem to work poorly.

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