Are Bookmarks an Anachronism?

Do you use bookmarks? I do not. I occasionally save them but I do not remember the last time I used one and it’s been nearly a decade since I bother organizing them. I do not import bookmarks from one browser to another, either.

I liked the idea behind Kifi. It was a total ego thing for me Kifi stored all the links people posted on Twitter if you didn’t see it before Google swallowed it. I posted quite a bit during a six-month period when Kifi was self-promoting on their way to an acquisition exit. Overnight, I had a library of 7000 links and I was asked to take part in the Beta test. it wasn’t really overnight, of course. My son was an Alpha tester. At one point after I’d noisily connected Kifi, Feedly, and Mendeley in a Tweet and two of the company CEO’s further promoted their startups by retweeting one of the three companies had an advertisement that included images of my son and me on the same web page. We’ve never discussed it. He was probably horrified.

Creating a feed for Feedly is the only thing I did with my Kifi library. Two or three people subscribed to it.

It took me a couple of minutes to find it in my feed. I used to use @leturos on Twitter for everything. I now use @ipdevelopers if I’m going to tweet for dollars …whatever that means.

Ah, Bookmarks, that’s the topic.

Kifi was sold to Google in July 2016. Thirty minutes ago when I started the post that had more words that LI posts allowed, I could not remember the name of the company so before heading into the kitchen for dinner I opened a new tab and artlessly typed:

“webpage startups sold to Google”

At the bottom of the page, one of the link options was “Google acquisitions 2016”.

I clicked and the first link the algorithm Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 7.24.22 PM(or sentient being if the singularity already happened) placed on the screen was CrunchBase graphic complete with hyperlink.

I clicked. Kifi was about 15 companies down the expanded list that my finger twitches brought into local being.

Google bought a lot of companies in 2016. Great stuff or an amoeba-like assimilation of technology that limits the original innovations potential maturation while funding the innovation sometimes pre and post acquisition. Rhetorical question. It just popped into my mind. It must have been the summer squash.

Back to the original question: Do you use (not save) bookmarks?

My wife just told me she uses two.

One for some hard to find otherwise financial information from Trinidad and the other some sort of domestic form that requires a username and password to access. FINOP things, I guess. Whatever FINOP means. I have no idea. She seems to like it. I have only written two checks in the past 15 years – by writing I mean I wrote in the dollar amount.

Bookmark Use: Sample of two so far. I do not use them but sometimes save them. My wife uses two. Here are the eight web pages I have bookmarked on my Mac’s Chrome browser.

In order to cut Chrome Chrome kvetchers off a the pass, I state with transparent, sincere faux humility that I also use Safari, Firefox, and Tor. Equal opportunity me.

So, I ask again (to get myself back on track): Do you use bookmarks?

I’ll go a step further: Do you believe that using bookmarks is, in general, a good idea?

if so, why. If not, please explain.

Why did I think about this enough to write an article?

I’ve spent the day working on improving the efficiency of my work environment. I was running out of big hitters and had just re-enabled the One Note Web Clipper because a study technique I’m using looks a bit like this article when I’m done with a topic and though I didn’t use One Note Clipper before I started cutting and pasting a lot I believe it will reduce the time I spend on low thought activities and improve my productivity.

On the other hand, I might be taking away a needed pause, a calm in my mind’s storm, and I’ll actually become less productive by being enabled. As I wrote above, I’d run out of big hitters.

After enabling the One Note Clipper I noticed a One Note Developers app then quickly clicked into the midst of the tools and knowledge one might need if they had the courage to further the One Note legacy.

Obviously, I saw the possibilities and I went from low affect to psyched in milliseconds but I somehow managed to resist the lure. I pulled myself together before I went rogue tangential. I wrote that in jest but what I jokingly presented is very close to the thoughts that went through my head and the excitement I felt … for a second or two.

I’ve literally spent days, months even, bouncing from one thing to another in the past. I enjoyed every minute of it and got a lot done. Unfortunately, oftentimes it was not what I was supposed to have completed.

One thing I seem to do fairly efficiently is information mining.

I do not use bookmarks.

They are one of the tools I’ve tried to use on more than one occasion when my desk and desktop got so cluttered that I had to stop and add structure. The piles and files that resulted became temporary shelters for whatever had been placed or hidden within. Some of these techniques helped and their use expanded and the original form morphed with my workspace environs. Piles formed larger colonies supported by bookshelves, logical file structure (logical, not immutable) is something I probably achieve with an effectiveness of about 70 percent over the years but I haven’t filed anything in months for the most part.

Why?

I don’t spend too much time tidying up, if the directories are not going to be exported for another’s use, for the same reasons I don’t use bookmarks.

The first reason is that I rarely reopen files or go back to a web page several months down the road. Spending too much time organizing that which is behind me slows down my progress forward. The second reason is that I can find things quickly using search tools that are continually improving.

I asked a question that took the use of bookmarks, for me at least, a step further. I’ll provide my answer. I believe that, on average, the use of bookmarks would reduce my efficiency and effectiveness. Initially, I would waste a lot of time putting things in places where they would remain untouched until discarded or deleted. Second and more importantly, a bookmark is a snapshot. Overreliance on markers that were contextually rich when they were first placed into knowledge stasis may have marginal future relevance.

The future is now something that grandparents expect to see not something that their grandchildren may live to experience. If we need to reaccess something that came before, something that we may even have had a role in its ideation, gestation, or early maturation it’s great to have a file we can just reach to physically or virtually. It’s great but reacquiring that which we froze in place provides us only with what we once had.

When we draw conclusions based on something that caught our attention enough that we filed it away for later use we risk being guided by self-importance. This pitfall is not limited to individual action. Societies can act in a similar manner also or at least that’s how it looks. My handful of hours learning a little about history have been great and if I wasn’t almost done I’d retract that statement but it follows that individual folly can become inconsequential in a larger frame in a thinking society and that something quite different might occur in a fractured, irrational and increasingly hate-filled society.

A thousand pardons. I got a bit off track.

In summation, cast off or better yet never allow yourself to become entangled in sorting and sifting the information which flows at us, over us, and through us. It’ll be there when you look back and with the passing of time the likelihood that which we research has been further developed or, at least, can be viewed within a richer associational reference frame. Young learners should be taught to look for things using logic and flexibility. Each foray out into the ocean of information that surrounds us can and should become a lesson of doing.

Learn to use tools that have been and are being designed to find not the tools from the past that may lend a hand in stagnation when used as intended, to bind.

4 thoughts on “Are Bookmarks an Anachronism?”

    1. I realized last night that it just didn’t occur to me to use them. I save pages now and then but I didn’t even know, off the top of my head, how to find the bookmarks. In the past year I have developed more patience than I ever thought I would have. I can work on something for hours without either getting bored or frustrated. I had to do so. My mind would have continued to unwind in the manner it did because of the problems I wrote about in Impetus. When your frame of reference is mutable to begin with having it poked and prodded by someone I could have and almost did end up much worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks. I have lived most of my life in a mildly manic state that is now and then complicated with a long stretch of even more delusional than ordinary thought potential. The events of late 2015 and early 2016 happened during one of my low output states as I used to think of them. Low output meant (to me) that I didn’t get much done because my thoughts were disorganized and I had the usual other symptoms one would expect. This reality included real people hacking into my computer and harassing me. My wife didn’t believe me for the first couple of weeks and my daughter actually called my psychiatrist. A week or so later my wife finally saw something that shocked her and she’s seen a lot since. Thing is, 18 months after she started to believe me, I still ask her if the worse was real. She assures me that I wasn’t the only one seeing strange things that time.

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