Advanced Not-Reading Technology

Yesterday, there was a Hackaday post for a Kickstarter campaign. Because we force everyone to read every Hackaday post, there were some complaints and suggestions that we flag posts about Kickstarter campaigns. The most obvious solution to this problem of forcing people to read what they don’t want to read would be a UserScript or browser extension that automatically removes posts with objectionable tags.

It took 12 hours for [Daniel Ward] to lift you up to salvation, ending the inexorable toil you have all suffered under the thumb of idiotic and incompetent Hackaday editors.

[Daniel] wrote a UserScript for GreaseMonkey or TamperMonkey that looks at the tags for each and every Hackaday post. If a tag matches, “crowd-funding”, “crowdfunding”, or “kickstarter”, the post is removed from your browser.

It’s an astonishing advancement in state of the art, “not reading what you don’t want to read” technology. Bards and troubadours will sing of this day for years. Philosophers and theologians are citing this as evidence of something they’re calling, ‘free will.’ We don’t know who [Will] is, but at least he’s free now.

If that’s not enough, [RoGeorge] came up with an astonishing twist on this life-changing technology. By adding, ‘Arduino’ to the blacklisted tags, all posts tagged ‘Arduino’ are also removed. This can, of course, be extended to any tag. Imagine; a world where you don’t have to read what you don’t want to read. A futuristic utopia. Astounding.

174 thoughts on “Advanced Not-Reading Technology

        1. Why not go ahead and take it to it’s logical end …. add ‘dangerous’,’sharp’,’pointy’,’hot’,’fire’,’unsafe’,’arduino’,’beginner’ and ‘amateur’. That way the 3 or 4 posts that are left shouldn’t contain anything those people frequently and loudly complain about. (personally, I’m just writing a userscript to hide comments from folks like that)

    1. You’ve missed the context a bit. People were complaining yesterday that they had to read an article about a Kickstarter project when they didn’t want to. Apparently, it did not occur to the complainers that they could simply opt out of reading those articles with the power of sheer will.

    1. The problem with that is that people don’t know if an article is worth reading until after they have read it. It is the job of a good editor to only publish the good articles. Why pay a writer for cr*p articles that are only going to drive people away from the site.

      1. This is true only if said reader is incapable of ascertaining the gist of the article from the title and the first paragraph, which usually sums it up quite nicely. If this is the case, said reader needs to improve his/her reading skills.

        1. There are a number of articles about crowd funded projects that are really quite good. The author of this script should be commended for allowing users to customize their hackaday experience. That being said I think his approach is a bit heavy handed. I think a better solution is to let readers give an article a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The articles with the highest rating appearing at the top of the page.

        1. As I stumbled across a like-minded person in you: I just saw CNN show a bit of the interview Oliver did with Snowden and they not only bleeped the word ‘dick’ but also the word snowden used, namely ‘junk’, they bleep euphemisms… euphemisms even the pope would use, senators would use, euphemisms even erdogan would allow.. I mean really.

        2. WordPress is pretty good CMS, and there are several modules available that filter out any profanity, no matter how mild. At one point in time hackaday used one such module. I’d rather self censor than get my post rejected. I’ve had multiple post rejected, because I used that word.

    2. Only because I used my Kickstarter-funded Arduino-powered time machine to travel into the past and alter the course of history to bring scroll-wheel technology to fruition. If only you hadn’t installed that GreaseMonkey script, you all would have read about it.

  1. filtering on the receive side is always a good thing. filtering on the transmit side is censorship, but on the receive side, if you control the receive side, its about freedom.

    1. I don’t know if that is true, some people are under immense pressure from their surroundings and feel forced to deny their own person. That’s in fact one of the things mental institutions and shrinks and suicide hotlines have to handle all day long.

    1. I would love that… I’m so sick and tired or all the idiots complaining about EVERYTHING, from spelling, to what is covered and “not a hack”
      I read Hack-a-day daily, for informational purposes as well as the interesting Kickstarter that pops up now and then. I have actually acquired a few Kickstarter rewards and I’m happy with most.

      So if you don’t like what you see, go take your eyes somewhere else. If you ain’t paying HaD, you can’t dictate the content.

      So please, Brian – I know April 1st has gone it’s way, but just for a few hours… drive these guys nuts! :)

          1. Don’t worry I made a filter to filter that filters my filter. In effect it filters nothing but adds more to it. I seeded with remarks on typos and the like. Now I can’t see the Internet due to the filters.

  2. Some people simply do not know how to BREATH without someone else holding their hand and walking them through it step by step. That’s the problem… because SOME people don’t want to see something (whatever that is) they insist that NO one can see it – rather than the simple solution of not looking at it. And this applies to ALL areas, not just HaD.

        1. Ive just had a cracking idea…. so amazing I´m surprises nobody ever thought of it before… why don´t we add a button to allow people to review and correct their typos and other random dribblings… we could call it something simple, perhaps the ¨Edit¨ button.

        2. @itsthatidiotagain We tried that, nobody liked it. We don’t want those modern crappy comment systems, and we especially don’t want 3rd party crap like disqus or some such. We agreed to live without an edit button as a price to not suffer all the nonsense other systems bring to the table.

        1. Who cares about that little e? It’s the internet and he even used the correct ‘their’ but made one tiny tiny mistake in the whole thing.
          Now go read some articles on professional site like maybe some news sites like CNN or reuters, and you will find many more mistakes.in their writings. So yeah, to complain about the tiny mistake is a tad lame.

        2. You must really have nothing better to do with your time. To worry about that little ‘e’… I’ll tell you what… how about if I were to add that to the end of another word. Just so there isn’t a lost letter floating around in the ether somewhere. Would that make you happy? And just for the record, even if there was an ‘Edit’ button… I still wouldn’t fix it because I am not that damn anal. I have more important things to worry about than whether or not I’m missing a letter here and there.

          I cannot believe how much attention that one little mistake is getting here! I am so proud. Hell… If id nown mispelling werds culd git so much atten… attin… lookin’ at, heck fire… id have starting spellin werds like tha rest of tha intranet do before now!

    1. It’s caused by primitive physiological territorial issues.

      The readers screen is in their territory (home), therefore what is being shown on the screen, is being said on their territory. So if it’s something they don’t like reading there is a primitive urge to rage and chase the trespasser out of their territory.

      The cure is the understanding that the screen is comparable to a window that looks across a public park (private sever open to the public) and no amount of hysterical barking (negatively responding to articles) is going to stop other dogs (users) pissing (posting articles) up against your favourite tree (websites).

    2. I guess if it wasn’t a big deal there would be no replies.

      The point is, you wanted to emphasise your opinion by making one word really stand out. It certainly did, but for the wrong reason, which takes a lot away from your righteously indignant post. Perhaps you should get someone to hold your hand and walk you through the process of writing sentences step by step. You could use a dictionary to help. In the future you could try reading some books so that you can see lots of good examples of well-written sentences. Then you can have a go at writing some yourself.

      Good luck!

      1. lol… well, as a published writer… I’m really not worried about your opinion of my writing style, my spelling or any other aspect. But you have a good night.

  3. What is wrong with a Kickstarter post if it can be usefully for a hobbyist and such? There are some good projects out there that I probably wouldn’t of seen otherwise. These people are trying to get their ideas off the ground that most likely have been working on for a long time. I know from experience, not at the Kickstarter/Crowdsourcing stage yet but plan on it. Via Hackaday some of these projects can hit the right audience. If you are not interested just mark as read, keep scrolling by. You might find something for you one day.

    On a side note, cool script which can have many other applications, blocking artists or ads from services of which you already receive/products you already purchased would be great!

    1. Some really awesome stuff has come from crowd funding. Unfortunately there are tons of crowd funding projects that are just vapor ware, designed to take money from idiots.

    2. There’s nothing wrong with it. There are some people who simply don’t want to read about such things, and there is a smaller, more vocal subset of those people who are too lazy or dumb to not read what they don’t want to read, and so this script was born to cater to them. Of course, if they’re too lazy to decide whether they want to read a particular article, I doubt they’ll have enough willpower to install the script and use it.

      What I can’t understand is that they are too lazy to just scroll past an article that mentions whatever it is they don’t like, but they sure as hell have the willpower and time to post about it in EVERY SINGLE THREAD about their subject of ire.

      TL;DR: Trolls always be trollin’

  4. I prefer to receive too many messages than too few. When something does show up I don’t want, I use a very low-tech method to deal with it: index finger on the delete key. That way I don’t miss something based on my preconceived and flawed notions encoded in a blacklist. I subscribe to some lists/feeds where I delete 99 out of 100 without going further than the subject line. I want that 1/100th of the traffic.

    The only philosophy needed for this is to take life on life’s terms rather than trying endlessly and with higher blood pressure to arrange *everything* to suit me. That way, I enjoy more things than I’m bothered by. If there’s any apropos theology involved, perhaps the Sermon on the Mount might apply. It’s a lesson on how to live without being pissed off all the time.

  5. Good thing we ( or just me) do not have to use that StUpId” piece of code.
    The next thing you know, that author will start “black-listing” my favorite subjects.
    Beer, wine, ouzo, anything with 40% or better “flavor”

    Oh, by the way, what chruch does that author belong to ?

  6. Cool. Good job publicly belittling your readers and their (valid) opinions with this. Way to go! Just think about how great hack a day would be if all the readers disappeared and just left you editors alone. What a wonderful world. Being an editor must be such a tough life. You sure showed us readers this time…

    Really though, you didn’t have to spin that as a dick. You could have presented this as,
    “Hey guys, We are listening to your opinions and we take them seriously. I know some of you don’t like stories about Arduino or Kickstarter … so we added a feature to the site (or greasemonkey or whatever) that filters tags. Here is how to use it. Let us know if you have any other ideas to help make the site better. THANKS!”

    Wouldn’t that have been better?

    1. I agree with everything AC just said. I am not even one of the people he’s complaining about. But I think it is ridiculous that he would write a post like this, directing such a bad attitude toward the very readers that support the site he writes for.

          1. Depends on how well you craft the call. I freely admit to being an idiot a large percentage of the time, but if you can find a witty way to remind me of this rather than a direct personal slur, I have no objections. Ego needs to be kept in check, and I have a particularly large ego.

        1. I don’t want dry technical details. I do want articles loaded with techy stuff and the opinions of witty writers. What I don’t want is articles where the author complains about the very people that support the site that employs him. On the other hand, Brian has posted many articles that were exactly of the type I like and well worth reading. But this was not one of them.

          1. I like that you found an article making fun of people who would rather complain about articles they don’t like than just skip over them, and then instead of skipping over it, you went and complained that you don’t like this type of article.

            Anyway, this style of article is called an “editorial” or “op-ed.” Every periodical in the world publishes articles like this — most newspapers even have a whole section devoted to them. Lots of people like to this kind of article. If you don’t want to read opinion pieces, don’t read them.

          2. This is a reply to macw… since the hackaday nesting only goes so deep I can’t reply directly…. Maybe some of this negative energy should go to making the comment system suck less…

            So you are saying the New York Times publicly belittles their readers and makes fun of them when they disagree? Can you perhaps present a few examples?

    2. “Wouldn’t that have been better?”

      The specific nature of the complaint is inconsequential. The backlash is because r4k is a dick who wanted his disdain for Kickstarter to be known to all. And he framed his anti-Kickstarter pronouncement in a way to make it look like the editors aren’t doing a very good job – which they are. DIckishness is as dickeshness does.

      So, um, no. No it wouldn’t be better. That’s called co-dependence.

      I’ve been reading HaD for a year now, and i’m comfortable with the idea that anyone who’s read through more than a couple of dozen blog posts should have a good idea of the nature of the content and that Kickstarter campaigns are often featured. For anyone to take up space in the comments section to complain that they want the editors to make reading the blog ‘easier’ for just that complainer is just plain silly. It’s analogous to writing a TV network and asking that the words “Ethnic joke in 5,… 4,…. 3,…” flash on the screen, during one’s favorite sitcom. Or asking a news channel to warn that the next story contains IRONY. Personally, I don’t drink beer. But I’m not dense enough to ask the the ‘Beer’ tag be placed up front for my sake alone. I’m usually able to figure that out all by myself.

      1. Here is a question for you?
        Why does “just ignore it and STFU” only apply to editor written posts and not reader comments? Why did Hack-a-day feel the need to dedicate a whole “story” to attacking a reader post about not liking Kickstarter? Why didn’t the editors “just ignore” the reader comment?

        1. AC… Why not? Moderate your own blog and let’s see how many people want to read it.

          Again, the original post was intended to whine about Kickstarter – which was a personal aagena – and frame it to insult the quality of the moderation on the blog. Keep it to that.

          1. Here is the full text of the offensive first post in the other article….
            “Please flag things that are kickstarter so I know to just ignore them.”

            That was a legit request. No name calling, no insults. The first one to make insults was Brian! That is my point! A lot of Hackaday content is great… except when Brian decides he needs to publicly vent.

          2. @AC:

            > Here is the full text of the offensive first post in the other article….
            >“Please flag things that are kickstarter so I know to just ignore them.”
            >That was a legit request. No name calling, no insults. The first one to make insults was Brian!

            That’s not a legitimate request. There’s nothing saying, “please stop posting kickstarters”, or, “you post too many kickstarters.” The entire comment is a whine that is basically, “I don’t want to read this.” Utterly pointless, and for the first comment on the page, it really clutters things up.

            Also, the original post was tagged as a crowd funding campaign, making the whine doubly illegitimate.

            Brian has already said that he doesn’t delete comments, but at the same time you expect him to to just sit by when people clutter up the comments with whiney bullshit? He’s apparently letting *you* post, and you’re saying he doesn’t support the commentors? Come on, man. Give it a rest.

        2. Because the vocal minority should never decide what I get to read. And those idiots don’t leave when you ignore them, they just get louder until everyone else has left.

    3. Anyone who thinks that [hackaday] should only consist of things which they approve of can fuck right off.

      Replace [hackaday] with any other place that has content, and the same thing applies

      1. How about these??
        “Anyone who thinks that hackaday READER COMMENTS should only consist of things they approve of, can piss right off”
        or…
        “Anyone that thinks the reader comments on an open forum should only be mindless editor-worship, can piss right off”

        1. What don’t you understand about reading a post and commenting doesn’t give you power? Who cares about what you think? Start an hackaday fork and write some articles, then maybe people will get concerned by your opinion. You don’t create content, you create entertainment for people that are just waiting for the ugly troll to show up. Better not be in the splash zone.

          And what people doesn’t understand about irony and self criticism? Brian makes me laugh with this article because he’s advertising something that is manifestly a critic of hackaday. In the comments, he always makes fun of everything, even when people call him a retard. LEAVE BRIAN ALONE!

  7. I just love the fact that this article is tagged with all those no-no’s. So if the script was running before this post, nobody would know about this script. That is almost a recursion post, now I am confused.
    BTW, my filter ‘Brain 1.0’ is still working very well.

  8. Honestly, I appreciate that Hackaday trudges through all the crappy kickstarters and writes about the ones that I (and many other hackers) might be interested in. I’ve been reading this site every day (more like 3 or 4 times a day) since early 2006 and want you guys to know that some of us still appreciate what you do. Not every post wins my full attention but I’m inspired every week by something I see here.
    Thanks for doing what you do,
    -SirJonnyBoy

    1. I second that!
      Hackaday is my favourite website.
      I love even articles that are not interesting because in the comments everyone says, “There’s a better way to do this by ……..”

    2. I’m with you sjb. When I first discovered HaD, I went back and read the blog straight through. Everyone involved is doing a great job – far more interesting an inspiring than the typical ‘tech news aggregator’ robotrons out there.

      Thanks for doing what you do,
      Shep

    3. +10.
      If it weren´t for posts in Hackaday, I would not know about kickstarter projects. Just read superficially the article, take a look of the site, think “nah, it doesn´t interest me at this moment and there is nothing I can learn from it now “, and move along.

      Would it be difficult to make the script into an extension for Chrome / Firefox ?

  9. Hey- Benchoff… go fuck yourself for your snide, condescending, sardonic view of your readers. Every time the community objects to something you force down our throats you whine about it. Seriously. GO. FUCK. YOUR. SELF. you butthurt little bitch. …and take your front page with you. Thank god I’ll never have to frustrate myself by forgetting to add /blog/ to the end of the URL. Still claiming that the mooltipass is an independent product that is not at all associated with HaD? I’m done with your shit you egotistical fucking slob. Seriously- go fuck yourself with a soldering iron. Shit bag.

      1. You laugh because you know its true.

        Did you or did you not claim the mooltipass to not be affiliated with HaD?

        I’d be fascinated to see the web-metrics for accessing the site via /blog/.

        You abuse your position by using your pulpit to swing down on those
        that disagree with you. There are a thousand tones you could choose to use, but time and again you choose sarcastic mockery.

        I miss Caleb.

    1. If you are unsatisfied by this blog you can just leave. I am sure there are other sites that meet your “high standards of excellence” and can fulfill all your needs. Frankly, this community has an appreciation for certain posts, and can skip ones they are not interested in. Overall, we will not miss you except for the slightly sweeter scent left by your absence. If you do decide to stay I would hope that you could learn to clean up your language a little when you speak to others.

    2. “force down our throats”

      It looks like the point went over your head.

      You do not have to read things you do not want to read. Hackaday blog posts are not “forced down your throats”.

      It is very easy to identify that a post is about a kickstarter, and skip to the next one.

      1. No, the point didnt go over my head.

        I just think it’s shit that he uses his position to swing down on people. I dont really give a shit if HaD reports crowd-funded stuff… theres a lot of interesting stuff coming from the crowd-funded camp. I’m just tired of Benchoff being full of himself.

  10. I think I see a problem with use of this script. In the event Hackaday honors every request include a tag requested, so every script user can have the own customization, all of us combined will use so much bandwidth reading Hackaday the internet will break. Oops. ;)
    Don’t sweat the small shit citizens, and a good part if it all IS the small shit.

  11. I’m confused.

    If we create a script to filter out content and run it on our computer, is it still a free will choice, or have we taken another step in the direction our computer overloads expected us to take in line with their plan of eventual dominion over all of mankind ???

    1. I’m on the fence with that, I personally don’t like to filter too much out because I feel I’m locking myself out in the process.
      But on any site on the internet there will always be things that just is so pointless and annoying that it doesn’t affect anything to filter it out. But it’s very tempting for people to overdo it. Bit like lawmaking I guess, when do you have fascist state/dictatorship? There is always the risk of going full bloomberg.

      1. Incidentally, that’s also one of the reasons why I don’t like all those google/facebook/twitter/etcetera ‘guessing what you like’ nonsense, where it guesses what you want to see and what you want to not see, damn computer AI taking over my choices.
        And often those sites don’t even tell the user that they are doing, I hear for instance that at one point facebook started to remove people from people’s feeds based on guessing they did not like them, while not telling people..

    1. Hmm, an active audio-canceling headphone and voice recognition maybe? But there would be a delay for the voicerecognition to kick in. You need some sort of sub-audible squelch system installed on her voice, or maybe she already has some person-specific tone.

    1. This is actually how I kludged it together – TextEdit and Chrome console.

      Once I confirmed everything was working I then added the UserScript headers and tested it on Firefox and Chrome.

  12. Long time lurker, always wanted to be featured on Hackaday.

    This whole project came from a comeback Brian had that made me laugh.

    He said if someone fixed the issue they had with the Hackaday blog using a Greasemonkey script and uploaded it to hackaday.io he would feature it in the blog.

    And here we all are with a world of butthurt.

    1. Good job. although I won’t be needing it so far, but I stored the scripts for future reference just in case.

      BTW now that I see this thread I guess we need one more final script to make everybody happy, one to remove comments from specific people. But what if people put my name in it though? Hrmpf

  13. Naturally, any kind of comment thread or forum on the internet is biased towards negativity because it’s easy to find the energy to complain but not so easy to praise.

    So here goes:
    Thanks to Hackaday for posting relevant hacking/maker related crowd funding links, I’m usually interested in whatever it might be and normally end up having a look at the crowd funding page.
    If I’m not interested (along with many other non-crowd funding articles), I have no problem scrolling past.

    Please continue being great.

    1. Now there’s an idea, a filter that might actually be useful.
      That and the comments of people who live in some 12 years ago realm where it’s still done to do the ‘first’ thing i comment sections. It’s like looking through some wormhole into the past, and shaking your head in sadness.

  14. Hah!

    The sheer magnatude of butthurt in the comment section is amusing. The irony runs deep.

    Thank’s for this Brian, it has made my day. I like where this Hack-A-Day thing is going!

  15. This is a neat idea! I recently discovered tampermonkey and started using it as a way to remove the empty space left behind when adblock was done it’s job. Also, many websites have a right-side column that crushes content and adds limited value, so I remove those sometimes too.

    If anyone wants a few templates to work off of (or if they want to clean up the same news sites I browse regularly) you can find my scripts here: https://gist.github.com/darkdigitaldream

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