CQuirke’s Long View

Long lead times need long forward planning

More Focus, Less History

Posted by cquirke on 22 September 2007

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Have you noticed how little of what you read, is about what you wanted to know about?  Firstly, there’s pointless “friendly” waffle like the two sentences you have just read.  Then there’s history of how things used to be, but aren’t anymore.  Then there’s background that may or may not be useful.

To some extent, one expects this on commercial sites, where a single article like this will span several pages that have to be accessed one after the other – with 50% screen area taken up by banner ads etc.  Blogging discourages that, as each post ideally fits on one page.

For example, many articles on quantum physics may start with Plato’s atoms and trace the history from there onwards.  Or an article on malware prevention may waste time on virus/worm/trojan taxonomies that are way past their sell-by date, the history of the first known virus, etc.  Or a book on “how to use Linux” will start off on Linux politics, which tells you nothing about how to use it.

I’m as prone to digression and waffle as anyone, but I’ll try to focus when I write technical articles here, and link out anything that isn’t directly about what the subject line claimed the article is about.

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