Concurrent Reading

(Yes, only concurrent like the threads on a uniprocessor machine. At least until I get a brain upgrade.)

Context: You have TooMuchToRead.

At the moment, it's the taking the form of WebAddiction, and the downloaded pages are building up faster than you can read them.

Bibliophiles will be accustomed to this in the form of ReadingDeficit. IsAnythingBetterThanPaper?

Forces: It may be easier to navigate and come to grips with a complex web site if you attack it from several places at once, instead of following a chain of the site's own navigation tools. Some may view this as cheating, and the unusual browsing behaviour may break some sites. (Tough. I browse on my own terms.)

It's exactly like reading a dictionary recursively by looking up all terms you find interesting. You need to keep a finger in each page which still contains unread terms, and you rapidly run out of fingers if the dictionary has a high ratio of interesting references to dead ends.

Problem: This isn't a solution to TooMuchToRead, though it may look like one if you are not too critical.

Solution: There are several possibilities, but ConcurrentReading appears to be a symptom rather than a disease. See also InsatiableQuestForKnowledge?!

So when you realize you HaveThisProblem, consider allowing only three more clicks per open page/thread. The cauterizing of your unread trains of thought should be less harmful than going wrinkly.


See also: PushDownGoalStack

I have several monitors and I don't turn my machine off. So what I do is, any time I'm browsing and see a link I want to follow, I open a new browser on the link. I often have thirty or forty browser windows open at one time. If I haven't finished reading something, I just leave it open until I have. Whenever I sit down at my computer, there is plenty of stuff still open from last time. Occasionally I close all the stale windows (or my machine is rebooted for some reason and that effectively flushes the queue). I use the Favorites menu for things I am done with now, but know I will want again later.


Imported text from YouArentGonnaReadIt:

I have a somewhat different slant on the term YouArentGonnaReadIt...

I keep a GaleonBrowser window dedicated to web "surfing" - randomly following interesting hyperlinks and reading them recursively. Galeon is especially evil for this task, because:

Wiki, and in particular this Wiki, are especially evil because there's just so much interesting stuff to read.

The true nature of the evil is its scale. At its peak, I had some 492 tabs open. As I write this I still have 344 tabs open (343 before I started writing this). The majority of those happen to point to c2.com at the moment (maybe someday I'll finish reading the Wiki...or not), which complains loudly whenever Galeon crashes and reloads them all at once...

I now have to read pages and follow links according to YouArentGonnaReadIt: A link to a complete software development methodology or a tutorial in some programming language is interesting, but I have time to read two or three of those a year, but the web contains hundreds...

I have literally lost web pages from my reading list because the site did not survive long enough for me to actually get around to reading its pages! -- ZygoBlaxell

I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I HaveThisAntiPattern too. I started on TooMuchToRead, but realized that this is a separate problem. ConcurrentReading is more general, and could relate to ReadingDeficit; MultipleBrowserWindow is perhaps too specific, especially since (as you say) the tabs serve as a CodeDeodorant. -- MatthewAstley


Imported from TooMuchToRead:

Browsing in many windows

When I surf the 'net, I open many windows. When I reach a fork in the flow, a place where there are several things I could read in parallel IfIhadMoreEyeballs, I tend to open a new browser window or a new tab in the MozillaBrowser. If it looks like a dead end, then I read it and use the Back button like a NormalUser?.

The upshot of this, of course, is somewhere between ten and 50 pages open at a time. Usually all the stories I haven't yet read on TheRegister, some WikiPages, documentation etc..

If the browser bins out this is disaster (the OperaBrowser has some protection against this), and I'm left with that feeling you get when you've LostSomethingButYouDontKnowWhat?. I suppose it's a form of DumpShock - the open pages represent stored state.

Likewise, shutting the system down can seem like moving house. Everything has to be read, and the pages which can't be finished with must be PushedOntoTheStack?. That's the KissOfDeath? to be perfectly honest. MozillaBrowser now has the BookmarkAsGroup? feature which makes life easier here.


Mentioned in WikiBrowser, and perhaps somewhat specialized for that purpose,

A basket or cart for WikiLinks which you see on the page you are reading, which intrigue you, but are not strictly germane to your reading objective at this time. [...]

You have an objective while reading? Maybe. See LearningStyle.


See:DepartmentInfoMirroring,InstinctAsIntelligence

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