RSS is pretty cool

Wow, you actually clicked the rss icon. You might be the first person to do that on any site. Weird how every website is adorned with various social tags. Do people click those? I never do. But I would like the readers of my site to follow me on twitter and github. And of course follow me @RiceBroccoliChicken on Instagram. But excuse me. You wanted the rss document. You can find it here.

Of course no one ever uses RSS. That's Real Simple Syndication for the uninitiated. I guess Google killed it when they killed reader. Of course it lives on. I myself use feeder.co. Though when I'm looking for something entertaining to read I so often reach for twitter, even as the unread blogs pile on. I guess I subscribe to blogs with my aspirational self. I'd like to read what Terry Tao and Matt Baker are writing. But I'm tired and I just want to see the stupid jokes people were able to cram into 300 characters.

To me RSS is a reminder that things can get worse. Of course people love to complain about the disappearance of friendly dead end blogs. Things written for passion without a like button in sight. But the complainers (and I hate to admit it but I am often one of them) forget that they could have that internet back for themselves whenever they want. There are still people writing blogs about what interests them. They may seem drowned out by social media giants. But if they are drowned out in your mind, that's on you. You don't have to spend time on twitter and facebook (This part is directed mostly at myself and not the reader who's stumbled onto this page. So forgive me the more aggressive and prescriptive tone than I would normally adopt with a stranger). You can curate an RSS feed with people who are saying interesting things and not just expressing their angers and alignments. You can download papers as you find them and read them when you're feeling high energy (okay, that's sort of a joke. When are you going to be high energy and waste the ability to get stuff done on what amounts to another form of entertainment).

RSS is the symbol of some kind of decentralized utopian future we could have had. But I must not forget: "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -Leo Tolstoy. If I do not like the information I'm marinating in I should change it. I can change it. And kudos to you my dear reader for using RSS. In a better world we would all be like you. I'm still a little confused why you clicked the icon because as far as I know tools like feeder.co will automatically pick them up. But maybe you have a more manual workflow. Please let me know about it.