Following a path trod by Wired Magazine and many before and since, BoingBoing used to be worth reading and now is not. In the spirit of the long tail its collective authorship have been jumping an exponentially increasing number of ever-tinier sharks for some time now, I know. But as a longtime reader I would like to put a stake in the ground, as it were, to mark the moment I made the decision that nothing that comes afterwards could possibly atone for what has come before.
That moment was Cory Doctorow’s post entitled HOWTO make a portable sandbox out of a wheeled under-bed storage tub and referencing a site called “parenthacks”. In case you’re curious, or just extraordinarily thick, the how part is indeed “obtain a wheeled under-bed storage tub and fill it with sand”.
Pouring sand into a plastic bin is now clever enough to be called a hack. I’ve mentioned this cultural cargo-culting before, and I’m totally prepared to hold Doctorow and his crowd personally responsible for setting that bar too low to trip a midget, but it’s really adding insult to injury that they’ll pimp out every dumb idea they come across, so long as the site has the word “hack” in its URL.
I know that there are a number of filter-by-author tools out there for dealing with BoingBoing, and I’m wondering what would happen if I chained them all together. Would I be left with nothing but the idea of boingboing, hovering there on my screen, unsullied by the increasingly vapid articles, the relentless mutual adoration and self-promotion? Would I see nothing but a blank screen? It’s all very meta, but I’d put that in my feed reader, for sure.