[REBOL] Re: I've had it with email.
From: pwoodward:cncdsl at: 29-Jul-2002 9:15
hmm - that's a tough one. I too get a lot of spam - probably about 20
messages a day are "spam", some of which a signed up for, some of it
unsolicited. By and large it hasn't been too much of a problem, with a
combination of inbox rules which sort my mail into folders - family, work,
personal, lists, etc. Usually the only thing left in my inbox is stuff from
someone/thing I don't already know.
However, I've been investigating intermediated interfaces to the internet
lately. Initially I downloaded and modified the REBOL proxy server, and
added a little bit of logic to it to log out what I was browsing. I have
since moved over to a Java based proxy - as I was able to acquire a
framework for bots and spiders which was very useful. What I am hoping to
do is write an agent which helps classify the content of various links.
Things like HTML pages could be analyzed for their content breakdown, and
eventually some crude media analysis done on non-text assets. In a similar
vein, Email could be "proxied" - and to a certain extent already is. Many
of us have more than one email address, which is collected by the same mail
agent to present a unified inbox.
One of the things I'm trying to work out is a mechanism like that found in
Black and White. Essentially the agent functions in the background crawling
the web for things you might like. You can then positively or negatively
reinforce it's findings. By keeping a catalog of page analyses, and a
positive/negative rating for "found" pages an agent could be "trained" to
bring back things you're likely to find interesting.
Another aspect of this process is aggregating and slicing and dicing this
information retrieval. A default "home page" if you will, which is
generated by the agent for you - clipping headings, and tracking changed
links - all within one "dashboard". Clicking on a link could result in a
customized page view after parsing by the local agent. Etc.
However, there are several dangers inherent in this sort of approach.
1> Metaphore shear. When I say go to http://... you know exactly what I
mean. As our interface to web assets becomes more mediated, it may be more
difficult to communicate directly.
2> As our interaction becomes less direct, so to does our ability to verify
the source and truth of a web asset.
3> If "direct" channels such as email become mediated (whether for
autotranslation, or other purposes) there exists a chance for
misunderstanding - or malicious corruption.
4> Acquisition of a persons mediation agent profile could reveal a lot of
information about them.
In short - I don't see email, or web disappearing - but rather the ways in
which we interact with them changing.