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Link: The defensive arrogance of TL;DR

Ever since there has been high school, there has been the instinct to read the Cliffs Notes. The internet took this idea, added a gratuitous semicolon and perfected Too Long; Didn’t Read. This is the mistakenly proud assertion that we are far too busy and too important to read the whole thing, we skimmed a summary instead. At first glance, it seems as though AI is good at this. Why read four pages when you can read a few bullet points instead? Or why bother sitting through Waiting for Godot, when the summary gives away the plot: “Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for the enigmatic Godot. They engage in meandering conversations and encounter other characters, but Godot never arrives, underscoring the absurdity and futility of existence.” TL;DR is defensive. Not simply because it defends our time, but because it defends us from change and from lived experience. A joke isn’t funny because it has a punchline. It’s funny because something happens to us as the joke unfolds, and the punch line is simply a punctuation of that experience. #


Yoooo, this is a quick note on a link that made me go, WTF? Find all past links here.