This started out as an ideas page. Now it’s a repository of tools and systems I want to see built or improved, and the people and projects I’ve found thinking about the same ones. It’s not well organized, and some appear multiple times because this is still a flat file.


If you:

  • are working on something which sounds like it’s listed here

  • want to save me time by pointing me to an existing/better solution

  • can tell me why it won’t work

  • have something that belongs on here

… then you should get in touch.

I’d love to be a sounding board or just chat about interesting things adjacent to any of these!

Inspired by this page. Pull requests accepted.


Meta Tasks #

  • Ability to generate, update, and search pages like this one
  • Subscribe to arbitrary selections of text on similar pages elsewhere, even across a restructure
  • Make pages like this more useful to existing search engines and aggregators
  • Everything hyperlinkable, shareable, embeddable, and quoteable across platforms

Collaboration & learning #

  • A regular series where a bunch of friends and I log onto Zoom and watch a lecture, followed by a discussion about it
    • For blog posts, there is posobin’s blog club.
    • Going in-depth on psychadelics research papers.
    • Phrased differently: how can I chat with 5 other people obsessed with the same thing as I am this week? Be it a concept, company, question, or idea?
      • Twitter seems like the perfect platform for spawning this.
  • Online video discussion platform with automatic transcription, Reddit-style upvoting for questions, auto-merging of similar questions, deep-links to referenced books, talks, podcasts and an auto archive version.
    • Balaji S. Srinivasan: Someone should build Zoom for full remote conferences, and do it right now. (Twitter thread)
    • @DennyCloudhead: I wish holding a conference in VR was a thing but current gen is like trying to hold a nuanced, serious business conversation at a furry convention. Until facial tracking is front-and-center, we have a long way to go until VR actually works for personable/readable conversation. tweet
  • Livestream a group of programmers (remote, in-person?) collaboratively building something over the course of a week open source on Twitch.
  • Online education platforms that aren’t just digitized textbooks. (tweet)
  • A platform to host casual, unplanned, dynamic events like house parties note:How do we throw an online party?
  • Notion: habit-tracking app.

Information retention #

Better ways to publish information #

  • Being able to publish text online without worrying about security, hosting, searchability, ease of translation, monetizability, ease of reference
    • I’m a software developer, and it took longer than it should to set up a blog from scratch.
  • Arbitrary platform agnostic annotation system
  • CJ Eller: Blogging Futures
  • tweet:Azlen Elza: “The ability to zoom out and explore interconnections, whether within your own blog or external links to other sources”

Information organization, discovery, visualization #

Browsers #

Wikipedia #

  • Homepage customized to my interests, topics I’m following, and articles I shared/highlighted previously.
  • Search mode which lists all articles which cite particular book/website as a reference. (tweet)
  • Color text on Wikipedia by various metrics
    • how long it’s been part of the page
    • how frequently this this area is edited/reverted
    • how many times this section is referenced relative to others on this page and/or article family
  • Let me explore people’s Wikipedia binges and any notes or edits they made along the way

Calendar apps #

  • Search by all local events happening within the next hour that I might be interested in, which are hosted:
    • by venues I have been to recently
    • by foundations and projects I am supporting or following
    • by people in my network
    • about topics I am interested in
  • Let me easily be found by organization that need volunteer support in something I can help with
  • Google: instead of that stupid note field, at least give us a linked Google Drive document with some metadata pre-inserted
  • Let me see my calendar on my map
  • Ability to create ad-hoc reading clubs
  • What emails did I have open when I created this event?
  • Auto-find a time slot based on past instances between any number of calendars
  • Turn any text which looks like a date and time on see on my screen into an event in my calendar
  • twitter:Christopher Mikel Shelton has thought a lot about this

Zoom & most other video chat apps #

  • Link Twitter profiles to Zoom accounts instead of everyone dropping a dozen links into chat
  • A useable chat, preferably approaching the level of Slack’s
  • Toggle to just override other people’s backgrounds with a gray screen so I can focus on what they’re saying
  • Breakout rooms I can switch to faster than it takes my computer to boot up
  • A repository of publicly-accessible events and lectures happening now
  • Integrated agendas

Slack probably deserves its own page #

  • Abe Winter: Slack is the opposite of organizational memory
  • Julian Lehr: Superhuman & the Productivity Meta-Layer
  • Kevin Kwok: The Arc of Collaboration
  • Alex Petrache: How Focus Became More Valuable Than Intelligence
  • Ability to send people non-urgent DMs (tweet)
  • Notify only one person in the channel of each message round-robin style
    • A sort of ad-hoc pagerduty
  • Use more distinction than a red unread icon: DMs from execs and bots in #random should not be given the same alert weight
  • Synchronize my base notification preferences across workspaces
  • Get rid of that asinine Slackbot
  • A more useful Unreads screen
    • Centralized unreads center across my 15 workspaces
    • Unreads are grouped by channel and arrival making it hard to triage
    • Clicking on a message takes you to the thread that messaged happened to be in, as opposed to something like a focused email chain
    • The issue/bug/disaster may have already been resolved but there’s no way to retroactively pull notifications back
  • Ability to view multiple threads at once
  • Freeze gifs if the window isn’t active to stop distracting me
  • Enforce a more rigid channel hierarchy
  • Ability to annotate messages with types, to start: question, decision, announcement
  • Ability to quote a message to reply to it directly, like on Telegram
  • There should be no distinction between messaging, documentation, and issue tracking as much of this data is copied back and forth anyway - as soon as text is copied you lose context

Twitter #

I have a love hate relationship with Twitter. It’s an incredible tool, but I think certain product decisions are keeping it from reaching its 100x potential.

  • An API that works and doesn’t arbitrarily deny people like me. patch notes v2
  • Search that isn’t garbage in every way, shape, and form
    • Ability to search every tweet, reply, or profile bio I’ve ever looked at
    • One-click search from someone’s profile page to the search bar pre-populated with from: username
    • Ability to search through my bookmarks
    • Let me filter out duplicate tweets and URLs
  • Ability to navigate tweet threads more comfortably
  • Some magical buttons
    • “notify me of further responses to this tweet” button
    • “have I interacted with this person before?” button
      • Show me their tweets I’ve liked, tweets of mine they have liked, tweets we have both liked, replies to each other, etc
    • “I would like this answer questioned as well” button, more granular than the retweet button
    • “I would pay for this” button
  • Ability to assign a type to a tweet:
    • question
    • announcement
    • proposition
    • assumption
    • request for information
    • request for action
    • request for advice
    • reference
    • update
  • One-click addition references to dates and times into my calendar
    • Let me book & pay for the event from the app, take a cut
  • Mute a thread from appearing again
    • Ideally this could be extended to muting a conversation or meme as well
  • Ability to add a note to any profile
    • Ability to see what other accounts I followed at the time I followed this one
  • Ability to filter by topic
  • Buckets that can automatically collect tweets until there’s enough to look at
  • Ability to filter for someone’s most popular tweets
  • Give me more insight to why someone followed me
  • Let me message every mutual that lives in $city when I land there

Hacker News #

Gmail #

  • Unified inbox on desktop
  • What searches did I run over the course of this thread being open?
  • What documents did I edit last time I emailed this group of people?
  • Show me emails in Google search other than my flight bookings
  • 1-click delete & mute filter

Roam Research #

  • search aggregator for publicly accessible instances
  • ability to embed other people’s blocks into my own private db
  • more granular sharing
  • updates on changes to other databases
  • a lot more…

Podcast apps #

  • CJ Pais: Project Goals is building something in this space and I am very excited
  • iOS: Airr - Share podcast clips
    • twitter: AirrAudio
    • supports making highlights on episodes directly, with some podcasts pre-transcribed
  • The ability to take timecoded, transcribed comments on any part of podcast
  • better ways of finding episodes
    • What are the most popular episodes in this podcast?
    • Has a person I follow on Twitter appeared in this podcast?
    • Have they recommended an episode recently?
  • better navigation
    • possible to process waveforms into different color by different speakers?
    • have scrubbing snap to long pauses or changes in tone?
    • Search by keyword instead of scrubbing
    • Voice control, “navigate 15 seconds back”
  • sharing and archival
    • share a link with a timecode on Spotify
    • ability to add a podcast episode to a playlist on desktop
  • Save a history of my played episodes (how is this not a default feature I do not know)

Voice interfaces for controlling software #

  • Voice recognition that can keep up with the speed of a rambling caffinated speech accurately
    • We are getting closer with Otter.ai for transcription
  • Voice interfaces (Alexa, Google Voice, etc) should pause the audio/video stream at the timecode the first cyclable was uttered, not at that point it finished transcribing your speech.
    • I suspect this would make them feel much snappier.

Misc

  • Standardized one-click annotations from a Youtube link to a URL

Hardware #

  • Augmented reality that works.
    • Needs to be cheap, useable, and affordable. It is none of these yet.
    • Navigation is probably the first thing I would add here, what Google Glass was supposed to be able to do
    • Interactive education about my environment would be next
  • Bluetooth headphones that don’t take 5 seconds, several beeps, and a burp or two to switch from my laptop to my phone
  • Wall-size touchscreens that I can afford

Software development & debugging #

  • One-click search of every line of code I’ve typed for this organization or in personal utilities
  • Instant visualization of every PR comment or bug tied to this line, function, or file
  • Weigh StackOverflow questions I looked at higher in my collaborators’ web searches
  • Have a one-click button to turn a series of Slack messages into a documentation page

Tech support tools #

  • A service to let family members collaboratively manage an email for older/non-tech savvy relatives to prevent phishing, and to maintain easy access for tech support.
  • Screensharing that’s easier to initiate than the buggy iMessage version

Productivity & Health #

  • post:concentration compromise is everything I know about the intersection of productivity and digital communication
  • Try associating left hand phone use with productive things like reading and flashcard review, and right hand with social media
    • Not sure if this would actually help anything
  • Disconnect Day: no internet whatsoever, save for 2 email checks. Ideally weekly.
    • John Carmack: “I was doing a remote study/think time this week, and I tried a “no screen time day” as an experiment … It was inconclusive” (twitter thread)

This page #

  • Upvote and downvote buttons
  • Tags and filtering
  • Ability to navigate it better
  • Add cool hyperlink previews like on Gwern’s site
  • More organized hyperlink formats
  • Table of contents
    • Some way to autogenerate it