Thing 9: Alt.communities


To all intents and purposes this is a free-for-all comments board. Only when you start refining the beast to bring forth the subjects of interest do you even have a chance of picking the what from the chaff. Even then it can get pretty noisy. It’s pretty messy so works quite well as a browse tool around a subject.

As an example I plumped for a couple of narrow search terms.

For “Ergodic Number Theory” I got results like this:

  • Why Ergodic Number Theory is interesting
  • What to do on my gap year before my PhD?
  • A critical appreciation of the “Saw” horror series

For “Wind Turbines” I got:



Not to be confused with the Star Wars fan site, Wookiepedia, Wikipedia is something I do refer to on a regular basis to get quick answers and to understand the finer details of things, but have never properly considered the wealth of knowledge that lies within the citation links. It’s doesn’t take a genius to realise it’s potential for learning in depth in and around a subject. To seek knowledge beyond it and learn from subject specialists by discovering the work of those that are cited.


Seeing as I don’t often code, sharing code is something I’ve never even considered but I can see the value of this to those that do work regularly  in code. It does make me wonder again about Author Copyright though.

Exploring these communities (Reddit, especially) has immediately given me a new found appreciation for the websites I do value. Also the sheer vastness and complexity of the internet. I knew about the human capacity for making loud white noise. To discover those little nodes of value amid the mayhem often requires inhuman levels of patience.


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