June 16, 2005

Bulk view

Emacs snippet for pmwiki attachments

(defun sacha/dired-marked-images-as-attach ()
  "Return a list of images ready to be inserted into a pmwiki page."
  (interactive)
  (kill-new (mapconcat
             (lambda (item)
               (concat "Attach:" (file-name-nondirectory item)))
             (dired-get-marked-files)
             "\n")))

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Hipster PDA: Waste of paper?

An insightful but anonymous person wrote in:

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but even though the
HipsterPDA is excellent for notetaking etc., it really is a waste of
paper!

“My notes and to dos are NOT a waste” I hear you cry. But that’s not
what I’m referring to. I’m referring to using ONE index card for
writing a phone number, or an address, or a task. When this
information is then transferred to the necessary electronic or paper
area, the card is thrown in the trash – what a waste!

I apologise to those of you who recycle your cards, but from the many
articles, comments I’ve read re: HipsterPDA, most people just trash
the card and that’s it.

I’m not a great fan of the digital world, but this disrespect for
paper (and ultimately the rainforests) is just not on.

Hmm. Good point. Index cards require more processing than cheap paper
notebooks do. I like the feel of heavy paper, and index cards require
more chemicals and raw material than paper notebooks do.

I use one index card for all my notes regarding a meeting (and
sometimes two if I need to segregate topics or spill over). I throw
the card away after I get the data into my Planner. I don’t really use
my index cards for keeping track of tasks, as most of my tasks so far
have been computer-related. My deck of index cards is really more for
jotting down notes, making quick sketches, or giving information to
other people.

I feel the trade-off is justified. I work better with index cards. A
pack of 100 or 500 index cards is a small price to pay if it helps me
keep track of things I should do or little nuggets of information I
should pass onto other people.

Even if you multiply that by all the billions of people in the world,
as long as they use their index cards to help themselves keep track of
things worth keeping track of, then I think that’s a net win for the
earth.

Conservation is important, but it is not enough to see the evil in
little things. We make a lot of choices that cost the environment.
Food. Clothes. Housing and furniture. Should we stop eating because
cooking by gas or electricity uses a lot of energy from non-renewable
sources and the amount of waste going on in fast food places and
restaurants is staggering? Should we stop patronizing bookstores
because the vast majority of books don’t get read and reused? Should
we take our fingers off our keyboards now in protest against the way
computers contribute to environmental problems? Should we take direct
steps to end the world’s population problem? We make choices.

In this case, I think my pack of index cards is certainly worth it. I
respect paper, which is why I write down things that are worth writing
down. I respect trees. I really, really like trees, and wish we had
more in the city.

After I fill up the card and store it somewhere, I won’t be able to
use it a lot. I could write on my cards with a pencil and erase my
writing until the card falls apart, but my time and the earth’s time
isn’t worth that.

It’s good to look for ways to save the environment. Reduce, reuse and
recycle. However, don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. Little
things matter, but if they help you do better things, then maybe it’s
worth it. You just need to make sure that what you’re doing is worth
the cost.

It’s one more thing to add to the pile of recyclable material (not
that garbage is really segregated in this country), one more problem
contributing to the death of the earth, but it’s something I choose to
use. Not that this is going to convince hard-core environmentalists
that I’m not a selfish, evil person, but at least I know and take
responsibility for my choice.

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