Today a coworker showed me a very easy way to test django code that sends emails. It’s straight from the documentation:
Another approach is to use a “dumb” SMTP server that receives the e-mails locally and displays them to the terminal, but does not actually send anything. Python has a built-in way to accomplish this with a single command:
python -m smtpd -n -c DebuggingServer localhost:1025
This command will start a simple SMTP server listening on port 1025 of localhost. This server simply prints to standard output all e-mail headers and the e-mail body. You then only need to set the EMAIL_HOST and EMAIL_PORT accordingly, and you are set.
People are always making wild claims on the internet. Herestheproof.com would give them a canonical resource for evidence of their claims. Anyone could start <someclaim>.herestheproof.com and list their evidence. Other people can edit the page until the evidence is optimized. Then the information is easily accessible in a debate, for reporting, etc.
There’s still some problems with this idea. First, how do you ensure the evidence is real? With no direct debater there’s no one on point to dispute the credibility of evidence. The reader can do this themselves but that shouldn’t go on too long. There could be a wiki tag to show that a particular piece of evidence is disputed. That would create a claim page for the claim that the evidence is false.
Also, this is vulnerable to spam. It literally invites things like “extenze-makes-your-penis-bigger.herestheproof.com”. I don’t know if I consider this a problem. That is a legitimate claim, and the “evidence” would be disputed if any were provided as for any other claim. There could also be totally unrelated content added as evidence for a claim. Crowdsourcing and backend behavior tracking algorithms could help solve this problem.
Overall, many of the problems this would have are similar to ones experienced by wikipedia, so that would be the place to look for solutions.
Please leave me comments with your thoughts on this idea. I’m unsure if there’s enough differentiation from existing resources for this to be worth pursuing, but I haven’t spent much time thinking this through yet.
Do you have a topic you want to learn about by reading a book, but you anticipate having trouble getting through it all? For me, a topic like this came up today, Noam Chomsky. He’s a popular modern philosophical figure so I feel like I should know what he stands for, but I expect I’ll disagree with everything he says and will have a hard time getting through very much of the dense content that usually comes in philosophy books. So I tried to think of a better way to get the information I want out of the book without getting bogged down and giving up.
I came up with Book Sprints. Basically, iterate through books a chapter at a time and treat them as a choose your own adventure. Choose your starting point, probably the first chapter, and as you go keep track of what topic you understood the least or want to learn about the most. Then skip to another chapter that addresses that topic the best. Many people do this already, but it could be enhanced by collaborating with other people who are reading or have read the same book.
The value add in this idea is to create a web site that allows people to participate in a discussion about each chapter of the book individually. This discussion can help the reader to keep track of what they’ve learned from the book, and to enhance their understanding with input from other people who may be subject matter experts or may have just read more of the book. The discussion can pique the reader’s curiosity about another section of the book and inspire them to keep on reading.
So what do you think of this idea? Is it worth thinking out a little further, or is there not enough here to be worth anything?