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Rationalist sites worth archiving?

23 Post author: gwern 11 September 2011 03:24PM

One of my long-standing interests is in writing content that will age gracefully, but as a child of the Internet, I am addicted to linking and linkrot is profoundly threatening to me, so another interest of mine is in archiving URLs; my current methodology is a combination of archiving my browsing in public archives like Internet Archive and locally, and proactively archiving entire sites. Anyway, sites I have previously archived in part or in total include:

  1. LessWrong (I may've caused some downtime here, sorry about that)
  2. OvercomingBias
  3. SL4
  4. Chronopause.com
  5. Yudkowsky.net (in progress)
  6. Singinst.org
  7. PredictionBook.com (for obvious reasons)
  8. LongBets.org & LongNow.org
  9. Intrade.com
  10. Commonsenseatheism.com
  11. finney.org
  12. nickbostrom.com
  13. unenumerated.blogspot.com & http://szabo.best.vwh.net/
  14. weidai.com
  15. mattmahoney.net
  16. aibeliefs.blogspot.com

Having recently added WikiWix to my archival bot, I was thinking of re-running various sites, and I'd like to know - what other LW-related websites are there that people would like to be able to access somewhere in 30 or 40 years?

(This is an important long-term issue, and I don't want to miss any important sites, so I am posting this as an Article rather than the usual Discussion. I already regret not archiving Robert Bradbury's full personal website - having only his Matrioshka Brains article - and do not wish to repeat the mistake.)

Comments (44)

Comment author: lukeprog 11 September 2011 04:42:22PM *  5 points [-]
Comment author: gwern 12 September 2011 06:59:10PM 0 points [-]

Most of those are in the queue now. (I think linkchecker crashed somewhere spidering the latter 5, so I'm not sure how complete coverage is.)

Comment author: Larks 14 September 2011 08:26:31PM 3 points [-]

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality?

Comment author: gwern 15 September 2011 02:33:43PM 2 points [-]

That would already be covered by my own reading of it, my browser history being the main source of URLs for archiver-bot.

Comment author: [deleted] 17 September 2011 07:24:06PM *  4 points [-]

I can't believe I haven't used archiver-bots for my browsing experience until now.

Comment author: gwern 17 September 2011 11:01:58PM *  1 point [-]

I think it's like backups - you don't appreciate the need until it's gone, and then it's too late. And to be fair, I don't think I would get much value out of an archive of my web browsing history from age 10-16, say.

Comment author: wedrifid 21 August 2013 05:42:12PM 2 points [-]

That would already be covered by my own reading of it, my browser history being the main source of URLs for archiver-bot.

You're making a permanent backup of everything you ever read on the internet? That's... that's... well I suppose data storage is cheap these days. It makes perfect sense. Reading your scripting instructions now.

Comment author: gwern 21 August 2013 06:52:29PM 1 point [-]

Not everything; I filter out things I am sure I won't want in the future and things I strongly expect to be available & which would take up a lot of space (Wikipedia in particular), and the bot is rate-limited by the IA/WebCite submissions. Increasingly more stuff is difficult to archive as sites load stuff via JS. But much of what I read, yes.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 14 September 2011 04:07:17AM 3 points [-]

You may want to add Katja Grace's blog: http://meteuphoric.wordpress.com/

Comment author: gwern 15 September 2011 02:34:22PM 0 points [-]

Done.

Comment author: Epiphany 21 August 2013 08:29:43AM 5 points [-]

gwern.net

Comment author: gwern 21 August 2013 04:07:23PM 5 points [-]

The cobbler's children don't always go unshod. :)

Comment author: Epiphany 22 August 2013 02:34:27AM *  0 points [-]

I did not intend to imply that you failed to back up your own data. That was intended as an amusing compliment.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 11 September 2011 11:55:50PM *  2 points [-]

You should probably add Nick Szabo's other site: http://szabo.best.vwh.net/ in addition to unenumerated.

Comment author: gwern 12 September 2011 01:18:08AM 1 point [-]

Done.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 04 December 2011 07:32:00AM 1 point [-]

Are your archives in a publicly accessible location? http://szabo.best.vwh.net/ is down.

Comment author: gwern 04 December 2011 08:16:34AM 0 points [-]

My archives are not; however I repaired 2 links to Szabo's pages yesterday and both were (as one would hope even in the absence of my efforts) in the Internet Archive.

Comment author: nerfhammer 11 September 2011 05:06:35PM 2 points [-]

I'm working on a rationality blog aggregator, and should be ready to make it public in the next few days. Would you like to know when it is released?

Comment author: [deleted] 11 September 2011 05:36:21PM *  3 points [-]

Can you post a link in the discussion section when it's done? I'd be interested in it, and I suspect many others on this site would be as well.

Comment author: nerfhammer 11 September 2011 07:40:09PM 0 points [-]

Yes, I'll do that. I've been looking for places to announce it/request feedback.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 11 September 2011 03:37:46PM *  2 points [-]

Does archive.org plan to implement a download feature and domain archive coverage indicator? (I assume they don't have that, otherwise you'd probably mention it. It would also make sense to publish such incremental archives as distributed version control access points.)

Edit: From the FAQ:

Can people download sites from the Wayback?

Our terms of use specify that users of the Wayback Machine are not to copy data from the collection. If there are special circumstances that you think the Archive should consider, please contact info at archive dot org.

(No explanation is given for why this is though.)

Comment author: false_vacuum 16 September 2011 12:46:00AM 10 points [-]

But... the only way to view the 'data' is by copying it to my computer! That's how the Internet works!

Comment author: [deleted] 19 September 2011 05:32:53PM 1 point [-]

I think that legally, the copy in your browser doesn't count somehow, the same way that the copy of a painting that you make by holding a mirror near it doesn't count. I'm guessing the criterion is whether the copy is ephemeral or persistent.

Comment author: thomblake 19 September 2011 07:34:39PM *  3 points [-]

This is a place where copyright law and theory still haven't quite caught up, though there are numerous attempts to make laws about these things while just ignoring facts like "To use software one must often copy a significant part of it into memory".

ETA: There's usually something about being allowed to make copies of software if it "is an essential step in the utilization of the computer program", which is arguably an extension of the "transitory duration" clause (which would cover the 'mirror' case)

Comment author: [deleted] 11 September 2011 04:15:12PM 1 point [-]

I would imagine intellectual property laws.

Comment author: Oscar_Cunningham 11 September 2011 03:37:31PM 2 points [-]

Eliezer's homepage and any papers on the SingInst site?

(I had another suggestion, but it became redundant when I saw who wrote the post.)

Comment author: gwern 11 September 2011 04:31:07PM *  0 points [-]

Eliezer's homepage and any papers on the SingInst site?

Eliezer I covered already, and I'm added singinst.org to the queue. (Singinst.org yielded 4343 filtered URLs, on-site and off the site, to be archived.)

Comment author: gwern 21 August 2013 05:12:49AM 1 point [-]

I have finished another spider & populated my queue with links from the following site:

  • sl4.org
  • chronopause.com
  • yudkowsky.net
  • intelligence.org
  • www.predictionbook.com
  • longbets.org
  • longnow.org
  • www.intrade.com
  • slatestarcodex.com
  • squid314.livejournal.com
  • aibeliefs.blogspot.com
  • mattmahoney.net
  • www.weidai.com
  • unenumerated.blogspot.com
  • szabo.best.vwh.net
  • nickbostrom.com
  • commonsenseatheism.com
  • rationality.org
  • www.acceleratingfuture.com

(Note that if you use linkchecker, you will want >4GB of RAM to spider all those domains.)

Comment author: Nick_Roy 24 October 2011 05:07:44AM 1 point [-]

Yvain's raikoth.net.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 13 September 2011 01:57:46AM *  1 point [-]

I certainly haven't read all of this, they are just blogs that come to mind as being associated with rationality.

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/

http://www.rolfnelson.com/

http://emergentfool.com/

http://www.sebastianmarshall.com/

http://paulgraham.com/articles.html

http://www.delicious.com/tag/rationality

http://www.halfsigma.com/

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-dawkins-got-pwned-part-1.html

overcoming bias and perhaps other blogs have blogrolls that might be worth investigating.

Comment author: gwern 13 September 2011 03:23:21PM 0 points [-]

I've done all those except delicious.com, because I don't know how to confine my spidering to just that tag.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 16 September 2011 12:06:51AM 0 points [-]

I wasn't suggesting you spider everything associated with that tag, just look through it for more blogs. I guess maybe that's too much work?

Comment author: gwern 16 September 2011 12:12:53AM *  0 points [-]

At this point yeah. I now have 56k URLs in the queue, and at 20 seconds a URL... Pareto is the idea here, what are the main sites worth preserving?

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 18 September 2011 03:05:58AM 1 point [-]

I guess ribbon farm and Paul Graham would be the 2 big ones from my list.

Comment author: wedrifid 13 September 2011 04:33:06PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: gwern 13 September 2011 05:14:41PM 0 points [-]

How does that help? Going to the Pipe and putting in 'rationality' maxes out at 80 items.

Comment author: InquilineKea 17 September 2015 06:59:00PM 0 points [-]

Does anyone know if one could convince the Archive Team to archive them? Or does the Archive Team often consist of more difficult personalities?

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 01 December 2011 03:55:39AM 0 points [-]

Are your archives in a publicly accessible location? http://szabo.best.vwh.net/ is down.

Comment author: Dr_Manhattan 11 September 2011 06:39:32PM 0 points [-]

BTW, technology lock-in aside I highly recommend things like OfflinePages for iPhone/iPad, as they preserve full look and feel of the sites (very useful for LW, to see threaded comments). If there were similar solutions that were more open I'd recommend them even more.

Comment author: gwern 11 September 2011 07:51:14PM 3 points [-]

Sounds like ReadItLater. As far as preservation goes, does that do anything that 'wget --page-requisites' would not?

Comment author: Dr_Manhattan 12 September 2011 12:23:41PM 0 points [-]

Similar to read it later, but has scraping capabilities (up to 3 levels I think) and looks exactly like the page. I haven't user wget in a while, it might be same as --page-requisites; from previous usage I remember wget-copied sites not looking quite right afterwards, but it might well have been my fault.

Comment author: gwern 11 September 2011 03:28:02PM 0 points [-]

u_ suggests yudkowsky.net which my history says I haven't archived, so I'm adding that into the archive queue.

Comment author: Morendil 11 September 2011 05:37:54PM 0 points [-]

You be careful with yudkowsky.net - the last few times I visited I was greeted by an error message from the DNS provider. Don't know if Eliezer has fixed that permanently or not.

Comment author: gwern 11 September 2011 05:49:45PM 0 points [-]

Yudkowsky.net's up now; looking over the list of URLs output by the spider, it seemed to be accurate in general.