It’s alive! And there’s nothing anyone can do about it!
Yes, it’s The Reckoner! Bold and brave and ready to rescue everyone’s faith in Democracy, one question about relationships or Godspeed You Black Emperor! songs at a time!
The basic premise of The Reckoner is best explained over at the ol’ About Us page, so what I’d like to discuss here is the ‘why’ about this whole lunatic endeavor.
The past five years have been a swell time in the brief history of the Internet for many reasons, but a core one is this:
We learned it’s actually possible to ask the Internet for advice, and not get garbage in return.
Up until recently, there was only one question you could ask the Internet without receiving a stream of hot garbage pouring into your lap in the form of mangled consonants, misspelled profanity, and bad advice:
- How do I configure a Linux cron job to automatically rotate the log files for my Apache web server?
Any other question on any other forum, and you were in trouble. Thanks to the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, your monitor could literally* spew hot napalm onto your possessions and family pets, which is just hell on the carpets.
Since then, a few beacons of light have shown there’s a different way. Ask Metafilter. Quora. Stack Overflow. Sites that actually managed to pose questions to the entire Internet and still be legitimately helpful.
Those sites are all awesome, but they also all involve long-form answers, and in a dizzying world full of ambiguity and confusion and robots who eat old people’s medicine for fuel, can’t there be something in our decision-choked lives that can bring clarity? Can’t there be a legitimately helpful site that can take two choices, throw them in the white-hot Thunderdome of the democratic process, and leave us with one blissful path forward?
Enter The Reckoner. The Reckoner will be that Thunderdome. And Reckonbot 3000 is its Tina Turner, ever watchful. Put your two options in there, and only one is going to leave. And forevermore, you can shove in your friend’s face that Houses of The Holy was way better than Led Zeppelin IV, and the world agrees with you.
So that’s it then. The Reckoner will be helpful, and it’ll be fun. And it may make your lunchbreak a little better and life a little simpler. And that’s what it’s there for.
Enjoy the beta! And if anything goes haywire, or if there’re any suggestions you want to fling my way, hit me up on the Contact Us form (which is using the royal ‘Us’ in this case), and I can’t wait to see it.
* Yes, it's usages like these -- where the concept of something 'literally' doing something that it could never actually do is used for comedic effect -- that encourage the use of 'literally' to mean literally the opposite of what 'literally' means. I take full responsibility.