I woke up to this:


This man is angry about the Russian influence in the US Presidential election that we have been hearing so much about in recent days. Personally, I’d like to see the smoking gun evidence before going off, but I do understand his anger. What I don’t understand is the bizarre denigration of Russia full stop.

Russian culture is old and deep and has produced some of the greatest artistic and scientific minds the world has ever known: Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekov, Mendelyev, Chagall, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Nijinsky, Ovechkin — this is tiny sample. Russia saved Europe from Napoleon and Hitler. Russia put the first satellite and human being in orbit. Russia makes great tea.

There is a reason that at the height of the cold war, Russaphobia in the US imagined the enemy as a calculating evil chessmaster and not a brutish cossack painting eggs btw pogroms. (Ironically, this is pretty close to how the world sees America: a culturally deficient cowboy).

So what is up with Tim Wise — is he just some ignorant chauvinist? Turns out he’s not. He’s an anti-racism educator and author of Russian descent. So you have to think he’s going to regret the outburst at some point.

Technology is fast. And when you’re moving fast, it’s easy to make mistakes. On a platform like Twitter, you can’t correct those mistakes except by deleting something or adding a separate correction. With email — the medium we all still use more than anything else to communicate professionally — you can’t even delete something.

This is a problem. Not so much because you’re going to spam your office that “Russians are crusty steppe gremlins!” But because inoffensive, factual or semantic mistakes are costly too. You can correct the mistakes in a subsequent email, which usually works, but sometimes it doesn’t. When something is recorded it can be referenced, even if there is newer, better, more accurate information available. You’re in a meeting, someone needs some information that was sent out by email. You flick open your email, do a quick search and read out the info. After the meeting, you realize that you found the wrong thing — that information was outdated! The fresh stuff was in the same email thread, which makes it extra annoying. Now you have to email everyone again and point out the error. Again.

At Knotable we don’t have this problem because we move important email threads into the app by ccing add@knotable and replying all. This automatically imports the messages onto a pad as separate knotes and adds the people on the thread to the new pad. In Knotable we can clean things up — get rid of short useless messages, cut out old or unnecessary information — and organize the conversation so that what’s most important is most obvious.

You’re probably like, “huh? I email add@knotable. Who is Add?” It’s an esoteric feature, we know. But we are working hard to incorporate email importation directly into the app UI so that it feels less weird and more useful (combining multiple threads!). In the meantime, if you’re into power user type stuff, go ahead and import a thread or two and let us know how it goes.

Originally published on Tumblr

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