My Kindle ate my page numbers but Beeminder saved the day

I’m beeminding my way through To Kill A Mockingbird [1] and yesterday, Amazon in Its inscrutable Wisdom, apparently pushed an update to my copy on Kindle that removed the page numbers (!). I don’t know how galled to be about that, but look what Beeminder can do!

(It’s almost ridiculous that we have this nerdy of a feature and I feel like if it were proposed today we might well be like “that is way too convoluted a use case and adds way too much complexity”. See the Anti-Settings Principle.)

After giving up on getting my precious page numbers back, I remembered Beeminder’s data-rescaling feature. I was previously beeminding my way to the last page – page 323 – and now Kindle just tells me that the end of the book is “Location 4969”. What to do? This:

That’s at the bottom of the Data tab under the graph. It’s that easy!

Well, then Beeminder, in Its inscrutable Wisdom, decided to set my display precision to 0.00001 as part of doing that, so things looked a little ugly, but that was also easy to fix:


So, there you go. As xkcd would say,


[1] In case that makes it sound like it’s a slog and I’m reading it purely to stem the embarrassment of being a fully-grown human who managed to never read that book before, it’s not like that! The book is great and I love beeminding fiction reading so much. Even the most page-turn-y pageturners can find themselves languishing on my nightstand indefinitely if I get busy and it’s pretty great having Beeminder tell me to / give me the excuse to take a break and read. I know some people’s psychology is different and having anyone or anything make them do something fun makes it not fun. But that seems to not be an issue for me. Wait, @bee said this better in an ancient blog post about “beeminding outside the box”:

Overcoming akrasia, after all, means getting yourself to do what you truly want to do, and that doesn’t always happen when left to our own devices. I especially love beeminding hobbies because it is both an enforcement and an excuse. I beemind my craft projects because sometimes I don’t spend enough time on them, but when I come to a beemergency day it’s wonderfully liberating to sit down without any guilt. Maybe there are other things that seem more important, like if I’m not playing with the kids or working on Beeminder maybe I should be cleaning the bathroom or folding laundry, for some values of should. But it turns out those are usually pretty stupid values of should and if I have a beemergency craft day, well, I conveniently planned last week that crafting would be the most urgent and important thing today. I can sit down without guilt and spend 25 minutes knitting because I want to and because I have to. (Dreeves feels similarly about his set-a-limit goal on time spent with the kids.)

This footnote probably wants to be its own post, or a whole new blog post!


This story is cute, but of course you know what evaling stuff in JS is…