Hide local folders on Thunderbird 115+: or, thoughts on search as an SEO-optimized nightmare

Today, I was trying to remember how I did something in Thunderbird, something I knew that I had recently done on Thunderbird on my other computer. I wanted to hide the “Local Folders” meta-account, because all of my various email accounts that I need to collate are all IMAP-based.

But how could I re-do this thing I knew I had already done? I searched throughout the various settings menus I could find multiple times, in both account settings and Thunderbird settings, as well as left clicking all up and down the navigation pane. I could not, for the life of me, find it.

So I turned to the “everything finder,” Google! And all of the results for “hide local folder Thunderbird” are primarily out of date extensions, reddit posts, and hacker news threads, as well as a bunch of “guides” for installing said extensions and summarizing said posts. And all these guides especially, but also the social sites, are so optimized for traffic and ad impressions that the newer, less known information stays less known, and the wrong information stays wrong and popular.

So, how do you hide local folders in Thunderbird 115+: click on the three dots at the top navigation pane, and click “Hide local folders.”

The knowledge engine has become the ad engine, and what does that mean for people’s understanding of the world? What does that do in a world where we’ve downplayed professions that find information, because Google can just do it. More and more, Google can’t do it anymore. DuckDuckGo’s results aren’t much better, and are comprised of a significant amount of Bing, so the incentives are the same even if the participation in the data acquisition part is much better.

But lots of people have been taught that this is where they go to find information, this is where things are that they can use, and be connected with. And the incentives of today’s search engines don’t match that. It’s always been a product, but now it’s a mature, revenue generating behemoth, and it continuing to generate that revenue, regardless how that affects us, is the goal.

I don’t have any answers. I’m just sitting with this, seeing where we’re going. Blogging, because its what I know.