Week 27, 2020

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A REMARKABLE WEEK! I finished a book, as in properly-finished-closely-reading-for-fun, for the first time in three months. And then I finished another one! Things are pretty wild up in here.

(Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson and A Man by Keiichiro Hirano, if you’re interested. Only books with “man” in the title, apparently.)

The odd thing is that I’ve been totally blocked writing BRB, even though I don’t need to read new books in order to write about the ones I’ve already finished. I can feel that barrier has been removed now, though. Still, to keep up with my target of reading a book each week, I’m going to have to step up my game.


My stories this week: Quiet, because I’ve largely been in an editing hole on stories coming out later in the year. Magazine editing is like buying ideas on layaway. Still, work on the MITTR Contact Tracing Tracker continues, with lots of updates this week.

Things my friends have made: One of the last projects I did before joining Technology Review was helping The Appeal redesign and relaunch their website. It’s been really gratifying to see them keep growing and really doing great work, particularly since the Black Lives Matter protests have brought more scrutiny to policing. This Ethan Brown joint about the rise and fall of Jacklean Davis, the first black woman homicide detective in New Orleans and one of the investigators who helped bring down a corrupt local officer known as “Robocop” is great.


Notebook: Jacob Silverman on Facebook and the media • Paul Williams’ archive is not lost! • Maris Kreizman on how her ambition has fallen to the wayside during ‘this endless limbo’ • The enduring revelations of Hamilton (and what next) from Soraya Nadia McDonald • 99% Invisible on Japan’s Yokai mascots.

Last up: In a couple of weeks I’ll be taking part in an event put together by The Writers’ Coop and Study Hall on negotiating as a freelance. July 22, 3pm Eastern, just $10… and members/patrons of either have a promo code for 50% off.


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