• Loved this Mia Sato report from Gary Vaynerchuck’s VeeCon. Internet-driven fandoms are such fertile (and often terrifying) territory. • The rise of the internet’s creative middle class. • Robots building offshore wind turbines. • How Houston moved 25,000 people from the streets into homes of their own. • Megan Tatum on queer campaigners using the net to organize in a conservative Muslim country.
Learned a new word: diegetic sound. Read this: Jia Tolentino on writing for the sake of writing. Was calmed by this: Making moktak, wooden temple bells. Entranced by this: How mechanical watches work. And found this along the way: Jack Cousteau from 1969, writing about his underwater filming techniques.
• Facing life: Eight people discuss life after incarceration in this beautifully simple, extremely touching project from Pen and Brandon. • New York Times is killing it with clear interactives at the moment—here’s one about the soundtrack to the AIDS crisis: I was sold as soon as they showed me a bunch of pictures of mixtapes. • How police interfere with public spaces. • I get the ethical stance of Ogilvy saying it won’t work […]
• “What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists“• This review made me want to read Megan Phelps-Roper’s book on growing up inside the Westboro Baptist Church• Something to explore: The Eames Institute for Infinite Curiosity• Feelgood story of the week had to be the footage of 11-year-old Prince being interviewed on TV. (Backstory)
• This collection of Japanese cassette tapes is quite beautiful. • This drone time lapse photography of a herd of sheep moving around has a wonderful liquid quality to it. • The dirtbag left (and its heroes) gets an inordinate amount of attention. The latest is Adam Tooze. • I think the common thread between these “rock and pop greats” who are avid model railway enthusiasts is not that they are musicians, but that they […]
•“The poetics of history from below” • Undark on how nudge theory—which was very exciting to the political classes over the last decade—fared during the pandemic • The Office of Collecting and Design • I love Michael Hobbes. Here’s his recent video on cancel culture (re: the last post) • Why the Center on Privacy & Technology is no longer using the term “artificial intelligence”
Information wants to be free. People want to be free too. But freedom from? Or freedom to? Hello Isiah Berlin. What freedoms count on either side of this moral ledger? Who gets to speak? And who gets to criticize? We’re dragged there again and again by the faithless, often in the tawdriest pages of the New York Times. A couple of years ago, Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny became my go-to book on the threat to […]
• March 19 in San Francisco, Letterform Archive presents “Making Mistakes on Purpose” (passim) • Keith Stuart on the return of video game magazines: “If we’re going to cut down a tree, I want to do something as special as I can with it.” • “Tree planting is booming. Here’s how that could help, or harm, the planet.” (cf) • I wonder what’s happened to Barbara Beskind.