- # 291233 pts - Scout: AlexaThe New York Times Company | Ginia Bellafante | 1/31/20 | 5 min3 reads2 comments8.5The New York Times CompanyGinia Bellafante|1/31/20|5 min3 reads8.5
Lamenting the loss of the the "third space", the rest of the world where we build community, see neighbors, and interact IRL.
The act of turning grocery shopping into an occupation threatens something larger — we are losing a way to bridge differences in a world already collapsing from its stratification.
- # 41880 pts - Scout: Alexa
Quite amusing think piece.
When MoviePass offers unlimited screenings for ten bucks a month, when Uber gets an $82 billion valuation for a low-margin taxi business it has never made a dime on, when WeWork implodes after the slightest scrutiny into its numbers, that’s the bullshit economy at work. We have seen the farcical bullshit of Juicero and the consequential bullshit of Theranos.
The Iowa disaster is a sign that our economic structures are breaking down, that private enterprise has become a shell game, where who you know matters more than what you can do. The bullshit economy has bled over into politics, with the perfect president but also the perfect amount of grifting and consultant corruption and unbridled tech optimism.
- # 241395 pts - Scout: Alexa
I loved this article, but I also lived downtown blocks from the epicenter of Bachelorette hell in Nashville in an artists community that was recently bulldozed right on 2nd--for a luxury hotel. So yes, this article is tangentially about the gentrification that got that amazing community, the oldest apartments in Nashville in an upcycled 1800s factory/warehouse, bulldozed. There was a slight hill outside my window and the pedal taverns full of bachelorettes would scream as they coasted down to the same Whitney Houston song every time...we were living in a very unfortunate part of that playlist.
I love this writer, her weekly-ish newsletter is one of my favorite curated reads and this has all the bits I like about her writing.
- # 77550 pts - Scout: Alexa
I love this kind of scathing, acid-tongued, fiery retributions of the way things are. I don't think these kind of pieces are helpful for making change, they're more as a "rah-rah" from people who share their views. But so many fist pumping sections for me...
The root of the word “privilege” is “private law”—you get to rewrite the rules to suit yourself, or flagrantly ignore them. Where systems of privilege are robust, corruption, abuse, and sexual violence are not aberrations. They are enforcing mechanisms.
The justice system has failed to protect women from male violence just as the democratic system has failed to protect citizens from unscrupulous grasping oligarchs who get off grabbing government power by the pussy and getting away with it.
Unfortunately, the system was also designed on the basis that nobody would get carried away and do anything really, really stupid, like elect a deranged thug with the critical faculties of a rabid rottweiler barking at its own reflection and the self-control to match. Nobody would do anything that stupid.
Men like Weinstein and Trump have figured out, you see, that if you just drive a throbbing golden juggernaut of white male confidence right through the rules, nine times out of ten people will look the other way—not because they like you, but because they like things to be orderly and comfortable.
What a ride.
- # 251378 pts - Scout: jbuchanaThe New York Times Company | Kashmir Hill | 2/14/20 | 6 min3 reads3 comments9.5The New York Times CompanyKashmir Hill|2/14/20|6 min3 reads9.5
As both a marketer and an Alexa...I always find this conversation compelling. My mother has an Alexa (ok, I guess two...) and I know when I go visit that thing will be barking constantly. It happens to my clients all the time. I'm a marketer so I know how much data and recording like this helps people like me do my job, I don't personally see an incentive to help Amazon or Google make more money off me.
I love the blocking sunglasses and the debate about disclosing you have a robot listening in the house, if I record a call with a client I always disclose and get confirmation to record...but with people being so blasé about the Alexa's & Siri's in their house, I'm not sure everyone thinks to be that thoughtful of other peoples digital footprint.
I can't imagine what its like to grow up these days, where you have a digital footprint you never consented to from the moment your parents post your ultrasound on Facebook. Spooky.
- # 140240 pts - Scout: bill
- # 321100 pts - Scout: Alexawashingtonpost | Abha Bhattarai | 2/13/20 | 11 min2 reads2 comments10washingtonpostAbha Bhattarai|2/13/20|11 min2 reads10
This is sickening. Summed up pretty well how I feel in this quote:
“You have to wonder: What’s the intention here? And if it’s just to sell more, that seems like questionable ethics."
It troubles me that daily lives have become so blasé that it takes drinking while shopping to makes the functions of daily life tolerable. Like...grow up?
Mikki Kendall says she absolutely hates grocery shopping. But sipping wine while she fills her cart...makes it tolerable. “Having a drink while you shop is the adult version eating samples at the grocery store,” the 43-year-old writer said. “You are walking around, enjoying something yummy.”
I find this very concerning, a good article but...as is probably obvious I am very critical of Big Alcohol, how they have their hooks in people and have socialized people to think constantly self-medicating with a drug is a-OK at 11am. So my recommendation comes with a grain of salt (but no lime, no tequila) haha.
- # 341080 pts - Scout: Alexa
I can't help but be fascinated by preppers. Part of me thinks they're smart to plan for mayhem, and the other half of me thinks its overreacting to take it this far. Interesting all the same
- 3995 pts - Scout: AlexaAlexa5 days ago
I saw a mini doc about this problem and it completely changed how I approached shopping online, esp Amazon.
“Many consumers are … unaware of the significant probabilities they face of being defrauded by counterfeiters when they shop on e-commerce platforms,”
It's horrifying what happens thanks to these fakes, ones you usually only used to find at Santee Alley or shady swap meets.
Worldwide, there have been instances of fake chargers causing electrocution deaths (PDF), phony cosmetics making a buyer’s face swell up, and pet supplements sickening dogs. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other law enforcement agencies have reported finding carcinogens, bacteria, and waste from both humans and rodents in counterfeit cosmetics. Fake chargers and cheaply-made lithium ion batteries can damage your electronics and even catch fire.
Honestly, I don't believe Amazon has the best intentions in cracking down on these, it feels like PR. They make SO much money off their portion of these 3rd party sellers I don't totally trust it. I let my Amazon Prime membership expire at the end of last year and it felt great to not have to battle that mental game of deciding if Amazon had any ethical code left or not.
- # 151680 pts - Scout: billMarker | Sahil Lavingia | 2/7/19 | 17 min5 reads4 comments9.3MarkerSahil Lavingia|2/7/19|17 min5 reads9.3Alexa6 days ago
Good stuff here. What always perplexes me is this notion that you have to have big investors, have to build a unicorn, have to...blah blah.
When I think of the absurd way VC money is spent, I think of a $25,000/month office. Is there no case for bootstrapping these days or finding your 1,000 true fans? What if we rightsized companies for the people who truly want them instead of chasing down everyone and their grandma and trying to get them to use a software?
- # 122053 pts - Scout: billThe New York Times Company | Norimitsu Onishi | 2/11/20 | 15 min6 reads3 comments9.3The New York Times CompanyNorimitsu Onishi|2/11/20|15 min6 reads9.3Alexa6 days ago
Wow, what a tale. I'd say it's appalling that these things happen in the modern world, but it more seems like men like Matzneff are just finally getting what's due to them.
It's a weird tension, the space between artistic liberty and advertising for pedophilia. I had a flash where I thought what if he could just write his fantasies and use stories as a healthy outlet and not acting on them.... and then reality caught up.
I'm appalled, and agree it's loathsome not to read her book. He was fine to engage, but doesn't want to hear about the real impacts of his behavior? Cowardly.
- # 106373 pts - Scout: billharpers.org | 12/1/19 | 9 min4 reads4 comments9.3harpers.org12/1/19|9 min4 reads9.3
Chayka is so good, I loved the book this is excerpted from. a must read
- # 99405 pts - Scout: billBloomberg | Anders Melin | 2/11/20 | 7 min3 reads2 comments9.0BloombergAnders Melin|2/11/20|7 min3 reads9.0
This is brilliant, not sure I want to actually do this but I do love a good relentless uphill climb. All my favorite hikes are nonstop uphill. This made me chuckle too:
a 51-year-old serial entrepreneur and former rapper
I bet the guy is a riot
- 1663 pts - Scout: kellyalysiaLongreads | 1/16/20 | 21 min7 reads13 comments9.5Longreads1/16/20|21 min7 reads9.5
Ah this hit me right in the feels.
And yet at the same time, of course it’s just a job — this is the secret I didn’t know when I began. It requires the same grind and tedium as a job. The same negotiations for pay and promotion. The same boredom and frustration. But sometimes I need to remember that if it is just this, the meaning can bottom out — then I wonder, why do it at all.
I love it. There is this certain feeling I get when people ask me what I do and I can say I'm a writer. It's a weird point of pride even though it often means writing weird blogs about probiotics or who knows what else. Still, I feed myself. I felt very seen by this piece and the struggle.
Yet writing for a living often means writing, ultimately, what the market will bear.
- 1000 pts - Scout: Alexa
Fascinating long read on Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari. Lot's of details from his work, and some interesting background from his life and career. Neat!
- # 69630 pts - Scout: AlexaThe New Yorker | Han Zhang | 2/7/20 | 15 min3 reads3 comments9.0The New YorkerHan Zhang|2/7/20|15 min3 reads9.0
Fascinating look at censorship through the eyes of an epidemic.
“Had the public heard this ‘rumor’ at the time, and, out of fear of sars, started to wear facial masks, sanitize themselves, and refrain from going to wildlife markets, it might have been beneficial for preventing and controlling the epidemic.”
“A healthy society shouldn’t have only one voice,” he told Caixin.
Important to consider when governments, and in other areas platforms, are the judges of what gets to spread.
- # 51731 pts - Scout: Alexa
- # 24264 pts - Scout: AlexaThe California Sunday Magazine | 1/27/20 | 55 min1 read1 comment8.0The California Sunday Magazine1/27/20|55 min1 read8.0
Interesting longread on the behind the scenes workings of the cannabis/vaping world. Quite a bit swirling there.
The whole thing seemed to fit into recent tech history, when the idea that disruption was going to change the world only for the better fell apart. Theranos was a scam. Facebook enabled genocide in Myanmar. And WeWork was worthless all along. So, of course, vaping turned out to be bad for you.
- # 96425 pts - Scout: billBeliever Magazine | 22 min6 reads5 comments9.7Believer Magazine22 min6 reads9.7
Yea, this is a brilliant piece. More of this, it's what being an ally for women in today's weird world can look like.
- 1359 pts - Scout: bill
This one is SO good, and a very important read. 2019 was a rough year for journalism, not just local papers folded but tons of major news hubs too.
“It’s harder for public officials to ignore things when they’re in the news.”
I'm really curious what the future holds for news, and what it will take for more journalists to remember how powerful they are and that it's not just about clicks....it's about holding officials & business accountable.
You like to think they’re good people, especially in a community as small as Jones County, where everybody knows everybody. But if you don’t have media that’s going to hold them accountable for their actions—or, heck, even just report what they’re doing—how are the citizens going to know? They don’t know.”
What it reminds me of is that reality tv came out of a writers strike in LA. This is far deeper than a writer strike, but when there is no one to put real content & news in the world...what fills the gap? Something will.
When the writers are no longer available or squeezed out via algorithms and click bait tactics we get the reality tv of news, and that makes me...a little nervous.
- # 205105 pts - Scout: turtlebubbleThe Intercept | 24 min3 reads3 comments9.5The Intercept24 min3 reads9.5
Fascinating first hand account, but also... holy cow what a pair.
- # 211490 pts - Scout: Alexa
Agh, so many juicy nuggets here.
I love this idea in the intro:
“When I look at my watch, it gives me the time. It asks nothing in return. It’s a loyal companion without demands. In contrast, if I look at my phone for the time, it takes my time. It tempts me.”
And then, they get into the finite vs infinite game theory of business. I see SO many tech co's seem to be playing a finite game (playing to win rather than playing to stay in the game). They hustle like crazy so they can sell big and be done.
What if startups asked "should we scale?" instead of "could we scale?".
This fast flip mentality has made for some weird sh** in the tech world, I'd love to see more of this mindful, slow, thoughtful approach to building companies...esp the attention they give to supporting their employees to live a good life.
- # 63684 pts - Scout: Alexa
Agh, I love this musing. It's niche for people with a fondness for UX, but still such a good comparison. It makes me think of the applicability for other parts of life, beyond just tech & subscriptions.
What if we instead focus on delivering a service that’s so good you’ll never want to leave, but if you do, you’d actually want to come back. End things on good terms. Remain friends.
- # 29530 pts - Scout: AlexaCatapult | Nadia-Owusu | 1/28/20 | 14 min1 read1 comment10CatapultNadia-Owusu|1/28/20|14 min1 read10
Pretty heartbreaking and very important. Too often it seems this position is being used to virtue signal the company is invested in dispelling racism but doesn't actually want to do the hard work or admit fault. I read White Fragility a few years ago and it really opened my mind to my own biases and the worlds, important stuff to consider and reflect on.
Recently, over margaritas at a bar in Brooklyn, Sandra told me that “the foundation’s all-white executive leadership team” had hired her “to solve their racism problem.”
I asked how that was going.
“Not great,” she said. “The trouble is that they don’t actually want me to do my job.”
- # 27640 pts - Scout: jeff
Setting the bar high for experimenting with new methods to lower the impact of drugs (and prohibition). Smart solutions that look to have really good results.
Our prohibitionist mindset in the states has always driven me nuts, it is clearly not having the results it seeks. We're just propping up cartels and filling jails with nonviolent offenders. Would love to see us test something like this in the US, but could they ever get it past partisan politics?
- 419 pts - Scout: Alexa
Pretty sharp criticism in this one. I'm not totally pro-Bernie but this is an interesting take on a generation that is highly critical of anything that sniffs of socialism.
Also...v relatable, especially having read This Could Be Our Future recently:
For young Americans, there is a mounting sense that whatever the ladder to adulthood is—or whatever traditional or normative markers of financial independence have been historically associated with adulthood—it’s been shattered by modern American capitalism.
- 336 pts - Scout: Alexa
Love seeing the intersection of written words & speech as explored here. Humans communicate via words more than ever before (even while they read literature etc far less) and the impact on how we communicate has been really fascinating for me.
- 2392 pts - Scout: jbuchanaNew Republic | 1/16/20 | 14 min24 reads13 comments8.7New Republic1/16/20|14 min24 reads8.7
This is really interesting.
This especially struck me:
“We as a society have agreed that there are certain standards that businesses have to adhere to in terms of treatment of workers in this country,” said Jacobs. “Gig companies have developed a business model that has been geared toward evading labor and employment law and shifting all costs and risk onto workers.”
I just read last night in the book "Winners Take All" that the problem with these gig economy tech leaders is they see themselves as underdogs and rebels fighting the big bad government and unions. I'm not sure I'd trust a millionaire (or billionaire) leader who still wears their rebel beret.
The AB5 thing is such a mess, I get the idea behind it but the cascading problems it's caused for my friends in CA who are writers has been wretched.
They call it radical here to just break up the big tech co's like Uber etc, but if they see themselves as tech companies why couldn't a taxi co that uses a CB dispatcher see themselves as a tech company too and wash their hands of the responsibility of their workers?
Why is it so radical to challenge the authority of companies who at this point seem to have more pull than our own government.
- # 21396 pts - Scout: jeff
This is great, clear 10.
It's so easy to want to relate to the archetypes they lay out for each sign. Leo over here and this, of course, makes me feel identified.
I can plant, in their minds, the idea that I am passionate, brave, and fond of flashy accessories.
I definitely like flashy accessories and who doesn't want to be thought of as brave/passionate?
- # 37618 pts - Scout: Alexa
An unexpectedly inspiring commencement speech around cybersecurity:
“But we need to be careful to not let our adversaries distract us from our enemies. These words are not synonyms. Our adversaries are people. People who come and go depending on our job, their job, what’s happening in the world to drive certain conflicts and what products we have shipped. Our enemies, on the other hand, are the things that hold us back from doing better. And the real enemies in the technology world are arrogance, complacency, and a lack of empathy for those we are supposed to protect.”
- 943 pts - Scout: Alexa
OMG I laughed SO hard at this.
I saw this and thought of the recent minimalism talk on here:
If you teach a man to fish, he will spend a bunch of money on new fishing gear that he’ll use once and then leave in his garage for ten years.
But then just cackled reading the rest. This was GOOD
- # 42855 pts - Scout: AlexaThe Atlantic | Cullen Murphy | 12/10/19 | 10 min6 reads5 comments9.5The AtlanticCullen Murphy|12/10/19|10 min6 reads9.5
Completely fascinating. This looks at how the printing press created major upheaval by changing the way we share & reproduce ideas (whether true or fake news) and compares that to the rise of the internet. Really freaking cool.
as the example of Gutenberg’s invention suggests, it’s easy to forget how unforeseeable (and never-ending) the “unforeseeable” really is.
- # 31227 pts - Scout: AlexaCNN | 16 minCNN16 min1 read9.0
I have such a crush on Scandinavia for so many reasons, recycling, their education system, etc, etc.... They just won’t stop doing all the right things. And now this... the Finnish government’s defense against misinformation starts at the Kindergarten level and continues all the way through to high school:
“The exercises include examining claims found in YouTube videos and social media posts, comparing media bias in an array of different ‘clickbait’ articles, probing how misinformation preys on readers’ emotions, and even getting students to try their hand at writing fake news stories themselves.”
- # 104383 pts - Scout: AlexaAn Interview With the Woman Who Wrote the Viral 1,000-Word Job Listing for a “Household Manager/Cook/Nanny”Slate | Ruth Graham | 1/25/20 | 8 min13 reads6 comments8.5SlateRuth Graham|1/25/20|8 min13 reads8.5
Wow, this viral nanny ad was fascinating in itself but Slate did us all a favor by tracking down and interviewing the mom that wrote it. I found some parts very relatable, and others so disconnected from reality. What a treat.
- # 189123 pts - Scout: AlexaThe New Yorker | Jia Tolentino | 1/27/20 | 16 min7 reads15 comments7.3The New YorkerJia Tolentino|1/27/20|16 min7 reads7.3
I remember first getting into Minimalism and Kondo. Feels like a good time for a book that pokes at the blind spots of the minimalist movement & absurdly spartan home decor style, and encourages an eye on why we consume.
Snorted out loud at this:
Also, he points out, the glass walls in Apple’s headquarters were marked with Post-it notes to keep employees from smacking into them, like birds
- Update (1/28/2020):
I completely forgot I had put a hold on "The Longing For Less" at the library. I just picked it up today, what perfect timing after this article, perhaps this will finally settle the tension in me between my maximalist nature (just look at my bookshelves to confirm this) and my minimalist aspirations.
- Update (1/28/2020):
- # 21781 pts - Scout: AlexaThe New York Times Company | Bruce Schneier | 1/20/20 | 6 min8 reads9 comments6.8The New York Times CompanyBruce Schneier|1/20/20|6 min8 reads6.8
It seems much easier to get riled up about facial recognition because it feels so...personal. (although don't get me started on people uploading their selfie to programs with debatable privacy policies to see what they look like old, or as the opposite gender etc....)
Perhaps that is why it's far more challenging to get people excited (or freaked out) about other data. It feels like it wouldn't matter if "big data" knows we bought socks or are friends with someone, but that data is far more robust at targeting us as consumers than facial recognition ever will be. It's more about how we feel about someone using our faces against us, vs our buying pattern, some sort of psychological line gets crossed.