- # 172220 pts - Scout: chronotope'We've Never Seen Anything Like This': Spotify Reacts to Olivia Rodrigo's Record-Breaking 'Drivers License'Billboard | 7 min3 reads4 comments7.0Billboard7 min3 reads7.0bill1 day ago
I recently deleted Spotify. This song was being pushed on me hard in my final days on the platform and I never got around to listening to it until just now I watched the music video on YouTube.
My first (very quick) take: Rodrigo (like AOC) has a really ample mouth. Big teeth, big lips, expressive. It makes her super fun to watch right now because we're all masked up all the time and starved for the bottom half of other people's faces.
TSwift is leading this mini-renaissance in pop where songwriters are shirking the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus convention. Its wonderful. Drivers License FTW. Bump it. The one missed reference here is Ingrid Andress.
- # 451067 pts - Scout: chronotopeBillboard | 3 min4 reads4 comments5.3Billboard3 min4 reads5.3
- # 112350 pts - Scout: monstertuckThe New York Times Company | Shauna Farnell | 1/13/21 | 6 min3 reads3 comments7.0The New York Times CompanyShauna Farnell|1/13/21|6 min3 reads7.0
- # 55840 pts - Scout: thorgalleWall Street Journal | Gabriel T. Rubin | 5 min8 reads2 comments9.3Wall Street JournalGabriel T. Rubin|5 min8 reads9.3
- AOTD on 1/20/21 - Scout: marius
- AOTD on 1/14/21 - Scout: deephdave
I find this topic fascinating.
I think it feels really good to do stuff - to make and create. I like what Khalil Gibran wrote in The Prophet: “Work is love made visible.” I have been thinking deeply about that five-word sentence for a full decade now and I think it’s my favorite definition for ‘work.’
When I’m making breakfast or tidying my house in the morning, I know in my heart that I’m working, though I regularly catch myself saying stuff like, “I haven’t gotten to work yet.”
The problem with the argument that it’s stupid to look for meaning in work—a form of false consciousness to find purpose in your job—and rare to love what you do is that it’s wrong. All sorts of people doing all kinds of work like the companionship they find in the workplace, the chance to get out of the house, the feeling of doing something, the sense of accomplishment.
- # 202121 pts - Scout: bill
If the age of reason was, in part, a reaction to the existence of the printing press, and 1960s futurism was a reaction to the atomic bomb, we need a new philosophical and moral framework for living with the social web—a new Enlightenment for the information age, and one that will carry us back to shared reality and empiricism.
Andrew Bosworth, one of Facebook’s longtime executives, has compared Facebook to sugar—in that it is “delicious” but best enjoyed in moderation. In a memo originally posted to Facebook’s internal network last year, he argued for a philosophy of personal responsibility. “My grandfather took such a stance towards bacon and I admired him for it,” Bosworth wrote. “And social media is likely much less fatal than bacon.”
Anyone who is serious about mitigating the damage done to humankind by the social web should, of course, consider quitting Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and any other algorithmically distorted informational environments that manipulate people. But we need to adopt a broader view of what it will take to fix the brokenness of the social web.
And, finally, OH MY GOD, YESSS:
The web’s existing logic tells us that social platforms are free in exchange for a feast of user data; that major networks are necessarily global and centralized; that moderators make the rules. None of that need be the case. We need people who dismantle these notions by building alternatives. And we need enough people to care about these other alternatives to break the spell of venture capital and mass attention that fuels megascale and creates fatalism about the web as it is now.
- AOTD on 1/13/21 - Scout: DellwoodBarkerThe New York Times Company | AZAM AHMED | 12/13/20 | 28 min9 reads6 comments9.7The New York Times CompanyAZAM AHMED|12/13/20|28 min9 reads9.7
Wow. This needs to be made into a movie.
The crime that these people have to endure is absolutely horrifying. Bolano’s 2222 but real life.
So many of Mexico’s problems were created by the USA. Meanwhile, we’re not even having real conversations about crime, the border, and immigration (versus pure political theater from both sides) so it’s quite hard to be hopeful for a solution.
- # 232004 pts - Scout: billTime | 11 min10 reads2 comments8.5Time11 min10 reads8.5
- # 132296 pts - Scout: JoshChapdelaineThe Verge | Adi Robertson | 10/27/20 | 5 min5 reads2 comments10The VergeAdi Robertson|10/27/20|5 min5 reads10
No comment on this product. It's way too expensive for me. I traded some emails with the co-founders a while ago, they seem like great guys.
I love my AlphaSmart NEO. Got it on eBay for $20, shipped to a small library in rural Michigan where I was summer '19. I still use it and enjoy it, for all kinds of writing.
The AlphaSmart is just writing in the same way that Readup is just reading. That's what you're there to do, and what you want to be 100% focused on doing. The technology (both the hardware and the software) should disappear.
- AOTD on 1/12/21 - Scout: billharpers.org | 111 min7 reads8 comments10harpers.org111 min7 reads10
- # 71607 pts - Scout: bill
My first exposure to Coates was Between The World And Me, which I remember as the book where I got to just live in the mind and gut of a super-smart black dad (Coates) for a couple hundred beautifully-written, heart-wrenching pages. I vividly remember a scene that takes place on an IMAX escalator where a fight breaks out between Coates and a white woman. You can really feel the hate going in both directions. It's violent, dark and deep. But also useless. And, tragically, inevitability. Heavy shit. But alas, it is a good thing, every now and again, to think long and hard about racism, which is why Coates' writing is such a gift to the world.
Until reading this article, I didn't know that Coates was also such a legendary blogger. I only knew him as the budding literary icon with a strong endorsement from Toni Morrison, God. Very cool.
For almost a decade, we've been watching an overall decline in the quality of online discussion. As a society, we keep making excuses for why it's happening, but we shouldn't. We should just do better and be better, and we deserve better tools to help us get there. This article is a piece of history - a reminder that in 2015 there was still a tiny bit of optimism that we might somehow fix the comment section. That view is now starting to feel quaint given the downright hellishness of the current media landscape.
Readup is one of very few organizations that has been on the job, hard, and hasn't given up. We aim to solve all the problems, hook, line, and sinker: top quality content (Coates, for example; h/t Queen Alexa), real community, and ethical, transparent moderation and article curation. A new and better way for Readers and Writers to connect, directly. This made me think of us Readuppers ;)
the regulars started to really get to know each other, and develop their own shorthand, nicknames, and inside jokes.
- AOTD on 1/11/21 - Scout: skrt
Okay, so this is the first (and only) thing I’ve read about the whole coup-thing that happened earlier in the week (except for something that Pence wrote that, indeed, Biden won) and, frankly, overall I feel like I ended up with the right info and the right amount of information.
Note: In that sentence, I considered using the terms “intel” and “intelligence” instead of “info” and “information.” That felt like a good impulse. Generally speaking, I don’t know if I even want “information” anymore; it’s all over the place and means very little. I want intelligence, information that’s been processed and synthesized by humans.
- # 132464 pts - Scout: Ruchita_Ganurkar
- AOTD on 1/9/21 - Scout: deephdave
I love Readup's position in this market. Readers shouldn't always have to think about tipping. It’s distracting. Even with Substack's Reader, you still have to choose which Writers to "buy" on a writer-by-writer basis. On Readup, one subscription gets you all of Readup.
Gotta get Anna Wiener on Readup.
- # 54880 pts - Scout: jeffRead the letter: Vice President Mike Pence tells Congress he won't interfere in Electoral College vote countmadison.com | Associated Press | 1/7/21 | 7 min6 reads4 comments9.3madison.comAssociated Press|1/7/21|7 min6 reads9.3
- # 441093 pts - Scout: chrissetianaIf you're a WhatsApp user, you'll have to share your personal data with Facebook's empire from next month – or stop using the chat appThe Register | Katyanna Quach | 1/6/21 | 4 min7 reads5 comments10The RegisterKatyanna Quach|1/6/21|4 min7 reads10
I use WhatsApp to communicate with a few loved ones abroad. Probably going to be brutal, but I feel like I need to go ahead and delete my WhatsApp account. It’s actually something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Bummer because I have a lot of chats and photos I’d like to remember.
🖕Facebook... but more importantly, digital minimalism doesn’t allow for use of multiple messaging platforms 😝
- # 104386 pts - Scout: bill
Huh. The concept of “counterfeit fitness” is fascinating, but at times the author seems to get carried away with male/female stereotypes:
How many teenaged boys would be able to build up the resentment to commit mass shootings or suicide if they had a beautiful sex robot at home?
I think: The same amount. Or maybe even more.
It really is a great time to be gay. Courtship is cool, but so too is skipping it, or at least postponing it, and maybe coming back to it later.
Technology doesn’t alter our fundamental human needs. Hacks are short-term workarounds, not long-term solutions. It’s cool to shake things up (do stuff against the norm, out of order) but at the end of the day we all still need the deep, real, human stuff. Good conversation. Warmth. The magic of flirty eye contact. Robots can’t and won’t ever be able to do that.
The next few decades are gonna be nutsss!
- AOTD on 1/8/21 - Scout: SEnkey
Writing like this brings me peace. This is so honest, clear, interesting and relatable:
When I was young and stupid, I used to believe that transgender was really, really dumb. That they were looking for attention or making it up or something along those lines.
We are not born with all of the information that we need to survive, let alone thrive. So it’s beyond obvious that we need to take time to hear alternate perspectives.
There’s a voice in my head that just keeps saying, “You’re not right. You don’t know.” I used to have to work hard to convince myself of this, but now it’s second nature. There is always evidence that we’re missing, perspectives we’re blind to. At this point, I just know that I don’t know. It doesn’t mean I’m not still trying to figure things out. (And of course I have opinions!) But things are complicated. And my perspective is just one perspective.
Also: People are good. More often than not.
- AOTD on 1/7/21 - Scout: vunderkind
Cal Newport FTW. He's going to rake it in when Readup starts paying writers. It's fascinating that he's so prescient about (1) media/communication technology and (2) corporate life, because (A) he doesn't use social media and (B) he works in academia. In a weird way, I guess it all adds up.
For me Slack is 80% fun/meaningful banter. I really can't remember ever being like oh I spent too much time on Slack today although I can totally understand why people with conventional jobs must feel like that constantly. For years it was just me and @jeff, and now we’ve also got @Tarunika, @thorgalle and @bartadamley up in there. It's low key and the vibes are A++. And we often make important Readup-related decisions there.
For at least the next few months, I don't see any reason why we can’t have more people in there. If you want to join the Readup Slack channel, just email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll reply with an invite.
- AOTD on 12/25/20 - Scout: bill
- AOTD on 12/22/20 - Scout: bill
I have so many things to say about gender, voice, etc., but I think the moral of the story is to just shut your damn mouth every once in a while.
“Ross Perot and China,” is a brilliant title.
- Update (12/21/2020):
Okay, I had to go back in the archives to confirm my suspicion: This story has so much in common with “Are You Experienced?”
Looking back at a comment I made on that one double-confirms it. Both stories involve love-struck teens getting into some shenanigans; men (both fathers and sons) who talk too much, at nothing; and a massive zoom-out near the end that puts everything in perspective. In “Ross Perot and China” it’s this line:
It would take Adam twenty years to grasp the analogy between her slipping from the chair and from the boat.
Whenever a writer does that, I can only think of Rolph from Jennifer Egan’s “Safari”/A Visit from the Goon Squad. Damn, I love reading.
- Update (12/21/2020):
- # 35915 pts - Scout: bill
Wow. Super weird. This is an excerpt from the book. And the same day I stumbled upon it, deep in my starred list, I aso found this at a Free Little Library near my house:
Glad I'm finally getting to this, also because I remember Tolentino wrote something cool about it. I feel like I've been reading around it for ages, so it's time to jump in.
- AOTD on 12/18/20 - Scout: SEnkeyVox | Sean Illing | 12/10/20 | 13 min10 reads7 comments8.8VoxSean Illing|12/10/20|13 min10 reads8.8
- AOTD on 12/17/20 - Scout: jeff
Fire and Motion, for small companies like mine, means two things. You have to have time on your side, and you have to move forward every day. Sooner or later you will win.
I love this. The author doesn’t explain what it means to have “time on your side” but I think I know exactly what he means. When you’re in the flow, working, time is with you. When you’re not, it’s against you. It’s purely mental, of course (it’s not possible to change the course of time) but if you get the feeling that time isn’t on your side, you’re toast.
Also, I think that if you really deeply believe that “sooner or later you will win” it means you’ve already won. At the very least, it means you’re playing the right game.
- AOTD on 12/16/20 - Scout: bill
Ahoy! An article with the power to change your life. Will definitely change your day. Took me two sessions (two different days) actually to read the whole thing, but I’m glad I broke it up.
I was starting to think that the story is done being “told” around two thirds of the way through, but the final portion (starting with “like a glorious falling tree”) is where things really heat up. Damn this is incredible.
Michael Peterniti FTW. I read a book he wrote about a road trip with Einstein’s brain. I’m thinking that all of his stuff in GQ must be 🔥.
- -0 pts - Scout: AlexaThe New Yorker | Jia Tolentino | 1/27/20 | 16 min12 reads17 comments8.4The New YorkerJia Tolentino|1/27/20|16 min12 reads8.4
- AOTD on 12/14/20 - Scout: bill
Slow. Deep. Real. Those are my words right now. My mantra. First thing in the morning, when it’s still pitch black outside and I have no clue why I’m awake or alive, I like to meditate on those words. I also like to journal, and when I don’t know what to say, I start by writing Slow. Deep. Real.
I absolutely loved this article about Reiki because my words (slow, deep, real) are everywhere in here. I have no experience with Reiki, but of course I’m a believer. So much so that I really feel bad for people who don’t believe.
“Through an unknown mechanism, when a Reiki practitioner places their hands - mindfully and with detachment - it evokes the healing response from deep within the system,” she said. “We really don’t know why this happens.”
Makes perfect sense to me. Humans are energy.
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