Sep 26, 2014

filtered, week of sep 22 2014

This week’s menu: a tasty identity soup. And like last week, we’ll stick with the 10+1 format. Got ideas for me? Leave ‘em in the recommends or add a note anywhere in the story.

  1. Anil Dash offers 15 lessons from 15 years of blogging. “If you write a bad post or something you don’t like, just post again. If you write something great that you’re really proud of and nobody notices, just post again.” There is nothing more important in blogging / writing / making things than this: just keep making.
  2. Leah Reich: This is the One that Changes Everything. “These were a few of the words she had heard during her 39 years: complex, different, intense, salty, difficult, amazing.” Leah’s year of Wednesdays has been incredible so far.
  3. Lauren Zalaznick’s Sunday Paper, September Week 4. “Known to be a lady who has some opinions, it might surprise very few of you to learn that I vote in every election i can get a ballot for. So it might be interesting for you to know that I did turn down the opportunity, for real, to judge the Miss Universe Pageant. I just…couldn’t.” I was lucky enough to meet Lauren once, and holy shit I can not imagine her judging any sort of pageant.
  4. Amy Davidson on Bill Simmons and ESPN. “In every field of journalism, there are questions of access and the threat that, even if one is in the right, sources will dry up, interviews will be cancelled. … The only way for that not to destroy journalism as an enterprise is for reporters to have, at those moments, true institutional support. ESPN has done the opposite, doing the work of the angry, powerful people whom it covers for them.” I’m missing Simmons in my media diet —Twitter, Grantland, etc., and part of me has to wonder: did he taunt the ESPN execs to come after him because he wants out of his contract? Speaking of Grantland…
  5. Andrew Sharp on Derek Jeter retiring. “There’s this smug attitude that infects the way we talk about sports, where you’re either clued in enough to know Derek Jeter was overrated, or you’re one of the pathetic people who actually thought he was great. There was no shortage of that perspective with Jeter this week, and it all started to blend together, and it was the worst.” I don’t have an opinion one way or another about Jeter, other than the fact that he played for a team I very much despise, so yeah. He’s an overrated jerk. But wow, last night.
  6. Helen Lewis on Lena Dunham’s book. “So, this is a confessional book where you cannot be sure if the confessions are true: it’s either a brilliantly ironic subversion of the form, or a deeply wearying put-on by someone who has no sense of who they are when no one is watching.” I don’t think I want to read Dunham’s book, but all the way through Lewis’ (long) review, I was bothered by the fact that she (Lewis) is missing the point, and is making a distinction without a difference. We live with connected cameras: we’re all brilliantly and ironically subverting the form, while simultaneously having no sense of who we are when no one is…hold on, lemme take a selfie. And not post it to…
  7. Ello. What if the whole thing’s a massive troll / art project, designed to lure the early adopters? I mean, who launches a social network on the web? (BTW, I’m with Jessi Hempel on this one. Like that’s any surprise.) Meanwhile, hand me my phone because it’s my social network: I’ll WhatsApp my brother, tweet my friends, post a pic to my Snapchat story, send a random Talko voice message to a friend back east, find out what’s up with my neighbors on Nextdoor, watch funny shit on Vine and like all my birthday greetings on Facebook.
  8. Ed Vielmetti wants a random walk through his address book. “My addressbook asks for a random() function. It needs to surprise me from time to time, showing me individuals who aren’t going to show up in a search, but who nonetheless are worthy of remembering right now.” Address books / contact apps aren’t keeping up with capabilities of the network or devices, or the demands that are being placed on them. For example: I’ll posit that it’s a good thing that social apps are asking for access to your local address book instead of relying on a monolithic social graph. However, it’s a bad thing that that same address book is impossible for me to manage / edit / search through / filter into groups. There are glimmers of hope in this space, but just glimmers.
  9. The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell. You need to be reading this. From Pico Iyer’s review: “It is a typically maximalist many-storied construction: In one of its manifold secret corners, it sounds as if a sublimely original writer is wondering how much ‘writing’s a pathology’ (as one of his characters puts it) and whether it’s possible to conjure up time-traveling characters and scenes from the distant past and future, yet not believe in magic.”
  10. My phone hasn’t bent in my pocket, I didn’t install 8.0.1. It rained again this week. A good friend is moving to New York; I couldn’t be happier for her. Meanwhile, I turned 46. Look, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.

This week’s kicker, Jon Stewart on the Fox News coverage of Obama’s “latte salute:” “Fuck you and all your false patriotism.”

Have a great weekend. More stuff next week.