Ballin’ Oates is the third EP in a series of compilations produced by The Melker Project, each focusing on a different classic artist. Each Hall & Oates song was completely replayed and remixed by Melker, before blending them with different acapellas.
Is Andy Kaufman still alive? Probably not. But he’s still kind of fucking with us and that’s cool.
Rather brilliantly, Kaufman—alive or no—managed to set up conditions whereby almost anything that happens can be said to further corroborate either the facts of his death or the concocted nature of same. It is well known that Kaufman spoke often of faking his own death, but most reasonable observers have concluded that this is highly unlikely.
When pageviews are all we care about, we shouldn’t be shocked to find our readers aren’t human.
Let’s do the math here. They were getting between 5 and 17.5 million visits per day and selling them for a fraction of a penny more to generate between $12,500 and $70,000 in revenue per day.
If they maxed out every day, buying the most traffic possible and selling it at the highest price, they’d make $2.1 million a month without ever creating anything that a human might want to look at.
Men, An Anthology Men is an anthology of essays showcasing the voices, stories, and lives of straight, white and male people from around the world. Through these essays, readers are given an intimate glimpse into moments like the time one of the men accidentally bought two Mac Pros, or when another was forced to drive all the way to San Francisco with no iPhone for only a million dollars of funding. And don’t miss the heartwarming tale of one man’s journey to overcome diversity and beat a female colleague to a promotion. Men shows readers that at the end of the day, there isn’t one type of man in the world, but lots of men with all their own stories.
It’s totally okay to hate Silicon Valley, mostly because so much of it is horrible and worth hating. Though you’d never know that given how most “technology” discussions go.
The reason why the digital debate feels so empty and toothless is simple: framed as a debate over “the digital” rather than “the political” and “the economic,” it’s conducted on terms that are already beneficial to technology companies. Unbeknownst to most of us, the seemingly exceptional nature of commodities in question – from “information” to “networks” to “the Internet” – is coded into our language. It’s this hidden exceptionalism that allows Silicon Valley to dismiss its critics as Luddites who, by opposing “technology,” “information” or “the Internet”— they don’t do plurals in Silicon Valley, for the nuance risks overwhelming their brains – must also be opposed to “progress.”
Remembering Blockbuster Video.
Blockbuster really hung in there, though. The stores didn’t so much go out of business as waste away, staying open for what seemed like months or years while slashing prices, then slashing them again, on bins of previously viewed DVDs you could never imagine anyone wanting to rent, let alone own. Going through those bins was always educational. Digging for bargains, you’d come across the 30 copies of Mimic 2 the store got stuck with when the music stopped, and the flaws in the video-store business model would become that much clearer.
No one wants to read your tweets.
You see the Net has been built on “cool.” It’s been about the new new thing. But now we’ve got winners and losers, and the chances of going from the underclass to the ruling class online are about similar to those doing the same thing in real life — essentially nil. Yes, the American Dream is dying online too. A few people make it through, but it’s like winning the lottery: The odds are low.
Is Internet famous still a thing people can become?
There was a six-month window where Thought Catalog was one of the better blogs you could read, genuinely amusing in its irreverence. Then it started to feel vapid and, eventually, just started to make me feel old—I didn’t get it at all, so I unsubscribed. In truth, it was probably always the same, but some things require a larger body of work to notice—Thought Catalog was likely a one-trick pony and the trick got tiresome. Anyway, I haven’t been a regular reader in awhile, but it sounds like the site is pretty awful these days.
The current Thought Catalog aesthetic, speaking broadly — one that exists at the corner of thoughtless prurience and a nihilistic insistence upon mocking your prudish sensibility — is close to objectively bad. And it is aware that its readership stems not from its brilliance but its brilliance at trolling the reader
Which, of course, begs questions about online content and the pageview economy.
Have we reached the natural end of click bait? It is difficult to imagine Web content getting more deliberately provocative — at some point, it reached peak troll. And people may be wising up, knowing that reading something whose only reason to exist is to make them angry may not actually be worth doing.
Seems sort of appropriate to get a Gawker response to the Rob Ford saga since they sort of started it.
Rob Ford is not a Canadian. Rob Ford looks like the kind of red-faced American trash who would knock down an old lady in the WalMart pharmacy line just to get his brother’s oxycontin prescription five minutes faster. Rob Ford is so obese that when he sits around his American-style suburban McMansion, he literally sits around his American-style suburban McMansion, smoking crack. Even his name is obviously and obscenely American: “Rob Ford.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a profile on Michael Ignatieff that makes me sad for what could have been.
Ever since Socrates spoke of philosopher-kings, the relationship between intellectuals and power has been vexed. Socrates calls his ideal a “dream,” a reminder, according to Mark Lilla, of Columbia University, of “how unlikely it is that the philosophical life and the demands of politics can ever be made to coincide.” It is especially rare to see someone like Ignatieff—a serious writer and thinker—leap from arguing about ideas to canvassing for votes. Friends and family cautioned against the move. And you did have to wonder: Would Canada really elect a lofty intellectual?
Remove all advertising from CBC radio and television and hand the entire market in commercials over to the private broadcasters. In return, redirect some substantial portion of the subsidies flowing to the private industry. Give it to the CBC, to supplement its current appropriation, bringing it up to a level where it can carry out its mandate confidently and with renewed enthusiasm. I’d say double it, to about $2 billion. That would put Canada somewhere within shouting distance of the average public broadcasting subsidy of the OECD nations. (We are currently a shameful 22nd among the 26.)
Dynamic marketing firm seeks greatest mind of your generation (unpaid).
Calling all social media rockstars! Cataclysm PDX is one of the hottest PR/Marketing/Branding/Thought-Leadership firms in the webosphere representing a stable of top-tier international clients. We are alchemists of innovation, the Rumplestiltskins of branding, spinning the straw of conventional digital marketing into paradigm-shattering gold.
This is almost too spot on to be funny and for a second you might suspect McSweeney’s is hiring.
The story of Richard Pryor, SNL and arguably the greatest comedy sketch that’s ever appeared on television.
“It’s like an H-bomb that Richard and I toss into America’s consciousness,” Mooney wrote. “All that shit going on behind closed doors is now out in the open. There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. The N-word as a weapon, turned back against those who use it, has been born on national TV.”
Playboy‘s 1964 interview with Vladimir Nabokov.
I think it would be more correct to say that had I not written Lolita, readers would not have started finding nymphets in my other works and in their own households. I find it very amusing when a friendly, polite person says to me—probably just in order to be friendly and polite—“Mr. Naborkov,” or “Mr. Nabahkov,” or “Mr. Nabrov” or “Mr. Nabohkov,” depending on his linguistic abilities, “I have a little daughter who is a regular Lolita.”
God’s MFA writing workshop takes a look at the Bible.
Love, love, love the Noah chapter. My only concern is that there’s an awful lot of “telling.” Is there a way to do more “showing” so that we can see Noah experiencing 40 days and nights on a boat with two of every living beast on Earth? That had to have been crazy?! Like, where did they all go to the bathroom? Have you read David Foster Wallace’s essay about the cruise ship? Really good/sad. I’m not saying you should copy that, but I think it might help if you gave it a quick read.
You talk of “obediently X-ing a little box”. Is that really how it feels to you? Obedience? There’s a lot that people interested in shaping their society can do in between elections – you describe yourself as an activist, among other things – but election day is when we really are the masters. We give them another chance or we tell them to get another job. If I thought I worked for David Cameron rather than the other way round, I don’t know how I’d get out of bed in the morning.
What’s behind the idea that non-fiction is more relevant than fiction? And, wait… that’s an idea people have?
But I suspect it is the techniques of fiction, also often used by nonfiction writers, that are especially valuable now. I say this because it’s possible that we as a culture suffer from a particularly debilitating case of thinking we know much more than we know. (A statement with a grammatical subject as broad as “we as a culture” has acquired a lot of inaccuracy and even profound wrongness before it reaches its predicate — and we as a culture seem more drawn than ever to these sorts of broad pronouncements.)
Does Dave Eggers write terrible sex scenes? Possibly.
These are some of the most awkward sex scenes I have encountered ever in literature. You’ve never been great at this, by the way, but the added trauma of seeing you do this via your estimation of how a woman experiences sex is so cringeworthy as to be painful. And I’m listening to it on audiobook. I’m listening on audiobook to a male narrator describe a female protagonist’s encounters with all manner of “vigorous” things “straining” (straining, Dave?) and depictions of the love interest “grunting his arrival” (that one was REALLY NOT OK) with “his fingers crawling inward” (STOP IT). We can’t do this anymore, you and I. You have to stop.
Some practical advice about our addiction to technology.
Getting away from technology by leaving it behind becomes a pointless exercise in competitive reductionism. Where do you draw the line? Your smartphone? Your GPS? Your compass? Your tent? Fire?
Here’s a better idea: Shut up and bring your iPhone into the backcountry, but resist the urge to open the email app. If you can’t manage that, delete or turn off the account. Don’t worry, it’ll come back.
Do yourself a favour and spend a little time with the Internet Archive’s Historical Software Collection.
For this initial collection, we’ve hand-selected a few dozen ground-breaking and historically important software products, many of whom started entire industries or pioneered new genres of programs. While they lack the later features and graphics of modern counterparts, these programs were either big sellers at the time or recognized as first of a kind. They are now a single click away in a browser.
An interview with John Simpson, outgoing editor of the OED.
It takes about 10 years for a new word to pass through the fine-mesh editorial process to publication. But that is far from final. Every three months, the entire OED database is republished online, new words added, old words revised. Any of the dictionary’s readers may spot more information to improve an entry and that will be reflected. Revisions can go on indefinitely as more antedatings are found and more information floods in. This is truly the Forth Bridge of word-work.
Simpson would like people to be able to go home and press a button to review what appetising stuff the OED has truffled each day. He fantasises about having new dictionary entries shown continuously on screens in Trafalgar Square “so people can see what we’re doing”.