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May 30, 2014

paul ford calmly crushing the zeitgeist into a delicious pesto

This brief Medium post by Paul Ford is perhaps the best distillation of the future (i.e., the present) that I've read all year.  The title:
It Is Impossible to Believe How Mindblowing These Amazing New Jobs Are

And then the writer, Paul Ford, skewers every current trend in digital publishing (i.e., publishing), with grace, alacrity and stinging wit.  It's very hard to pick a bit to tease you with, because they're all pretty much equally awesome, but try this:

#Trendit! We have an immediate opening for a world-class OUTRAGE OPTIMIZATION EXPERT to furyhack our traffic across social media. The ideal candidate has proven abilities at composing rage pegs for any story and has demonstrated the ability to prefix any tweet with "THIS." or "LISTEN." Candidates will be required to flame out in two years and disavow their past views while encouraging their still-seething acolytes to "moderation."

That is truly the state of the now (as are the other jobs described).

Posted by mrbrent at 9:52 AM

May 28, 2014

excuse the interruption

In lieu of, you know, getting on an actual airplane and sitting by a pool or a beach, I gave myself what they call a staycation (ha ha), which means that I didn't go to work for the few days around Memorial Day weekend and pretended that it was somehow different than your run-of-the-mill mental health day.

But it was different, as I made myself leave the house and do walk-around-the-city things and generally ignore any obligations I may have (like this blog here).  My big discovery: ferries.  Oh my God I love the ferries.  Put me on the East River Ferry and I'm like a dog with his head out the car window.  I'm thinking about leaving for work an hour earlier just so I can go miles out of my way and take the ferry for one leg of the commute.

And, as such things go, it was a holiday weekend so there was not much in the way of actual news.  Well, except for the UCSB shootings, which seemed a bit more efficacious in the way of starting a National Conversation, and an interesting one at that.  Best thing I read was this by Arthur Chu, a lamentation of the nerds.  And no, it's not one of those tepid Not All Men defenses, but rather an examination of how nerds (full confession: I was a nerd before nerds got PAID) have basically turned into actual monsters.

It's an interesting question, and one I'd love to see answered by all those objectivist Silicon Alley utopians out there.

But hey it's summer!  Break out the seersucker.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:53 AM