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Reply All #132, Negative Mount Pleasant
A small town in Wisconsin becomes the site of a completely unprecedented experiment.
ReplyAll  podcast  2018Faves  Foxconn  technology  Wisconsin 
3 days ago
Kathryn Schulz, "My Father’s Stack of Books"
"The difficulty is that anything that is perfectly ordered is always threatening to become imperfect and disorderly—especially books in a household of readers. You are forever acquiring new ones and going back to revisit the old, spotting some novel you’ve always intended to read and pulling it from its designated location, discovering never-categorized books in the office or the back seat or under the bed. You can put some of these strays away, of course, but, collectively, they will always spill out beyond your bookshelves, permanently unresolved, like the remainder in a long-division problem."
KathrynSchulz  NewYorker  books  memoir  collecting  2019Faves 
3 days ago
Amanda Jernigan, Years, Months, and Days
A transfiguration of Mennonite hymns into heartbreaking lyric poems, Years, Months, and Days is a moving “meditation on the possibility of translation.” Bridging secular spirituality and holy reverence with the commonalities of life, death, love, and hope, Jernigan explores the connection between hymn and poem, recalling the spare beauty of Marilynne Robinson’s novels or the poems of Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst. The sparse and tender phrasing of Years, Months, and Days is “an offering of words to music,” made in the spirit of a shared love—for life, for a particular landscape and its rhythms—that animates poem and prayer alike.
2019Faves  AmandaJernigan  Biblioasis  poetry 
6 days ago
The Reënchantment of Carolee Schneemann
"This “maybe, maybe not” in the face of “one musts” or “we all shoulds” brings us into the heart of Carolee’s unusually generous and unbossy approach to the aesthetics of liberation. It also corresponds to the way that she often seemed willing to restate, with unfailing articulation, the same feminist and aesthetic principles she’d been called upon to defend or embody for decades, while at the same time evidencing a penchant for thinking anew on the spot"
6 days ago
John Ruskin: a prophet for our troubled times
"These events were sell-out occasions, but whether people attended for their moral education or to witness the extreme behaviour of someone who was clearly mentally unwell, it is not easy to say. Set this furore against the quietness of his nature studies and you feel Ruskin’s beautiful, wanton mind: in a piece of frozen seaweed, a microcosmic vista of lichens and ferns as if lit by the moon; or a bit of crumbling brick with moss growing on it, rendered in such detail that it hurtles towards you like an asteroid. It now seems like the last of England, this exquisite art, somehow symbolic of Ruskin’s synoptic, apocalyptic aesthetic."
JohnRuskin  PhilipHoare  NewStatesman  review  literature  madness 
6 days ago
Haley Mloteek, "Color Story: Navy Blue (“Navy’s Law”)"
Navy (or “Navy’s Law”) is a color for perverts and puritans alike. Whether worn to make or break rules is a matter of preferences. It inspires directories and order, catalogues and indexes, because navy blue ink is the preferred color for signing legally binding documents. It is the wash of blueprints, the infrastructure of work, of buildings that will go from existing in imaginations to rising in front of our horizons. Navy has been the preferred shade of all manner of dubiously assigned authority—bankers and police, the powerful who don’t trust their own capacity to retain power so instead guard the limits of it. The United Nations deliberately chose not to use navy for their uniforms—it was, they thought, too coded as “authoritative” rather than “peacemaking.” They chose a robin’s egg blue instead.
Ssensee  HaleyMlotek  navyblue  fashion  color  2019Faves 
7 days ago
Yaniya Lee and Clasire Atherton, "The Art of Living"
Claire Atherton began working with Chantal Akerman nearly three decades ago, and her work as an editor, collaborator and artist continues to shape Akerman's work and legacy to this day
2019Faves  YaniyaLee  ClaireAtherton  ChantalAkerman  film  FilmEditing  CanadianArt  interview 
7 days ago
Alexander Chee, "Annie Dillard and the Writing Life"
"You want vivid writing. How do we get vivid writing? Verbs, first. Precise verbs. All of the action on the page, everything that happens, happens in the verbs. The passive voice needs gerunds to make anything happen. But too many gerunds together on the page makes for tinnitus: Running, sitting, speaking, laughing, inginginginging. No. Don’t do it. The verbs tell a reader whether something happened once or continually, what is in motion, what is at rest. Gerunds are lazy, you don’t have to make a decision and soon, everything is happening at the same time, pell-mell, chaos. Don’t do that. Also, bad verb choices mean adverbs. More often than not, you don’t need them. Did he run quickly or did he sprint? Did he walk slowly or did he stroll or saunter?"

"Narrative writing sets down details in an order that evokes the writer’s experience for the reader, she announced. This seemed obvious but also radical—no one had ever said it so plainly to us."
AlexanderChee  AnnieDillard  writing  FictionWriting  advice  teaching 
7 days ago
Sophie Haigney, "I Don’t Have the Bandwidth"
" When we discuss feelings and relationships in terms of “bandwidth” we are treating them like megabits of information. At work, the phrase “I don’t have the bandwidth” might be a handy way of pointing out, rightly, that we deserve better compensation for what we’re asked to do. But applied to the basic stuff of living — feelings, friends’ problems — it turns personal responsibilities into indistinguishable units of space. "
SophieHaigney  RealLife  technology  metaphors  productivity 
7 days ago
The Software That Shapes Workers’ Lives
"Supply chains aren’t purely physical. They’re also made of information. Modern supply-chain management, or S.C.M., is done through software. The people who design and coördinate supply chains don’t see warehouses or workers. They stare at screens filled with icons and tables. Their view of the supply chain is abstract. It may be the one that matters most."

"In such a system, a sense of inevitability takes hold. Data dictates a set of conditions which must be met, but there is no explanation of how that data was derived; meanwhile, the software takes an active role, tweaking the plan to meet the conditions as efficiently as possible. SAP’s built-in optimizers work out how to meet production needs with the least “latency” and at the lowest possible costs. (The software even suggests how tightly a container should be packed, to save on shipping charges.) This entails that particular components become available at particular times. The consequences of this relentless optimization are well-documented. The corporations that commission products pass their computationally determined demands on to their subcontractors, who then put extraordinary pressure on their employees."
MiriamPosner  NewYorker  2019Faves  software  infrastructure  business  labor 
8 days ago
Angella d'Avignon, "Location Not Found"
"I felt a folksy voyeurism tinged with faint nostalgia for the disaster of fire season. This instinct seemed as virtually distant and surreal as toggling through images of old Paradise on Street View. My obsession with refreshing the situation in Paradise was akin to homesickness; my only way to participate or experience its intensity was limited to haptics. I experienced a sudden wave of topophilia — a strong sense of attachment to a place, a notion that its terrain was connected to my life — for both a time and a community that no longer exists, even in the unlikely case that it returns, in the next decade, in another form."

"Google Maps have deepened this belief that a map is key to how we experience place by giving us an “interactive” mode of exploring a location through Street View, and archiving panoramic images in its database, making years’ worth of “real time” available to a user. What is off screen in this model is offline and may as well not exist — those unmarked places come to resemble, as time passes, lost cities."

"when the past happens overnight, how will technology decide to reflect the new (or newest) reality? How quickly can you update a disaster site? Unlike a typical ghost town, its infrastructure isn’t physically preserved; instead, its neighborhoods and businesses are time-capsuled online more thoroughly and accessibly than any historically devastated location in the state"

"The digital imprint hasn’t caught up with the rapid devastation. Archeologists dig through physical ghost towns to learn about the people who lived there, but now anyone can excavate traces left by the people who lived and traveled through Paradise when it was standing. The flash-bang of Paradise’s ruin pulled so much national attention and so fast that it left a gaping rift between its present and past. It created an unprecedented demand for “maps” to memorialize a place marred by tragedy, left online as though it were still there, to even broaden the demands of “mapping” itself."
AngelladAvignon  RealLife  wildfires  California  Google  maps  mapping  cartography  place  homesickness  2019Faves 
12 days ago
Patricia Lockwood, "The Communal Mind"
“Each day we merged into a single eye that scanned a single piece of writing. The hot reading did not just pour from her but flowed all around her; her concreteness almost impeded it, as if she were a mote in the communal sight. Sometimes the pieces addressed the highest topics: war, poverty, epidemics. At other times they were about going to a deli with a poor friend who was intimidated by the fancy ham. And we always called it that: a piece, a piece, a piece.”

"It had also once been the place where you sounded like yourself. Gradually it had become the place where we sounded like each other, through some erosion of wind or water on a self not nearly as firm as stone."
2019Faves  PatriciaLockwood  internet  SocialMedia  LRB  CulturalCriticism 
23 days ago
Will Hunt, "Of Cesspits and Sewers"
"As it turns out, archives all over Europe hold documents that reveal long-ignored systems of public health and hygiene. In cities throughout the Netherlands, going back as far as the thirteenth century, so-called mud officials patrolled the streets, doling out fines to citizens who disposed of their waste inappropriately. Other cities benefited from the services of “waste citizens,” who were enlisted to clean specific places in the city in exchange for citizenship."

"The Dutch Golden Age, then, not the medieval era, was when Leiden transformed into the foul city of Victorian imagination."

"Van Oosten—along with Coomans and other colleagues—now participates in a multidisciplinary research initiative called Premodern Healthscaping. The project aims to reveal the sophistication of public health and sanitation in late medieval cities."
2019Faves  Archeology  Cities  WillHunt  ArcheologyMagazine  MedievalTimes  TheNetherlands  Leiden  sanitation  infrastructure 
24 days ago
Hilton Als, "James Baldwin, Restored"
"I wanted to give Baldwin his body back, to reclaim him for myself and many others as the maverick queer artist that drew us to him in the first place."

"Because when you love, the point is you’ve found someone who is willing to tell you the truth so you can learn."
HiltonAls  JamesBaldwin  TheParisReview  curating  DavidZwirnerGallery  race  literature 
26 days ago
Mairead Small Staid, "Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction"
"Birkerts’s argument (and mine) isn’t that books alleviate loneliness, either: to claim a goal shared by every last app and website is to lose the fight for literature before it starts. No, the power of art—and many books are, still, art, not entertainment—lies in the way it turns us inward and outward, all at once. The communion we seek, scanning titles or turning pages, is not with others—not even the others, living or long dead, who wrote the words we read—but with ourselves."
books  reading  SvenBirkerts  MaireadSmallStaid  TheParisReview  internet  distraction  SocialMedia  attention 
26 days ago
Hilton Als and Thelma Golden in conversation (David Zwirner Dialogues podcast)
"A revealing conversation about the life and teachings of James Baldwin that draws on Beauford Delaney, the pivotal role of invested teachers, and how the writer shaped the racial and cultural landscape in America."
ThelmaaGolden  HiltonAls  DavidZwirnerGallery  podcasts  JamesBaldwin  race  ArtHistory  BeaufordDelaney  curating  2019Faves 
26 days ago
Can a vow of silence last forever? The paradox of Thomas Merton | Aeon Essays
"Merton struggled with his desire for the purity of silence and with the need to break it, to the end of days."
ThomasMerton  JaneBrox  Aeon  Trappists  Catholicism  silence  isolation  literature  religion 
27 days ago
Elisa Gabbert, "The Great Mortality"
"The apparent senselessness of a new epidemic makes it even more frightening, so that every plague is a double plague of contagion and fear."

"Goldsmith quotes epidemiologist Ali S. Khan: 'We humans act like we own the planet, when really it’s the microbes and the insects that run things. One way they remind us who’s in charge is by transmitting disease, often with the help of small animals, including rodents and bats.' This is zoonosis as revenge, by the animal kingdom or mother nature writ large."
plagues  mortality  ElisaGabbert  RealLife  environment 
27 days ago
"Ira Glass: The Man Who Launched a Thousand Podcasts"
"In November 1995, Ira Glass quietly launched the first episode of This American Life. The rest, as they say, is history. Today his show is a colossal success and Ira Glass is a household name. But in the intervening two decades, Ira has left an indelible mark on the industry by helping to shape hundreds of podcasts and as well as hundreds of podcasters—including Alex. On this episode, Alex sits down with his mentor and former boss to talk about the early days at This American Life, what Ira taught Alex, and how being a good boss means learning to set people free."
IraGlass  ThisAmericanLife  radio  podcasts  Gimlet  AlexBlumberg  leadership  2019Faves  WithouFail 
5 weeks ago
Editorial Rates - Editorial Freelancers Association
Common editorial rates—regardless of whether a fee is flat rate, per page, per word, or hourly—tend to fall within the ranges indicated below. These should be used only as a rough guideline; rates vary considerably depending on the nature of the work, the time frame of the assignment, the degree of special expertise required, and other factors. The industry standard for a manuscript page, however, is a firm 250 words.
Editing  freelance  fees 
5 weeks ago
Isaac Chotiner, "A Political Economist on the End of the Age of Objectivity"
"One of the things that I’m trying to argue in the book is that we have become, in that sense, more reliant on feelings as we’ve moved more into this real-time, more combative style of public sphere.

Partly, what I’m talking about is that the acceleration of both capitalism and our media sphere means that we are in some ways navigating impressions all the time."
NewYorker  truth  enlightenment  emotions  interview 
5 weeks ago
Loitering Is Delightful
"It occurs to me that laughter and loitering are kissing cousins, as both bespeak an interruption of production and consumption."
TheParisReview  RossGay  time  loitering 
5 weeks ago
Emily Sekine, "A Love Story"
“My neighbors warned me that I should not praise Mount Fuji from the top of Ōmuroyama. The reason was this: The kami of the two mountains are estranged sisters, and the goddess enshrined at Ōmuroyama grows resentful when she hears people fawning over her sister.”
MountFuji  Japan  landscape  PersonalEssay  EmilySekine  Newsletters  2019Faves 
5 weeks ago
Journalism Isn't Dying. It's Returning to Its Roots
"By now the savvy media consumer knows to wait 24 hours before making any conclusion about a scoop, to cross-check at least a handful of sources and two dozen Twitter accounts for takes across the political spectrum. “Objectivity” is an atavism from the days of studiously inoffensive and circulation-expanding reportage lavishly supported "
journalism  media  Wired  business 
5 weeks ago
Kashmir Hill, "I Blocked Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple"
"Critics of the big tech companies are often told, “If you don’t like the company, don’t use its products.” I did this experiment to find out if that is possible, and I found out that it’s not—with the exception of Apple.

These companies are unavoidable because they control internet infrastructure, online commerce, and information flows. Many of them specialize in tracking you around the web, whether you use their products or not. These companies started out selling books, offering search results, or showcasing college hotties, but they have expanded enormously and now touch almost every online interaction. These companies look a lot like modern monopolies."
2019Faves  KashmirHill  Gizmodo  technology  infrastructure  unplugging  Apple  Amazon  Google  Facebook  Microsoft 
5 weeks ago
Jeff Jarvis, "We are not being honest with ourselves about the failures of the models we depend upon"
Journalism exists to be of service to the public conversation. What does that look like? How will that serve society? How will it be sustained? I’m not sure.

I have long argued that local journalism needs to rise from communities. I thought that could take the form of hyperlocal blogs but I was wrong because I was still thinking of local journalism in terms of content. I confessed my error here, where I also acknowledged the difficulty — perhaps the impossibility — of building a new house while the old one is burning down around existing newsrooms. Is it possible to turn a content-based, information-based business into one that is built on and begins with the public conversation and is based on service? I don’t know.
JeffJarvis  Medium  journalism  media  business  advertising  platforms 
5 weeks ago
Johanna Fateman, "Fully Loaded: Power and Sexual Violence"
"In the present war against “misconduct,” we rely on victims to be our bravest soldiers, transfixed when they stand up, one by one, wielding accounts of their abuse. With the stories breaking daily as I write, I’m sickened, but also recommitted to a feminist first principle; reminded of the ethical imperative to distribute the profound personal, social, and economic costs of truth-telling and noncompliance among all of us through acts of support and solidarity. And I wonder: Could art help to relieve the accusers’ burdens, the sheer weight of representation that they are asked to bear? As testimonial and journalistic accounts of sexual violence gain new prominence and legitimacy, what is the role of the symbolic, the metaphysical, the fantastic, the conceptual, and the abstract?"
Artforum  JohannaFateman  feminism  gender  SexualViolence  2018Faves 
5 weeks ago
Alex Carp, "Slavery and the American University"
"From their very beginnings, the American university and American slavery have been intertwined, but only recently are we beginning to understand how deeply. In part, this can be attributed to an expansion of political will."
AlexCarp  NewYorkReviewofBooks  2018Faves  slavery  AmericanHistory  universities 
5 weeks ago
Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand | News | The Guardian
How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific
MarkOConnell  TheGuardian  2018Faves  technology  doomsday 
5 weeks ago
Kate Briggs, excerpt from This Little Art
"It is easy not to think about translation. This has to do, of course, with the way translations typically get presented to readers: the name of the original author in full caps and bold; the translator’s name smaller or left off the cover altogether; reviewers failing to register the fact of reading in and the creative labour of translation. But perhaps it also has to do with the way we tend to talk about—and so also experience?—prose translations. That is, prose translations, as provisionally distinct from all the other ways an existing work of art can be reproduced, remediated or re-versioned."
FullStopMag  KateBriggs  2018Faves  translation  LiteraryCriticism 
5 weeks ago
Malcolm Harris, "Glitch Capitalism: How Cheating AIs Explain Our Glitchy Society"
"If an algorithm generates a bad solution — like face-planting as a mode of ambulation — it’s usually something we can fix.
That’s what tests are for, and engineers learn from their mistakes and oversights. Liberal capitalist democracy, however, isn’t great with do-overs. In the political realm, there’s a fear that any flexible or dynamic process would be subject to tyrannical abuse, and it’s better to just wait until the next election. When it comes to property, possession is nine-tenths of the law; good luck trying to get your money back due to unfairness. And then there’s our system’s ultimate exploit: regulatory capture. That’s like if the twitchy robot used its ill-gotten energy to take over the computer and make sure the error never got patched. What looked like a glitch becomes the system’s defining characteristic, which might help explain why we all walk around now by slamming our face against the floor."
NewYorkMag  MalcolmHarris  capitalism  technology  glitches  2018Faves 
5 weeks ago
Malcolm Harris, "How Much Is a Word Worth?"
"As any owner of a taxi medallion can tell you, reducing the value of a product or service can have serious repercussions — for the workers themselves and for the wider society they help comprise. When it comes to freelance writing, I fear that low prices have already begun to cost us. Talented writers walk away from the industry, plutocrats are free to pick stories and choose writers even when they don’t own the outlets, and the quality of the work declines. All of that looks to worsen over time."
MalcolmHarris  writing  pay  Medium  2018Faves  freelance  publishing 
5 weeks ago
Caity Weaver, "I Also Went to the Royal Wedding"
"Everyone was desperate to see Ms. Markle. They did not hunger to see her; it is possible to live for weeks without solid food. These people needed Ms. Markle as they needed oxygen. They needed to witness firsthand the color of the dress she had chosen to wear for the afternoon of her last day as a divorced single woman. They needed to watch the fading light glint off her shiny, healthy hair — and would it be up or down? They needed, each, to scream their personal well-wishes at her, or maybe just to feel her name rip out of their throats — MEGHAN! — so it could never be said that they’d had the opportunity to try to command her attention and failed to."
CaityWeaver  NYT  2018Faves  RoyalWedding  England  travel 
5 weeks ago
Rob Horning, "The Price of Shares"
Twenty years after Relational Aesthetics, the “social” has moved to the smartphone screen — and Nicolas Bourriaud’s vision of a museum of encounters is dead. The museum of the future is emerging in Indianapolis; dumbing down may soon come to be a fiduciary duty
art  museums  EvenMagazine  RobHorning  SocialMedia  2018Faves 
5 weeks ago
Sarah Rich, "Imagining a Better Boyhood"
"As boys grow up, the process of becoming men encourages them to shed the sort of intimate connections and emotional intelligence that add meaning to life."
parenting  gender  masculinity  TheAtlantic  SarahRich  2018Faves 
5 weeks ago
Jenny Odell, "How to Do Nothing"
"What I would do there is nothing. I’d just sit there. And although I felt a bit guilty about how incongruous it seemed — beautiful garden versus terrifying world — it really did feel necessary, like a survival tactic."

"This love of one’s subject is something I’m provisionally calling the observational eros. The observational eros is an emotional fascination with one’s subject that is so strong it overpowers the desire to make anything new."

"That brings me to what these few projects I’ve mentioned have in common. The artist creates a structure — whether that’s a map or a cordoned-off area — that holds open a contemplative space against the pressures of habit and familiarity that constantly threaten to close it."

"There are certain people who would like to use technology to escape their own mortality. [...] To such people I propose that a far more parsimonious way to live forever is to exit the trajectory of productive time, so that a single moment might open almost to infinity. As John Muir once said, 'Longest is the life that contains the largest amount of time-effacing enjoyment.'"
2018Faves  JennyOdell  Medium  nothing  productivity  resistance  work 
5 weeks ago
Gerald Murnane, Border Districts (FSG)
“The mind is a place best viewed from borderlands . . .”

Border Districts, purportedly the Australian master Gerald Murnane’s final work of fiction, is a hypnotic, precise, and self-lacerating “report” on a life led as an avid reader, fumbling lover, “student of mental imagery,” and devout believer—but a believer not in the commonplaces of religion, but rather in the luminescence of memory and its handmaiden, literature.

In Border Districts, a man moves from a capital city to a remote town in the border country, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. It is time, he thinks, to review the spoils of a lifetime of seeing, a lifetime of reading. Which sights, which people, which books, fictional characters, turns of phrase, and lines of verse will survive into the twilight? A dark-haired woman with a wistful expression? An ancestral house in the grasslands? The colors in translucent panes of glass, in marbles and goldfish and racing silks? Feeling an increasing urgency to put his mental landscape in order, the man sets to work cataloging this treasure, little knowing where his “report” will lead and what secrets will be brought to light.

Border Districts is a jewel of a farewell from one of the greatest living writers of English prose.
GeraldMurnane  BorderDistricts  novel  FSGBooks  LateLife  memory  2018Faves 
5 weeks ago
Christian Wiman, He Held Radical Light (FSG)
What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? And how do we make that hunger productive and vital rather than corrosive and destructive? These are the questions that animate Christian Wiman as he explores the relationships between art and faith, death and fame, heaven and oblivion. Above all, He Held Radical Light is a love letter to poetry, filled with moving, surprising, and sometimes funny encounters with the poets Wiman has known. Seamus Heaney opens a suddenly intimate conversation about faith; Mary Oliver puts half of a dead pigeon in her pocket; A. R. Ammons stands up in front of an audience and refuses to read. He Held Radical Light is as urgent and intense as it is lively and entertaining—a sharp sequel to Wiman’s earlier memoir, My Bright Abyss.
2018Faves  poetry  criticism  biography  ChristianWiman  FSGBooks 
5 weeks ago
Andrew Martin, Early Work (FSG)
For young writers of a certain temperament—if they haven’t had such notions beaten out of them by MFA programs and the Internet—the delusion persists that great writing must be sought in what W. B. Yeats once called the “foul rag and bone shop of the heart.” That’s where Peter Cunningham has been looking for inspiration for his novel—that is, when he isn’t teaching at the local women’s prison, walking his dog, getting high, and wondering whether it’s time to tie the knot with his college girlfriend, a medical student whose night shifts have become a standing rebuke to his own lack of direction. When Peter meets Leslie, a sexual adventurer taking a break from her fiancé, he gets a glimpse of what he wishes and imagines himself to be: a writer of talent and nerve. Her rag-and-bone shop may be as squalid as his own, but at least she knows her way around the shelves. Over the course of a Virginia summer, their charged, increasingly intimate friendship opens the door to difficult questions about love and literary ambition.

With a keen irony reminiscent of Sam Lipsyte or Lorrie Moore, and a romantic streak as wide as Roberto Bolaño’s, Andrew Martin’s Early Work marks the debut of a writer as funny and attentive as any novelist of his generation
2018Faves  AndrewMartin  EarlyWork  novel  FSGBooks  writing  ArtisticLife 
5 weeks ago
Craig Morgan Teicher, We Begin in Gladness (Graywolf Press)
“The staggering thing about a life’s work is it takes a lifetime to complete,” Craig Morgan Teicher writes in these luminous essays. We Begin in Gladness considers how poets start out, how they learn to hear themselves, and how some offer us that rare, glittering thing: lasting work. Teicher traces the poetic development of the works of Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery, Louise Glück, and Francine J. Harris, among others, to illuminate the paths they forged—by dramatic breakthroughs or by slow increments, and always by perseverance. We Begin in Gladness is indispensable for readers curious about the artistic life and for writers wondering how they might light out—or even scale the peak of the mountain.
CraigMorganTeicher  GraywolfPress  2018Faves  poetry  criticism  ArtisticLife 
5 weeks ago
Inger Christensen, "Does Art Originate From the Same Necessity That Gives Rise to Beehives?"
"Does art originate from the same necessity that gives rise to beehives, the songs of larks, and the dances of cranes?"
art  writing  LitHub  IngerChristensen  2018Faves 
5 weeks ago
Cassie Robinson, "How do we help things to die?"
"Charlie Leadbetter and Laura Bunt wrote a report way back in 2012 called the Art of Exit. It was ahead of its time. It’s one of the only pieces of work I know that directly deals with how to decommission things that are no longer working. Their work was focussed entirely on the public sector. I’m interested in what this looks like for the social sector and civil society. They were looking at how you could do this creatively. I’m interested in how you can do it ethically and intelligently — with compassion."
Organizations  transition  Medium  CassieRobinson 
5 weeks ago
Rob Horning, "Beacon Moved Under Moon and Star"
"When a company floods a space with its scooters, it is blanketing its network and its algorithms over the existing rules that once governed how that space was used and maybe even shared. Each scooter is a fence post in an act of enclosure, as is every Airbnb listing and Uber car (see Alex Rosenblat’s Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work, reviewed here). But it is not so much that a common is being privatized but that a whole map is being redrawn. A different understanding of space is being charted, of territory as a product of networked connections, conditional links, and spontaneous arenas for competition rather than a matter of geographic contiguity. Space is not a fixed array but is reconceived in terms of availability, with rights to it redistributed in terms of who can sell what when."
2019Faves  RobHorning  Newsletters 
5 weeks ago
Is Line Editing a Lost Art?
"The duality arises from the word: line. Line suggests a sense both mercurial and typographic. A line is poetic and literal; where the hope of intention meets the reality of the page. Line editing is the ultimate union of writer and editor; the line-edit means we cede control, and the pen, to someone else. It is a gift of trust, and it must go both ways."
LitHub  editing 
6 weeks ago
Oh God, It's Raining Newsletters
"Ownership in email in the same way we own a paperback: We recognize that we (largely) control the email subscriber lists, they are portable, they are not governed by unknowable algorithmic timelines.3 And this isn’t ownership yoked to a company or piece of software operating on quarterly horizon, or even multi-year horizon, but rather to a half-century horizon. Email is a (the only?) networked publishing technology with both widespread, near universal adoption,4 and history. It is, as they say, proven."
newsletters  CraigMod  2019Faves  publishing 
6 weeks ago
Timothy Morton on libraries
As well as that, libraries are great big piles of shit that nobody looks at, and the better the library is, the more of that stuff there is, that nobody even saw, maybe not even the author. Like, Salman Rushdie might not even know what's in that Emory collection of some of his stuff. So, a collection of stuff in a library would be a great image of "withdrawn objects."

Because the whole point is, why do I just want a library for stuff that I know is there? If I'm doing a Ph.D, I want a library with stuff in it that I don't know is there! I actually want stuff, if I'm doing a Ph.D, that nobody knows is there. Maybe not even the collection knows it's there! Sure, yeah, the librarians are highly trained, and they know how to get me the box, but when I open the box, maybe there's some object in it -- a book, a piece of wood, some kind of shell of a crab, I don't know what it is -- nobody's ever seen it. Maybe the author didn't even know.

So the whole point of a library is to be a collection of objects that have no point whatsoever. This is why I think it's really beyond capitalism; there's no reason, there's no utilitarian, self-interest, rational-choice reason to have that great big pile of stuff that nobody looks at. But that's exactly why libraries are good -- not because they contain a treasure trove of stuff you can see, but because they contain a treasure trove of stuff, period, that maybe nobody sees, for a million years.

(From Robin Sloan's newsletter)
libraries  TimothyMorton  RobinSloan 
7 weeks ago
Charlie Lloyd, "Small Cat"
"And that’s Earthrise for me. It’s a photograph of Earth, but as a photograph. It’s not about Earth; it’s about seeing Earth. It would mean a little less if it were not from Apollo 8, the first time humans had left a gravity well, the first time a human sensorium was Earthless, the first time humans had seen Earth over another horizon. Pictures of Earth are easy. A picture of Earth coming into sight is a command to reflect. Partly, maybe, on the Apollo program itself."
EmailNewsletter  Earthrise  environment  Photography  NuclearWar  2019Faves 
8 weeks ago
The Room of Requirement
Libraries aren't just for books. They're often spaces that transform into what you need them to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It's actually kind of magical. This week, we have stories of people who roam the stacks and find unexpected things that just happen to be exactly what they required. 
FrontierDispatch  ThisAmericanLife  radio  podcast  libraries  RichardBrautigan  homelessness  immigration 
9 weeks ago
Can Robert Bergman Teach Us to See Again?
Bergman’s portraits are defined by their simultaneous articulation of such seemingly contradictory meanings. In them, woundedness and beauty cannot be opposed, nor can the impulse to control be separated from a fear of being subject to the gaze of the Other. That gaze is not reducible to something purely retinal; it does not depend upon an encounter between two sets of eyes, but rather on the disruptive intensity of the presence of someone other than ourselves, and on their capacity to make themselves irreducibly and unmanageably present to us through these radiant images, and thus to disorder our sovereign centrality within the world.
Aperture  StanleyWolukauWanambwa  RobertBergman  portraiture  photography  AmericanArt 
9 weeks ago
In the Shadow of the CMS
How content-management systems will shape the future of media businesses big and small.
TheNation  KyleChayka  CMS  publishing  media  websites  newspapers  licensing 
9 weeks ago
Twitter thread on home design & climate
"Before the International Style (modernism) in architecture, our ancestors knew how to adapt the room heights according to the climate, achieving maximum effect (comfort) for the least effort (energy). Today we trust in the grid and so build 8-9 ft rooms from Bermuda to Reykjavik."
architecture  ClimateChange  Twitter  adaptation 
9 weeks ago
On the Excavation of My Desk
As for my faith in mess and creativity, vision as an expression of disarray, release from conventionality, well … what I discovered is that there’s not much difference between excavation and writing. Or at least I want to imagine that’s the case.
10 weeks ago
Dust Off Your Dropbox Files and Sell Them At This Digital Flea Market | | Eye on Design
True to its tagline, the products on Folder Market really do come from Dropbox. Anyone can connect their Dropbox account to the website, upload a folder of digital files, and assign it a value. The question is, will anyone buy what you’re selling?
Frontier  commerce  Dropbox  folders 
10 weeks ago
Wolff Olins: Radical Everything
Over two years, in partnership with CITIZENME, we've spoken to 7,000 people in 5 markets about the role of business in the world today. Last year, in RADICAL EVERYONE, they told us they want fundamental change, and they want businesses to drive it ‐ ahead of governments, charities and activists.

This year, that feeling continues. Only 6% of people think businesses should carry on with existing methods. Everyone else, regardless of age, seniority and geography, believes they should challenge convention and create new ways of doing things.

But how, exactly, can businesses do this? Our respondents believe they should focus their attention around four areas, and we've sourced examples of them in action from practitioners across the Omnicom network, all over the world. Read on to find out more.
WolffOlins  design  purpose  Frontier 
10 weeks ago
“I Don’t Think Character Exists Anymore”: A Conversation with Rachel Cusk
The idea that he, or that anyone, could find a different way of living, by a different way of inquiring and listening—that’s an idea that I have, of not necessarily what my book could do, but what any book could do.
RachelCusk  WriterInterview  NewYorker  fiction  FictionWriting  character 
10 weeks ago
Sally Rooney Gets in Your Head
In the hierarchy of Rooney’s literary identities, millennial is greater than Irish, but post-recessionary may be greater than millennial. Her writing emanates anxiety about capitalism, which purports to be a meritocratic system but actually functions as a diabolical inversion of communism, redistributing wealth and privilege at the whim of the people who already have those things, “for whom surprise birthday parties are thrown and cushy jobs are procured out of nowhere.” If Rooney’s characters aren’t especially ambitious, if they have low stress thresholds, if they prefer foreign vacations to office jobs, forgive them. The game was over by the time they came of age.
profile  NewYorker  LaurenCollins  SallyRooney  fiction  Ireland 
10 weeks ago
Jami Attenberg, "A bigger life in a smaller city"
“But that is what I left behind when I left New York, more than anything else. Eighteen years of building friendships. Those people are irreplaceable in my heart.”

"When you move to a new city when you’re young, you can easily meet people. Go to a bar and sit there for a few hours—you’ll make two new best friends (and exes) in a night. All the friends I made when I first moved to New York City in the late ’90s were the ones I did drugs with. I am not knocking the friendships I made at 1 a.m. on the dance floor, but they were born out of different interests.

I don’t go out like that anymore. Moving to a smaller city was an opportunity to consider the next part of my life in a less frantic, more engaged way than I had in my youth. I was looking for a different kind of stability when I moved here. And it was less about making mistakes I could learn from and more about making choices I believed in."
NYC  Curbed  NewOrleans  neighbors  moving  2019Faves 
10 weeks ago
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