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robertogreco : endings   8

Dark Mountain: Issue 11 | The Dark Mountain Project
"But the lines separating these things remained – and remain – illusory. Such borders, powerful though they seem, are only one way of seeing the world; like so many human inventions, they are better understood not as facts, but stories."



"Once we break free from straight-line thinking, the truth is much more messy.

That messiness is, in part, what this book tries to articulate. Dark Mountain: Issue 11 takes as its premise the notion of endings – cultural, social, ecological, political, existential – but recognises that things seldom end, or begin, in well-mannered ways."
darkmountain  liminality  liminalspaces  seams  scars  edges  borders  2017  messiness  truth  linearity  endings  culture  society  ecology  politics 
april 2017 by robertogreco
How to end on the internet
"It’s impossible to end a piece on the internet. All the conventions incubated in print fall flat: the neat summary, the mild prediction, the kicker quote. Especially the kicker quote.

Maybe it’s because the internet is endless and we all know it, so any suggestion of completion — of a thought, an argument, a story — rings false. “Oh really? You think this is it? Please. I’ve got ten more tabs lined up.”

Also, let’s be real: we rarely get to the end anyway. Midway through, we get distracted. We jump around. Pieces on the internet don’t build to a crescendo followed by applause; they cross-fade, one into the next.

Given all these challenges, there is no set of internet endings I admire more than John Herrman’s in his series THE CONTENT WARS at the Awl. John works for the New York Times now, and while there’s no question it’s an important platform for him, it has been impossible not to notice that his endings have changed, which has made me appreciate that previous run even more.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

John deployed the blog-style “Anyway!” with some regularity; I’ve always loved it, even though I’ve never quite been able to articulate what it does. Lower the stakes? Acknowledge that the reader had something else she was doing before she got sucked into this? Whatever the case, it’s one of the great rhetorical discoveries of the mid-2000s.

One of his personal trademarks was the Big Maybe — Exhibit A, Exhibit B — in which a piece, after building its case, explodes into hypotheticals: maybe, maybe, maybe, I don’t know! It reads as an unraveling of the thread of coherence; an admission that it was tenuous to begin with. It is, I think, a gesture of genuine humility. “I see this only barely more clearly than you.”

Then there’s the way this numbered list goes off the rails: 13, 14, 15… 234875627839452… 45862170348957103946872039568270. I love that sense of like, buffer overflow: of staring a powerful system in the face and coming away with a nosebleed.

Of course, this is my favorite:
In conclusion, haha, ashkjghasgauosghasugas;gashgk, who knows.

…because it is the ending that probably every piece, in every medium, deserves. And because it would never, ever be permitted by the editors of the New York Times.

Reading all of John’s CONTENT WARS endings (is that a weird thing to do? Because I just did it) is illuminating, because all of them, even the more conventional ones, share an unmissable sensibility, almost a declaration of values. In quick succession, you find: humility, and a reminder of the limits of knowledge; that almost comical effect of a mind straining to contain its subject; and an absolute refusal to retreat into empty optimism. All together, this is a pretty good stance for the 21st century.

It’s been a joy to read John in the New York Times and it is without question an important step for him — a place he’ll improve in lots of ways. However, it must not pass without mention:

Mr. Malik of Gigaom, whose site employed 85 people at its peak, said if he were to start the business today, it would probably be a Facebook page. There is an opportunity, clearly, to reach people there. Money? That’s another matter. “How do I monetize?” he asked. “Still not clear.”

They’ve got him doing kicker quotes."
howwewrite  2016  robinsloan  internet  johnherrman  structure  endings  unfinished  maybe  anyway  style  web  journalism  theawl  nytimes  thecontentwars 
april 2016 by robertogreco
A Tumblr devoted solely to the violent deaths in choose-your-own-adventure novels
"We love ourselves some old-school pick-a-path novels around these parts, mostly for the litany of confusing deaths that were foisted upon the barely literate reader. The proprietors of the Tumblr "You Chose Wrong" also remember these many horrendous demises fondly and have thus devoted an entire blog to them."

[Tumblr at: http://youchosewrong.tumblr.com/ ]
death  tumblrs  endings  jumor  cyoa  if  interactivefiction 
july 2012 by robertogreco
GRIEF — THE BI BLOG
"Neither love nor depression have the words “finish” or “end” or “done” in their vocabulary. Love is belief in expansiveness, of more and again and adventure, of a year that keeps unfolding, of Death Valley in summer and northern Sweden in winter and even just Venice Beach on a gloomy day in June. Depression, too, is expansive, but in a different way, a swirling vortex of shit, a downward funnel that just spins deeper.

Grief, however, is bounded. It twists and gnarls and it stifles the breath. It forgoes the linear in favor of spikes and spots and synchronicity. When you think you’ve managed to escape grief, it hoods you again, capturing you in another convolute. A knot under my sternum that sticks on every inhale, a peach pit, the bitter walnut falling out of a cracked shell. And then: the knot tires itself, giving way to all the muscles that gripped it; the walnut spit out, the peach pit tucked into a napkin, then folded in quarters."
love  depression  grief  mollywrightsteenson  fredscharmen  endings 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Spoilers Don’t Spoil Anything | Wired Science | Wired.com
"I’ve got a weak spot for pulp fiction, especially when it involves a mysterious twist…unironic thrillers & mediocre Agatha Christie imitations…any kind of fiction that lets me forget for vast stretches of time that I’m sitting in an airport terminal.

I read these books in an unusual way: I begin with the last five pages, seeking out the final twist first. The twist won’t make sense at this point, but that doesn’t matter—I enjoy reading the story with the grand finale in mind…

I’ve always assumed that this reading style is a perverse personal habit, a symptom of a flawed literary intelligence. It turns out…I was just ahead of the curve, because spoilers don’t spoil anything. In fact, a new study suggests that spoilers can actually increase our enjoyment of literature. Although we’ve long assumed that the suspense makes the story—we keep on reading because we don’t know what happens next—this new research suggests that the tension actually detracts from our enjoyment."

[See also: http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/feature/2011/08/11/we_like_spoilers ]
jonahlehrer  psychology  literature  spoilers  endings  film  reading  classideas  writing  research  2011 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Webs and whirligigs: Marshall McLuhan in his time and ours » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism
"And so are our media, made newly social. Facebook & Twitter & Google+ & all the rest swim with time’s flow, rather than attempting to stanch it. & they are, despite that but mostly because of it, increasingly defining our journalism. They are also, as it were, McLuhanesque. (Google+: extension of man.) Because if McLuhan is to be believed, the much-discussed & often-assumed human need for narrative may be contingent rather than implicit. Which means that as conditions change, so may — so will — we. We may evolve past our need, in other words, for containment, for conclusions, for answers.

McLuhan’s vision is, finally, of a world of frayed ends rather than neat endings, one in which stock loses out to flow — a media environment, which is to say simply an environment, in which all that is solid melts…and then, finally, floods. And for journalism and journalists, of course, that represents a tension of rather epic, and certainly existential, dimensions."
journalism  media  marshallmcluhan  paulford  digitalmedia  stockandflow  time  2011  megangarber  realtime  web  internet  endings  storytelling  unfinished 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings? -- Daily Intel [Don't rely on the quotes here. Read the whole thing.]
"…should be a word for that feeling you get when an older person…shames himself by telling young people how to live…

Obviously, the Epiphinator will need to slim down in order to thrive, but a careful study of history shows how impossible it is to determine whether it can return to both power & glory, or whether its demise is imminent…

This moment of anxiety and fear will pass; future generations (there's now one every 3-4 years) will have no idea what they missed, & yet they will go on, marry, divorce, & own pets.

They may even work in journalism, not in the old dusty career paths…

We'll still need professionals to organize the events of the world into narratives, & our story-craving brains will still need the narrative hooks, the cold opens, the dramatic climaxes, & that all-important "■" to help us make sense of the great glut of recent history that is dumped over us every morning. No matter what comes along streams, feeds, & walls, we will still have need of an ending."
technology  media  socialmedia  facebook  privacy  paulford  narrative  jonathanfranzen  zadiesmith  billkeller  zeyneptufekci  life  wisdom  journalism  storytelling  endings  epiphinator  love  living  stevejobs  commencementspeeches  wholeearthcatalog  stewartbrand  aaronsorkin  2011  nuance  feral  unfinished  culture  internet 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory | Video on TED.com
"Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy -- and our own self-awareness."
danielkahneman  memory  happiness  satisfaction  self-awareness  behavior  experience  ted  2010  psychology  money  goals  via:jessebrand  time  endings  well-being  policy  publicpolicy  economics  life  reflection  climate  california  education  design  learning  science  wealth  income  emotions  capitalism 
march 2010 by robertogreco

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