All this adds up to the impression that impressions are hard to come by.
Sometimes I would jolt awake at night, my heart racing, with no thought at all but Legacy Lofts on Main.
In her misspellings you can see which nouns she’s never heard before, or the direction her mind travels when she mishears a word.
April 29, 2022
Musk is simply the first such rodent to take over the laboratory.
Musk Takes Twitter
Walk Away Like a Boss
Postcard from the cryptosphere
How tragic, I thought, to reduce life to a procession of microtransactions or contracts. How naive to believe that some agreed-upon set of values could be formalized into code, or that the problems of politics could be made irrelevant by computation.
The phone is the thing that’s holding me down.
August 20, 2021
“Listen to the last half-hour of ‘Dark Star’ in a darkened room and see if you feel remotely secure.”
In the Dead Archives
July 30, 2021
It is other people
All social media both feeds and feeds on narcissism, but Twitter’s capacity to mirror the world and its users’ neuroses in discrete verbal and visual units, at least in certain corners of the site, elevates self-regard to a formal principle. We compulsively iterate ourselves as memes, set pieces, and DIY allegorical photos, as if hoping we’ll eventually perfect the reflection.
If the web was the waking mind of human culture, GPT-3 emerged as its psychic underbelly.
Why not write, in other words, for Twitter?
July 2, 2021
Big Jill, Little Jimmy, Little Rosalynn, Big Joe
The dream of strength and youth
One way to think about the viral explainers of the viral photo is that their function was almost pharmacological. A rapidly disseminated image that leads to spinning heads requires a dose of fast-acting cultural Dramamine. Speed is key. With the internet producing the weird stories, and grabbing all the ads that go with them, traditional media has been forced to move to the higher ground of analysis, but that was never journalism’s forte. So, somewhere between newsfeed dazzle and the insight that comes later (if at all), explanation became a familiar part of the information age news cycle. Sometimes, it’s enough.
March 11, 2021
At the heart of the new age are novel configurations of fear, certainty, and power
The big reveal: Google and Facebook are marketing companies. That is how they make money. What is more extraordinary is how much the two companies have thus far dominated their markets. Zuboff reports that between 2012 and 2016 Google and Facebook together accounted for 90 percent of the growth in global advertising expenditures. But there is nothing much “unprecedented” about advertising.