“It’s nearly impossible to keep smarm values at bay, though. Even well-meaning people fall into them. Publish a long, serious article and wait for the discomfiting benedictions to roll in from Longform and Longreads: Here is a piece of writing that has attained a certain length—a form that you can read, secure in the knowledge that someone did a lot of typing, and that you are doing a lot of reading. Everyone recognizes that there is virtue, or an approximation of virtue, in doing a lot of reading. Share it, this quantity of reading.”
“When you hear a voice say “Everyone’s a critic,” listen for the echo: Everyone’s a publicist.”

- Tom Scocca, On Smarm

I’m a couple months late to this thing, and I’m not sure I agree with everything but as someone who often feels a little put off by too much “rah rah rah let’s all get along!” even when there are real issues at stake, it’s a good read.

"Ease of communication and a generous democratic impulse mean that information originally designed for decision makers, now gets routinely sent via the media to very large numbers of people. It is as if a dossier, with the latest news from Kiev, which might properly arrive on the desk of a minister has accidentally been delivered to the wrong address and ends up on the breakfast table of a librarian in Colchester or an electrician in Pitlochry. But the librarian or electrician might quite reasonably turn round and politely point out that they can’t do anything with this knowledge and that, surely, the files have come to them by mistake. They don’t, but only because habit has closed our eyes to the underlying strangeness of the phenomenon."

Fully agree. The same people who will stay educated and informed about the latest developments overseas or in the poliics of another country have no idea who their city councillors are. This is why I think more people should follow local news. Unlike most of what we get, it has a direct impact on your life, and you can make decisions and changes based on it.

“But radio has grown up and it has leveraged what it leverages best. Our imagination.”
“You can’t be outside the network when it is building momentum. You will lose. The end.”

Two former higher-ups in BBC argue that 24-hour TV news is too slow, too expensive, and bad for journalism.

"Let me preface this by saying I never actually hired Drain-EEZ for any service.

"I called Drain-EEZ for some advice and talked to Pat on the phone for at least 30 minutes. He not only stayed with me on the line while I tried his troubleshooting tips and tricks, but even waited and had me call back twice while I kept trying."

"Curiously, the whole dynamic can be changed, simply by swapping the order of words used. Doing so with our first example leaves us with, “Your typography needs a little work, but you have a great portfolio.” This is a wholly different statement than the first version, wouldn’t you say? And it does what you first intended: validates the designer’s work, encourages him to continue, and draws attention to a minor weakness."

Nathan Kontny:

"There’s a great story in Esquire Magazine this month about the history of Irish whiskey. 130 years ago there were almost 30 Irish whiskey distilleries. Fast forward 100 years and there was just one: Irish Distillers Ltd (IDL). IDL was a hodgepodge of brands including Jameson and Tullamore Dew. They made good products, but Irish whiskey wasn’t doing well. When you asked whiskey experts what they thought of Jameson, Esquire magazine reports, “they weren’t impressed.”

But then in 1988, a company named Pernod Ricard bought IDL and had an interesting idea…

Stop selling whiskey to whiskey drinkers. Sell it to vodka drinkers, instead.”

Everyone is linking to this, but whatever, so will I.

Is there a Facebook update that compares to building a thing? No, but I’d argue that 82 Facebook updates, 312 tweets, and all those delicious Instagram updates are giving you the same chemical impression that you’ve accomplished something of value. Whether it’s all the consumption or the sense of feeling busy, these micro-highs will never equal the high when you’ve actually built.

I’d argue that even if the immediate high off of the status updates feels the same as the “building a thing”, it doesn’t last. I don’t exactly go looking at my old tweets thinking “I did that. Wow.” But from time to time (say, the end of the year) I will look at some of the more substantial things I created and think “OK. I actually did something.” 

So many good thoughts in this post by Buster Benson. I’m going to have to put it somewhere where I can re-read and implement.

"In our physical world we are creating ‘things’ at an unprecedented rate; we always seem to make space for another Starbucks, supermarket, or housing estate; we continue to build on every inch of free land we find; we create waste as such an alarming rate that we struggle to manage it, opting to bury it in landfill sites with no thought as to the long-term.

"Is our virtual world, the internet, simply going to follow in the same footsteps? Will this article, for example, follow the fate of the used crisp packet, buried deep underground somewhere, unreachable, yet still somehow existing?"

Short, worthwhile read.