Reading List: Ranting As Self-Care, And Other Commune Workshops

Darlings! Today’s Reading List is only from two sources (The New York Times and WIRED, quelle surprise!) so I feel like a bit of a dweeb, but then I re-read these pieces and you know what, screw it: I stand by the fact that I think you should read them, darnit, AND THEM ALONE (j/k). So curl up with your favorite hot beverage, and let’s get to the long reads!

Kevin Roose, What Does PewDiePie Really Believe? (The New York Times) - Look, I’m not a fan of could-have-bordered-on-hagiographic takes on controversial figures beloved by 2019 internet Nazis, but I can’t help but devour a piece that begins with hackers taking over 50,000 printers around the world to churn out… flyers about a YouTube personality? But Roose also finds a way to weave a history of YouTube counter culture into the piece, which goes a long way to explain much of our current political SNAFU, and because of that, I think this piece will stand up well in the historical canon. Did this certain individual deserve to have the glossy rock star photo treatment for The New York Times Magazine? I dunno. I feel guilty for liking this piece, and guilty for sharing it?

Lauren Goode, Andy Rubin’s New Phone Thing Isn’t Just a New Phone Thing (WIRED) - Speaking of jerks on the internet, in this piece Goode asks a great question: “…in an era of heightened scrutiny of the technology sector, it is possible to divorce new gadgets from the people who make them and the ethos of the corporations that fund them”? I’d insert many different industries for “technology” and anything from art to history to scholarship for “gadgets,” and you could use Goode’s piece as a general 2019 meditation. Because, as she notes, “it’s getting harder to look at consumer products atnd their pretty packages without thinking about the people making them, and the power behind them.”

Francesca Tripodi, Devin Nunes and the Power of Keyword Signaling (WIRED) - Have you ever sat back and wondered how politicians can hijack online search results via amplification of selective keywords in their speeches and writing, therefore further narrowing an individual’s exposure to fact checking and/or alternative view points because “epistemological frameworks can lead us into algorithmic rabbit holes”? You haven’t? Oh. Sleep well tonight!

Ruth Whippman, Enough Leaning In. Let’s Tell Men to Lean Out. (The New York Times) - I am cheering like Meryl Streep at the Oscars over this paragraph: “The various anti-apologizing tracts often quote a 2010 study showing that the reason women say they are sorry more often than men is that we have a “lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior.” This is almost exclusively framed as an example of female deficiency. But really, isn’t a person with a “high threshold of what constitutes offensive behavior” just a fancy name for a jerk?”

Thank you for giving up some inbox space for me every weekday morning, I appreciate it. Be kind to each other.

xoxo Amy