The only thing you need to read today is Paul Ford’s “The Sixth Stage of Grief Is Retro-computing,”
on emulating old computers, losing a friend, and the history of networks both human and machine. I mean you can make your own decision, as always, but I want you to know that if you choose not to read this you are making a bad decision. This morning PJ said “one day we will look back and think it was crazy that we got a Paul Ford essay about once a week.” It is crazy! It’s that time, right now, and you are here in it! Don’t waste it.
Way over at the other end of the good/bad spectrum is the latest in Nick Bilton’s series of technology columns for idiots, “Artificial Intelligence as a Threat.” “Maybe a rogue computer momentarily derails the stock market, causing billions in damage,” imagines Bilton, speculating wildly about the terrifying possibility of an event that happened four years ago. “But let’s be realistic: It took nearly a half-century for programmers to stop computers from crashing every time you wanted to check your email. What makes them think they can manage armies of quasi-intelligent robots?” Hard to fault that logic. Hard to even find that logic. Bilton also worries about killer robots, against whom he is presumably uninsured. The kicker is Bilton’s conclusion: “…we can hinder some of the potential chaos by following the lead of Google.” And then I lit my computer on fire and walked west into the sunset forever.
*huffs deeply* THIS IS THE FUCKING GOOD SHIT pic.twitter.com/PeF4O5YyXF
— libby watson (@libbycwatson) November 5, 2014
Some people really hate Lena Dunham. Jonah Goldberg, for example, is willing to write that she should be disenfranchised under his own byline and squinty, resentful picture. Recently some hateful jack-basket took an anecdote from Dunham’s new book out of context, and used it to allege that she sexually abused her younger sister. Which is the purest bullshit, and I wouldn’t mention it at all except that it has provided a pretext for Roxane Gay to demonstrate again that she is our most empathetic and sane writer. And Jia Tolentino, who had a similar response, is not far behind. The accusations are trash but those two posts are worth reading regardless.
i know things look bad right now in america but where the heck else you gonna go, jerkass pic.twitter.com/66F3WfgFRv
— matt lubchansky (@Lubchansky) November 5, 2014
Mathew Ingram examines the numbers behind Jill Abramson and Steven Brill’s #longreads thing and is not convinced. There have been goat heads hanging from a light post in Park Slope since at least Saturday. Alexis Madrigal went to Fusion and is actually producing articles again, so I guess we know Fusion isn’t literally rendering journo talent down into aspic (yet). Jon Stewart directed a movie and clearly does not care whether you like what he has to say in this NYMag profile. Ann Patchett corrects an error. Kanye should definitely play Steve Jobs. Did you know all the episodes of Dr. Katz are on Youtube? Reverse OCR. The emoji diversity standard.
I designed a new chicken sweater with a cute little collar pic.twitter.com/SDkjnmOKW5
— #1 Bird Dad (@bradylee_) November 4, 2014
I’ve avoided even mentioning Alex from Target because uuuuuggggghhhh but Bijan found something worth reading about it.
Bijan is also a hoax.
Today’s Song: Charisma.com, “『HATE』“