To Kill a Mockingbird
Go Set a Watchman
Why Shoot a Dinosaur
O Let a Salmon
Can’t Buy an Anglophile
Must Wed a Thumbtack
To Eat a Jumbotron
— Elif Batuman (@BananaKarenina) February 3, 2015
Harper Lee will publish a new book this year, called Go Set a Watchman. The internet, populated by billions of Scout Finches, lit up with excitement! Ramada Inn floor-warmer USA Today answered your Harper Lee questions. Then Lee’s editor Hugh Van Dusen did an interview and it was a total record-scratch. “Why is this book finally showing up now?” asked Vulture’s David Marchese, and Van Dusen’s answer starts with “The version I was told…” which, as Mallory rightly points out, does not inspire confidence. “Be Suspicious of the New Harper Lee Novel” advised Madeleine Davies in Jezebel. Does Harper Lee want this book published, or even know about it? It seems unlikely! On the other hand, should we always hew to the wishes of authors? The ghosts of Kafka and Emily Dickinson are nodding their heads furiously and David Foster Wallace is pointing in apparent satisfaction at his posthumous wordpile The Pale King, so I’m gonna say no, we should not always listen to authors.
Bloomberg’s Brad Stone reported that Google will get into the ride-hailing business and “go to war” with Uber in the emerging self-driving taxi space. Which, ok, first of all that’s still a fictional market? But Uber did announce a partnership with Carnegie-Mellon to work on autonomous vehicles, and probably every one of the jerks running both companies believe this is a real field they’re really competing in. The story was the ultimate WHOA IF TRUE, pointed out Will Oremus, and Chris Ziegler was also like lol no come on in The Verge. In Motherboard, Jordan Pearson said that Uber wants to end ridesharing, i.e. they want to make it ride-owning-by-Uber’s-evil-robots instead, which is plausible. In conclusion: taxis are the worst, take the dang subway.
It’s 2027 in the Bay Area. You take a driverless Uber to the polyamorous meetup to chill with your bros. 40% of attendees have the measles
— Matthew Ogle (@flaneur) January 31, 2015
The Fᴜsɪᴏɴ continues, with the re-launch of Fusion.net and Alexis Madrigal’s ok-fine-it’s-a manifesto “Welcome to the Real Future.” Jessica Roy interviewed Fusion digital editor Jane Spencer who revealed that Fusion is now post-post-text. Which may explain why the launch includes a weirdly triumphal paean to recreational testosterone use that doesn’t even glancingly mention its potential risks. Get with the Rᴇᴀʟ Fᴜᴛᴜʀᴇ, I guess.
this valentine’s day, instead of taking your loved one out to dinner, why not buy them a nice romantic drone with all of your good bitcoin?
— bijan stephen (@bijanstephen) January 30, 2015
A female science editor rejected an anonymous poet for a job, and you won’t believe what happened next! J/k you will literally never find anything easier to believe than what happened next. Which reminds me: read Amelia Greenhall on Vivek Wadhwa.
One of the reasons I picked our new intern Vicky was because of the great sense of humor she showed her application, even taking the opportunity to burn Bijan. So I can’t wait to see what she brought us for her first real tab!
Well, that was great! Really informative and… I guess I wouldn’t say lighthearted. Boko Haram, huh? All right. Here’s hoping for massacre-free day tomorrow!
Did You Know: There’s a whole subreddit dedicated to “All Star” mashups? Now you can never un-know that.
Today’s Song: Modest Mouse, “The Best Room“
~Ain’t it hard, closing tabs, all the time~