Brian Williams admitted that his helicopter was never shot down by RPG fire in Iraq, a story which started off pretty vague but has been enhanced by ten-plus years of repetition. He apologized for the incorrect claim on TV and it’s desperately difficult for me to even pretend that any of this makes any real difference. There will be no consequences. Meanwhile the US Navy just developed a robot that can walk through fire. What could go wrong!
Feel pretty good about these computer programs.
— Mark Wunsch (@markwunsch) January 31, 2015
Today in Poetry: From Quartz comes Jason O. Gilbert’s abecedary “The Internet, From A to Z,” but you may prefer nine year old Gabi’s goth meditation on how great it would taste to torch the homes of your enemies.
The Silk Road trial ended, and the jury returned a verdict of “your honor, is there any such verdict as Super-Duper Guilty?” Yes Ross Ulbricht is, legally, The Dread Pirate Roberts. The only remaining question is do you pronounce guilty with a hard ‘g’ or a soft ‘g’? I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow, Forbes’s Silk Road trial correspondent and legit lawyer Sarah Jeong will be guest tabbing, so I expect a lot of good insider Takes on all of this from her.
Gawker ran a prank on Coke’s dumb ad campaign because brands will never realize that automatically tweeting stuff is a disaster 100% of the time. Which is all well and good, but then The Verge’s Jacob Kastrenakes wrote a few hundred words about it that showed a tiny vestige of sympathy for the “let’s be a little kinder” intention behind Coke’s ad campaign, and the Gawkerbabies got so mad about it. And then Sam had to apologize (again) and in conclusion: never tweet.
— Alex Leo (@AlexMLeo) February 5, 2015
But what really matters is The Future of Media. John Herrman says the future of media is the internet becoming more like TV and he is almost certainly right. Read that whole thing, seriously, it’s some of the best media criticism I’ve ever seen. But don’t despair. I work in TV now, and you know what? In a lot of ways it’s great! Sure it’s fundamentally evil, but at least there’s some money in it. The internet is like the Soviet Union in 1989; the end of the grand idealistic experiment is in sight, and it’s obvious what’s coming next, and everyone’s too exhausted to fight it. Make friends with an oligarch, is my advice. Publish something on Snapchat. What else are you gonna do, become a reporter?
Intern Vicky just posted a new issue of her own newsletter Canada Weakly, so if you want more Vicky-related content you should subscribe to that.
True story: I met my wife when she lived downstairs from me freshman year of college. I don’t want to imply that the life theories of 20 year olds are universally wrong, but… no, I think I do want to imply that. Still, anyone dating today has my deepest sympathy.
Today in Ursula K.: The Future of the Left on Motherboard
Today’s Song: Hail Mary Mallon, “4 AM“
~It is an ever-fixed tab, that looks on tempests, and is never shaken~