What I’ve Been Reading (29 March 2023)

  • Users by Colin Winnette. There have been a lot of novels over the past ten years about what technology, and specifically the internet and social networks, have done to us and society; there have been far fewer looking at the people that develop that technology. Users may not be the product management comedy of errors that I’m waiting for, but it’s a beautifully written and plotted dive into the hollowness and disorientation that lurk behind Miles’s occupation building virtual reality Original Experiences.
  • Saving Time by Jenny Odell. I’m only one chapter into Odell’s pandemic-inspired dissection of humanity’s relationship to time and the physical world, and I’m already convinced it’s one of those books that’s going to have a huge impact on my thinking. (We’re talking Gutenberg Galaxy levels of inspiration here.) The first chapter is about the specific cultural and financial concerns that have brought about our very quantized approach to measuring and valuing time, and I’m not going to read or watch a science fiction story without considering that for a good long while.

Quick thought 25 Mar 2023

A mystery to tax the wisdom of Solomon. Wawa’s removal of hash browns from their menu—and specifically the ability to put one inside a breakfast burrito—is just a bizarre decision. We can’t be the only ones who want this!

Bonus food whine added at 12:30: who’s the genius that decided National Cheesesteak Day should fall on a Friday during lent?!


Quick thought 24 Mar 2023

Tick, tock. It’s almost baseball season, and it’s 2023, so I thought this morning that we might be coming up on the 30th anniversary of “Homer At The Bat.”

Nope! It actually came out 31 years ago and in February! Time is stupid!

The World Baseball Classic is cool and good and should happen every June

At this blog, we’re going to take it for granted that Shohei Otani is cool as shit (and should be a Met by this time next year). The World Baseball Classic had a ton of highs, and I’m sad that it’s already over and excited for the next one. But the WBC is such a weird baseball event that even though I followed the tournament in gamer and YouTube clip form, I didn’t watch that many of the games themselves.

Part of it is that it happens in March, sure: I spent my sports-watching chits on the NCAA tournament over the weekend (though I seemed to have other things to do Saturday around noon). I’m not opposed to winter baseball, but the rhythm isn’t there yet.