Quick thought 10 April 2023

Banking on it. This Digiday article about the fallout of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse on the advertising world wasn’t world-shaking in its revelations: it turns out companies need to pay attention to where they bank and be a little more careful with their cash on hand. But I really wish they’d included my favorite sports detail from this weekend, which is that when Alison Jackson won the Paris-Rubaix Femmes avec Zwift Saturday, she did so in kit just covered in the SVB logo because they’re still one of the main sponsors of her team, EF Education–TIBCO–SVB.


Quick thought 3 April 2023

Taking the L: It’s honestly pretty embarrassing that, despite being around music for a quarter century and a fan of Belle and Sebastian for almost that long, I’m only learning from his obituary that Seymour Stein was not just a real person but one of the most influential music executives of the past 75 years.

He signed the Ramones, the Talking Heads and Madonna! He got Lou Reed to write New York! What a fucking life!

Seymour Stein, Record Industry Giant Who Signed Madonna, Dies at 80 (New York Times)

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.