Thoughts for the week’s end

Neko Case released The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You in 2013 and there was something about the mood on that album that I could completely zone out to with headphones while working in a loud environment. At the time, I would go to the student union at WSU and cruise through a bunch of code. When I took my headphones out a couple hours later, I felt like I was in a daze.

The last couple mornings have been filled with the sound of demolition work as our landlord took out our leaky shower to prep for a tiler. I’ve been able to sit at the table across the house with my headphones in, cruising through a bunch of code while listening to Jenny Lewis’s album from last year, On The Line, over and over. It’s extremely good.

The bass that plays—I can’t tell if it’s actually a bass or some other trick with a shattered speaker or something—at 3:37 and 3:48 on the track Dogwood stunned me enough that I kept going back to it. It’s really powerful.

The bass player credited on that track is Don Was and I spent more than a few minutes listening to other things on his list of credits to try and figure out if it was a thing. The track, Long Distance, off of Iggy Pop’s Avenue B album had similar bass-y vibes, but I wasn’t really sure and decided to get back to work.

I never thought until today whether “tiler” was actually a word. It is.


Don’t fall behind on tonight’s Iowa caucuses: Sign up to get alerts directly from our reporters as t…

A mobile notification from The NY Times, February 3, 2020 at 3:48pm PST

I almost laughed out loud when I received this notification from The NY Times on Monday. Fall behind?

I’m not sure what it is I fell behind on by not getting more alerts. I think I’ve grasped that Iowa was a cluster.


I did laugh out loud reading these recipes generated by AI.


It was also sometime around Monday that I saw the publication Delayed Gratification mentioned somewhere (I wish I remembered). It’s advertised as “slow journalism”: a “quarterly publication which revisits the events of the last three months to offer in-depth, independent journalism in an increasingly frantic world.”

I’m going to give it a shot because I appreciate the principle.


A bunch of nonsense somehow reminded me of early 2009, when Twitter was still innocent and Ashton Kutcher beat @cnnbrk to be the first account with a million followers. CNN was late enough to the game that it had just acquired the @cnnbrk account only a few days earlier—a previously unaffiliated account that had built up 900k followers just by tweeting CNN breaking news headlines.

Now every big news group writes full stories sourced almost solely on tweets that were sent just hours ago.

Not falling behind indeed.


Not everything needs an app. That could be a statement about the Iowa caucuses, but also!—I read the first half of Progressive Web Apps yesterday and, even though it’s a pretty high level overview, it provides some good food for thought.

I’ve been using Twitter’s PWA rather than the app for the last couple months and it’s been great. Every time I open the WordPress admin on my phone I think about how it’s not a PWA and in what ways I want to make it one.

I’m pretty sure there’s room for multiple apps. One of them specifically for simple posting without a bunch of options. Something to play with.


An important lens to look at Iowa with is how inaccessible the entire caucus process is to several groups of people. Washington state is using ballots state-wide for the first time this year and is pretty happy about that decision.

A very funny (🤔) thing about Washington is that primary ballots were still mailed out in previous years—that’s how I voted in the 2016 primary—they were just ignored in favor of the caucus results.

I literally found out today that my vote didn’t count.


Only a day after last week’s note, I discovered that TikTok is the reason the 1983 song, Break My Stride, was trending in Sweden—and continues to trend in many countries.

I came to this conclusion via Chris Heathcote’s weekly note, which I just learned of via things magazine. The BBC also wrote about it last week.

It’s interesting to think about the impacts that new mediums have on charts and other processes organized around old mediums.

Bonus: I also learned of Max Foster, a CNN correspondent who appears to have mastered how to be a 47 year old news person on TikTok.


This is a really nice coronavirus tracker (with a mobile version) from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins. An overview of the sourcing is in this blog post.

Is it a stretch to say that this is some of the best reporting done on the virus so far?


John le Carré was awarded the Olof Palme award this year and presented a beautiful, thought-provoking acceptance speech that reads as a biography of Olof Palme.

I’m a fan of Le Carré’s general use of language in his Smiley novels. This was heartwarming and inspiring to read.

✌️

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