“I think in general it’s like life is tricky because it happens once and there’s no opportunity for A/B testing. It could be that you are living your best possible life and that if you re-play Felix Salmon’s life hundreds of other times, that this life you’re living is the best or among the top 5 percent of lives that you would have lived, and in lots of other ones you’d end up in an alley or in an unhappy relationship or with a job where you’re not intellectually fulfilled, and that you have found this amazing path. It’s also possible that you’re not even in the top 50 percent of lives and that your life is really tragic and that despite all the wonderful and impressive and amazing things you’ve done, that you had the potential to do all these incredible other things that would have been either bigger in scale or more fulfilling or more modest and simple, but more pleasurable or whatever. That there were all these other paths that would be better. It’s, I think, hard to say whether there is something I missed that would have made things much better. In general, I’m pretty happy, and all these imagined alternate lives, I wouldn’t know how to even begin to speculate on how they’d compare.”—BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti Goes Long — Medium
“Inside these cabinets are the remains that, after nearly 13 years of the most rigorous testing known to man, have not been matched to the DNA of any of the victims. Just drawers and drawers full of…stuff. I wouldn’t really want to think too hard about what exactly that stuff is, but given that it’s a picture window looking out at cabinetry, there isn’t really anything else to think about. This chamber is meant to be a sanctuary, but I cannot ruminate about the arbitrary cruelty of the universe or lament the vagaries of loss and love because all there is to see are armoires packed with carefully labeled bags of flesh too ruined and desiccated even for science. My sister is among the many for whom there have been no remains recovered whatsoever. Vaporized. So there’s no grave to visit, there never will be. Just this theatrically lit Ikea warehouse behind a panel of glass.”—
"When he messages women on OKCupid, it’s time-consuming: He reads the profile and tailors each email with personal details. On Tinder, he basically tweaks the same message. “The last person I matched with was Allison,” he says. If he were to send a message to Allison on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, it would read: Hey there Miss Allison. What kind of trouble did you get into this weekend? :) “That’s exactly what I do, every fucking time,” he says, laughing. For Wednesday: Hey there Miss Allison. What sort of trouble are you getting into this week? :) Thursday or Friday: What kind of trouble are you getting into this weekend? :) And if it’s Saturday: What kind of trouble have you been getting into? :)"
I found this in my drafts folder and it turns out I agree with everything I thought in April 2012, and I’m not sure why I never published it but anyway, here it is.
On Books and Cringing
I’ve thought more about the Awl’s "What Books Make You Cringe to Remember?" feature from the other day, and what exactly about it galled me, and I think it was mostly that I got this sense that what everyone (except Baratunde! On which more later) asked was saying was actually saying that “everyone should have read this book at a more naive time in their lives, i.e. high school, and if you are just reading it now and you are not in high school, and god forbid you take it seriously or admit that you liked it, then that is me over there snickering at your cluelessness.” I admit that there is probably an optimal time to read many of the books on the list, and I do feel that because I never went through a phase where I felt compelled to read Ayn Rand, thank god, it is now officially Too Late For Me To Read Ayn Rand, and it reminds me of a conversation I had not too long ago about Paul Auster. The person I was having this conversation with had never read Paul Auster, and I said, “Oh, ‘City of Glass’ is really good,” and he seemed sort of skeptical, and then I said, “Well I really liked it when I read it, but I guess that was in college,” and he said, “Yeah… that was the sense I got, that I had kind of missed the moment to read Paul Auster.” But that also makes me sort of sad, right? That like, we are now too pretentious or world-weary to read certain books or certain authors.
“Decide what you want, and then own it without shame. Knowing what you want, even if you might never get it, doesn’t make you a loser. Owning what you want, and sticking your neck out for it: That’s what separates happy people from unhappy people. Standing up for your dreams and politely declining to “be cool” and “hang” and play along with the status quo? These actions are crucial. They shape your whole life. Without them, you are merely a spectator. As a woman, you will be denigrated for saying what you want. Because you have made your desires known, and because those desires might be inconvenient to others, you are a problem. People are very good at shaming desire out of women. This is not a conspiracy. This is social reproduction. These are the natural forces that uphold the status quo.”—Ask Polly: Should I Give My Commitment-Phobic Boyfriend An Ultimatum? - The Awl
Buzzfeed’s Editorial Director and Beastmaster Jack Tapper and Director of Editorial Development Tanner Ringerud’s REVIEW OF MY CAT, giving our beloved felines the judgment they always give to us, based on their Tumblr of the same name, to Shana Drehs at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, for publication in…
Jack Tapper? I think they mean Jack Shepherd. Anyway, yay!
“The celebrity social-media comeback is a byproduct of two larger cultural trends, said Scott Lamb, BuzzFeed’s editorial director (and the 18th “most viral” person on the Internet, according to the Web site Gizmodo). One is the cultural nostalgia for which the Web, with its video clips and searchability, is such an ideal medium. The other, he said, is a softening of the “nasty and gotcha-based” tone that has long pervaded celebrity journalism. “It’s obviously really difficult for someone who’s considered B-list or washed up to break back into the popular consciousness” through television or magazines, Mr. Lamb said. “But with social media, if you’re talented and good at it, it’s more of a meritocracy. There are no gatekeepers.””—Careers of Former Stars Renewed by Social Media - NYTimes.com