Not all sending-the-world-a-link publishing should vanish into FaceTwimblr+, methinks. So let’s batch a few up.
On Work · I already plugged this, but it deserves another go-around. Colby Cosh’s Artisan chocolate and social revolution is the best essay by anyone I’ve read anywhere lately. You need to read this, especially if you’re young and wondering what to do with your life.
On Publishing · Nobody knows what the future of publishing is, but boy, are things ever moving fast. It’s not controversial to say that many of the incumbents are doomed; an exception might be The Economist group, which may be a little hidebound, but is smarter-than-average. I’ve been reading their Lean Back 2.0 blog with interest. On the plus side, it is occasionally numbers-rich; on the other hand, they allow people to refer to that stuff on the pages as “digital content”, which feels to me like pretty conclusive evidence that they don’t really care about it in the right way.
Publishing has historically been joined at the hip to advertising and I see few indications that’s changing. Which makes John Battelle’s On Thneeds and the “Death Of Display” a must-read. His distinction between the “dependent” and “independent” Webs is incredibly important, and I think that most people in the biz haven’t the slightest grasp of the notion. Sort of gloomy, but at least clear-eyed.
On TV · I got this one from Matt Mullenweg, and is it ever true: Your New TV Ruins Movies. Not to mentions sports, concerts, and news. I poked around and found that, sure enough, our TV had a “cinema” mode and, sure enough, everything looks more real that way. Not going back.
On Laundry · Back in 2010 John Hempton, excellent Aussie econoblogger, wrote (and I plugged) Lessons in my laundry — part 1. I recommend re-reading it. This year he followed up with Lessons in my laundry: Hong Kong edition, and it’s equally excellent.
On God · Belief in whom is plummeting among young Americans, which is big news. For many years I have not believed in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, nor that a male deity sent a special message to humanity via any illiterate resident of any part of the Middle East. Increasingly, as I age, the practice of religion seems stranger and stranger, further and further outside the bounds of civilized behavior.
On Music · I love it, and I hope enough people can support themselves doing it that it’ll be there for me and my kids. Mind you, music has never been a good way to make a living, but let’s hope. Little hope is in view if you look in the direction of the music business. Here are a couple of incredibly negative, jaundiced (but still apparently fair) morning-after views of the same conversation: Islands of Opportunity and Last Night.
On Canada · Hey, Canadians are as wealthy as Americans. Now, there’s a certain amount of luck at work here: we’re energy-rich in an energy-hungry world. And furthermore, our housing bubble hasn’t popped yet.
But there’s steak behind the sizzle: Reasonably-robust bank regulation, single-payer health insurance, and no political energy to speak of wasted battling right-to-lifers or homophobes or gun nuts or other flavors of wingnuttery.