What I'm reading 9/20-9/27


Have You Encountered the Softboy? - Alan Hanson

  1. "The Softboy doesn't want to talk to you about The Wire. He concedes that it is 'objectively good television' yet 'ultimately problematic' and 'undeserving of its lionization.' Obviously, he is an Ally."

The Death of the Party - Teddy Wayne

  1. "Except for a few years, the number of homebodies who never attended parties as high school seniors has steadily increased, to 41.3 percent in 2014 from 11.6 percent in 1987, and it's accelerated in the new millennium, more than doubling since 2001."

Infrastructure as code would be easy if we cared - No Fun Allowed

  1. "We need to be realistic about how much we care about correctness."

The Bipolar Lisp Programmer - Mark Tarver

  1. "Now the other aspect of the [brilliant bipolar mind] that I remarked on is his sensitivity to artifice. To put it in plain American, he knows bullshit when he smells it. Most of us do. However the BBM has much lower tolerance of it than others. He can often see the absurdity of the way things are, and has the intelligence to see how they should be. And he is, unlike the rank and file, unprepared to compromise. And this leads to many things."

Fuccbois, Beta Bros, Softboys, Man-Children - Emily Rappaport

  1. "It’s a commodification of the avant-garde wherein people’s understanding of themselves as countercultural is rooted not in their beliefs or in how they treat people, but in what they choose to consume. These guys use art as a kind of reflective armor that protects them from having to engage intellectually or intimately in ways that make themselves vulnerable, and also from having to look critically at their own behaviors."

  2. "So it’s probably not surprising that these artists often make work that is neither freaky nor prophetic nor beautiful, but derivate, bland, or even non-existent."

Who Wants to Be a Legionnaire? - Margaret Talbot

  1. "The other [leading cause for the waning of civic engagement] is television, the heavy watching of which, Putnam says, is 'the single most consistent predictor' of low civic engagement. TV not only 'steals time,' it breeds 'lethargy and passivity.'"

  2. "In the late 70's, for instance, the average American entertained friends at home about 14 times a year; now it's more like 8."

A user’s manual - The Economist

  1. "Conservative attitudes or a religious family background may be the factors that increase the likelihood of reporting problematic use of pornography, she says. 'With porn, people say they are addicted when they just like it.'"

The sad state of web app development - Eevee

  1. "My experience is admittedly limited here, but as far as I can tell, installing a Rails app is impossible."

'I Was There': On Kurt Vonnegut - William Deresiewicz

  1. "Beneath the anger, though, the sense of desperation is profound. Vonnegut had always been a bitter and resentful man, uncomfortable with intimacy, a heavy drinker, the lonely little boy who could never make up for the love he didn't get. Now he had broken up his marriage and plunged into the maelstrom of celebrity."

  2. "The book is so jumbled, Vonnegut explains in the opening chapter, 'because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre.'"