At the end of each day, I write an “atomic sentence,” a single statement that summarizes the most vital lesson about that day.
At times where I flail, fumble, and otherwise seek a signpost, these sentences have helped — personal lifelines indicating a larger story. Each day, an atomic unit in a living network.
Future shock is over. Apple Watch reveals that we suffer a new affliction: future ennui. The excitement of a novel technology (or anything, really) has been replaced—or at least dampened—by the anguish of knowing its future burden. This listlessness might yet prove even worse than blind boosterism or cynical naysaying. Where the trauma of future shock could at least light a fire under its sufferers, future ennui exudes the viscous languor of indifferent acceptance. It doesn’t really matter that the Apple Watch doesn’t seem necessary, no more than the iPhone once didn’t too. Increasingly, change is not revolutionary, to use a word Apple has made banal, but presaged.
Right now, almost every major news story turns on a single set of unresolved ethical questions: What should we do about the new proliferation of cameras? What should we do when the images they capture wind up on the Internet? It is a debate about a distinctly new technological phenomenon, and we can see aspects of it everywhere: from the imminent war against ISIS to the leaked nude images of female celebrities; from the proposal of police body-cams to the NFL’s treatment of domestic abuser Ray Rice.
In 2001, the iPod was a new entrant in a new space littered with false starts, attempting to disrupt a well-established product category. Using it necessitated owning a separate, more robust device as a hub. It would be the precursor to the iPhone six years later, which would eclipse its…
A #PerfectRecording is a song that exceeds our most acute memory of it. Often, our brain stores imperfect moments and then generously blurs the edges, giving vibrancy to a three-hour reading of the “Odyssey,” or adding layers of hilarious serendipity to a grueling five-hour car ride. Perfect recordings, though, are shot through with some spiritual cement that never loses its adhesive power. Our brain doesn’t need to be generous; these recordings are overloaded, at the level of significance. Our memories can’t hold the entirety of these moments, but they hold a persistent feeling that we need to go back, again and again, to recapture as much as we can of what was first captured as a recording.