Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Zadie Smith Takes On Facebook

While you're waiting for Zadie Smith to come out with her next novel, you could do worse than reading her  New York Review of Books essay on Facebook, the life and the movie. Take a look at it here.

A couple of points that particularly intrigued me. First, the idea that programming happens haphazardly, but is easy to get locked in, because, though mediocre, it becomes too big, or in this case, too interfaced, to fail. I buy this. I work in a store where we are still working with IBID, a DOS-based program. Believe me when I tell you that we are not the only bookstore operating back in the dark ages. It is stable, but ridiculous. In the case of Facebook, Smith urges us to keep in mind that this program was created by and retains the traces of the desires of a college sophomore.

The second point I'll just quote:

To ourselves, we are special people, documented in wonderful photos, and it also happens that we sometimes buy things. This latter fact is an incidental matter, to us. However, the advertising money that will rain down on Facebook—if and when Zuckerberg succeeds in encouraging 500 million people to take their Facebook identities onto the Internet at large—this money thinks of us the other way around. To the advertisers, we are our capacity to buy, attached to a few personal, irrelevant photos.

So check it out. Although I wasn't that crazy about her third novel, On Beauty, she is one of those writers I will always read.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Friday is World Toilet Day

No, don't worry, I am not getting into bathroom humor here. No,  I got an email that Friday is the day that Water For People has deemed "World Toilet Day". This (slightly) humorous celebration is meant to underscore the fact that 2.6 billion people lack access to a toilet. I know--that's a hard number to believe, right. But apparently true.

So check out this site for things you can do so that people can have access to something you pretty much take for granted...   

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Matchbook Story #3

Remember me mentioning Matchbook Story awhile back? Of course you do! Well, you'll be pleased to know that my good friend and coworker Susan McCloskey's story became the "inside the cover" story for Matchbook Story #3. Maybe the matchbooks aren't in your area yet (though believe me, the enterprising editor Kyle Petersen has a growing empire), but don't fret. You can read the matchbook--and hear the interview--here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A sports post? Moi?

Okay, I know this is already going viral so almost everyone will have seen it already. But just in case you're as out of the loop as me, check out this fiendish football play: