I’m finally reading The Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs. I’m keeping pretty detailed notes, so when I post it to /books, there’ll be a pretty detailed take, but I can say for sure that I’m really enjoying it.
- The Case for Open Borders was more substantive and realistic than expected: this is one of those political positions that’s really well-represented in the far left but has so few proponents doing the legwork (a lot like public housing).
- Both in the vein of rethinking value: Soviet Collapse Echoes in China’s Belt and Road and Google’s 350 Billion Haircut are both engaging pieces of context, history, and rhetoric: one arguing that China’s geographical focus will slow, and stop its growth, and the other that Google’s inability to find a post-advertising business will lead to a huge correction in its value.
- Why are Nerve Agents so Difficult to Make? is equal parts reassuring and riveting, as the title suggests. I love the straightforward, technical tone that Bellingcat continues to publish.
- This creed by Thor Harris is excellent.
- Last month I noted Wistia’s post about buying out their investors. This month Buffer published a post on the same rough topic. Buffer is known for publishing all salaries and similar open-by-default strategies, and it’s neat, in the very least, how their writing style is influenced by that. But, as evident in the blog post, they’ve had a lot of problems in the last few years.
This is a solid season for music: lots of bands are releasing albums, and I’ve been finding a bunch of new albums I like.
Darwin Deez released 10 Songs that Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart. His style has changed a lot over the years: the difference in vocal mix between this and his self-titled is huge. Double Down felt like it went too far in the pop direction, but this album adds back guitar and synth edges that put his music right back squarely in my interests.
I’m really enjoying Screaming Females - and have noticed that their leader, Marissa Paternoster, is using a hip strap for guitar — a good development, in my opinion, for an instrument with lots of ergonomic problems.
Zoe Keating’s music has been in my library for years, but I haven’t listened to it intently for far too long. Returning to a track like Optimist shows a sort of melodic side to it that I was missing in earlier listens, where I got the feeling that she was relying heavily on complexity and volume contrasts.
I have a preorder for this next Dodos album, and am really excited to see them in San Francisco in October (hit me up if you’re also going).
Bad Moves is keeping DC angular-happy-punk alive, and I’m very excited for their next album. Their music videos in the lead-up to release have also been great: the renaissance-people band includes Katie Park, a talented graphics editor/engineer/dataviz person, and Daod Tyler-Ameen, a writer/actor/editor/drummer.