The Spectacular Power of Big Lens
How one giant optical company will dominate the way the whole world sees.
42 Minutes - by Sam Knight for The Guardian
The Promise of Vaping and the Rise of Juul
Teens have taken a technology that was supposed to help grownups stop smoking and invented a new kind of bad habit, molded in their own image.
13 Minutes - by Jia Tolentino for The New Yorker
This is How Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit
The story of how one metric has changed the way you see the world.
18 Minutes - by Tobias-Rose Stockwell for Medium
The Curse of the Ramones
"When they left the stage, that fellowship fell away. They would climb into their van and ride to a hotel or their next show in silence. Two of the members, Johnny and Joey, didn't speak to each other for most of the band's 22-year history."
19 Minutes - by Mikal Gilmore for Rolling Stone Magazine
The Invisible Man
A profile of Cormac McCarthy slightly before gaining massive literary fame.
10 Minutes - by Robert Draper for Texas Monthly
Meet the Intellectual Renegades of the Dark Web
An alliance of heretics is making an end run around the mainstream conversation. Should we be listening?
14 Minutes - by Bari Weiss for The New York Times
My Life as a Young Thug
Mike Tyson writing about his youth.
18 Minutes - by Mike Tyson for NYMag
Playboy Interview: Frank Sinatra
From 1963: "I don’t know what other singers feel when they articulate lyrics, but being an 18-karat manic-depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an overacute capacity for sadness as well as elation."
19 Minutes - by Joe Hyams for Playboy Magazine
Remember back in the 90’s and early aughts when it was a badge of intellectual honor to declare “I don’t watch TV.” My how times have changed. Now, it not only would be a lie to make that declaration (is that a TV in your pocket orrrrrr…?), it would be missing out on the majority of cultural and intellectual conversation to do so. That can be squarely attributed to what most people in media would brand today’s proliferation of content as a “golden age.” And, save for print media, that golden age is blanketing a variety of formats. Standup comedy is back on top, (if you ask me, the number of Netflix specials that are out right now is near overkill)
radio podcasts are booming, and the “series” is king.
In the classical “Golden Age” of Greek Mythology, the time was typified by peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity. Today’s golden age of media consumption has thrived mainly because those first two attributes don’t exist, and that last one, prosperity, is experienced by a chosen few (and for not very long in the grand scheme of our current, ephemeral media climax).
In order for today’s media golden age to move forward, a war must continue to escalate from a technology and an artistic talent perspective, and the current rate of tech innovation must remain… unstable (i.e., the definition of innovation).
Thus, I’ve broken down the golden age into a highly advanced formula.
Golden Age = Artistic Talent/Ambition + Level of Business Competition + Format Innovation
(I’m not a mathematician, so feel free to throw some quantitative complexity in there if you’d like)
Let’s break it down:
Artistic Talent: The creators are the lynchpin to the whole machine. Comedians need to make people laugh, writers need to create new ideas and develop interesting stories, and talking heads need to… have an entertaining way to articulate an infinite number of opinions of the same story. Without the talent, there is no consumption.
Format Innovation: Streaming, streaming, streaming (& subscription models). It’s a (relatively) new innovation coupled with a standard business model. It gives the consumer the power of more choice and a near infinite library of options, while providing the man with recurring revenuuuues.
Business Competition: Many speculative investment dollar$ need to be flowing into the coffers of multiple key players who can, over a period of time, convince investors that the new innovation and business model will ultimately pay off. They sell their differentiated value propositions to the money people, and the longer they can keep that dream alive, the longer the golden age lasts. Competition is great, as it helps the highest quality to rise to the top.
Just look at Netflix’s output of true-crime documentaries alone (a single genre!). Back in the day, we had America’s Most-Wanted to look forward to once a week. Now, we have entire 20-point long blog listicles rating the best series currently on Netflix! What a world.
All of this is to say: enjoy. We’re at peak TV. Peak content creation in general. That is partly why we exist. To parse through the misses for you. So just remember, nothing lasts forever. So be sure to binge away, and while you’re at it, we highly recommend watching Evil Genius. Produced by the Duplass Brothers (Wild, Wild Country), it’s the best crime series since Making a Murderer, in our opinion. We might be in the dark ages in some areas of society, but not on the tube, so retreat to comfort... you've earned that distraction.
P.s. Love you mom
Got ideas? Wanna chat?
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
17 Hunts Lane
Brooklyn, NY 11201