DRDB! 1!

Strange worlds hiding in plain sight, ethics in design, John Bonham, and a good-ass poem.

Welcome! Thank you for being here! Please excuse the construction mess (we’re having a bidet put in). This will be scatterbrained collection of good things to read/dive into, sometimes fun, sometimes Serious, and always always always better than whatever David Brooks excreted onto his keyboard this week (I like to set easy goals for myself). Please enjoy. —Karl


A Business With No End: Where does this strange empire start or stop? (NYT Style)
A glimpse into a surreal underground of phantom online retailers and a cultish evangelical university. It reads like one of Thomas Pynchon's paranoia-comedy conspiracy novels, except it's very real.

Who Do Designers Really Work For? (Adobe Blog)
While most people in Silicon Valley are busy worrying about how to make money or how to make even more money, Mike Monteiro is one of the few figures seriously talking about ethics in design and business. "Those of us who grew up designing things online need to realize the repercussions of the work we do. We’re no longer pushing pixels around. We’re building complex systems that touch people’s lives, affect their personal relationships, broadcast both words of support and hate, and undeniably affect their mental health. When we do our jobs well we improve people’s lives. When we don’t, people die."

A good-ass poem by Gabrielle Calvocoressi (The New Yorker via tumblr)
"The days I don't want to kill myself
are extraordinary."

What Makes John Bonham Such a Good Drummer? (Polyphonic/YouTube, 10 minutes) 
Finally, something about music theory that makes some kind of sense.

Roma is filmmaking as gesture, an invitation to generosity that we perhaps didn’t know we could feel.” (Time)
Distributed by Netflix and available to stream on December 14th, Roma is 100% worth finding in theaters while you can. Cuaron uses every millimeter of the frame to surround this beautiful story with the epic scenery of 1970s Mexico. It will fall flat on a laptop screen.

Nihilist Dad Jokes (McSweeney’s)
”Why don’t skeletons go trick or treating? They have no body to go with them! The skeletons are like us: alone, empty, dead already.”

“Abolish the senate and publicly fund elections.” (The Atlantic)
John Dingell, representative from Michigan from 1955-2015, on how to radically fix the federal government in our lifetimes.

Nearly Mythical 3-Foot-Long Swamp Salamander Is Officially a Real Species (Earther/Gizmodo)
This world is a garbage barge on fire but at least the barge still has a few surprises for us, like this newly-discovered and very funky Florida eel.

"If UCF beats three-loss LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, the Knights ought to claim another national championship this season. And another next year, and every year until Bama stops ducking them." (The Ringer)
College sports are corrupt. Wait, more accurate: all major sports organizations are corrupt, but college sports are possibly the most corrupt. (Their main competition is FIFA soccer, an organization that removed the word "corruption" from its own code of ethics.) What makes college sports unique is the many subtle layers of villainy that make up the whole. It's the German Schichttorte of corruption. Take, for example, the undefeated-since-2016 UCF Knights football team who will not have a whiff of a chance to compete for a national title because a committee dominated by Power 5 conference schools decided UCF didn't deserve the chance or the money or the TV airtime. Behind the scenes, the FBI is still investigating NCAA basketball (some coaches were fired, everything else stayed the same). The NCAA is bending over backwards to avoid paying its players all while some of the players ARE being paid, under the table, in cash, by anonymous boosters and their cronies. (Hands you pile of pamphlets) The system is broken, man. Here check out this literature.

Much Better Sports: Hero Dog Plays Goalkeeper, Saves Goal (Deadspin)

Ban Billionaires, a t-shirt by Clayton Cubitt

"ban billionaires" t-shirt

❤️ Thanks for reading. ❤️