DRDB! 12: "wholesome vines i think about alot"

Facebook is an immoral data-mining scam. Twitter is an echo chamber filled with angry, shrieking birds. Tumblr is slowly gathering dust. What does the next wave of social media look like? Do people flock back to MySpace? Or does something new come along? I’m excited for one old favorite to rise again: Vine, in the form of Byte. For a hot second it was named V2 or Vine 2, and it is “a new looping video app by the creator of vine *coming spring 2019*.”

Vine was good. It just wasn’t for everyone. Twitter didn’t know what to do with Vine once they owned it. Twitter sure as hell didn’t know what do with the users who embraced the platform, who were largely NOT white Silicon Valley bros. Once they realized they couldn’t wring major profits and growth out of Vine, and that its appeal as a platform was limited way below the “take over the world and destroy the competition” threshold that investors demand, they folded it.

There’s space on the internet for social media middle classes: apps and platforms that don’t take over the world but do steady business for a moderately-sized user base. Call it internet regionalism. Subway, McDonald’s and Starbucks are the largest fast-food chains in the world and yet there is still plenty of room for El Pollo Loco, In-N-Out, Runza, Whataburger, Krystal, Wawa, Amigos, Popeyes, Caribou Coffee, Yoshinoya, and all the other smaller chains in smaller areas.

Some tech folks recognize this and hopefully more will. Until then, I’m looking forward to more wholesome video loop goodness.

  1. The magical thinking of guys who love logic (The Outline)
    “For men, especially insecure and socially dislocated men, the idea of ‘rationality’ can be a kind of comfort blanket.”

  2. The Test We Use to Detect Depression Is Designed for White People (Tonic)
    “Although the rate of suicide among white children fell between 1993 and 2012, the rate among black children nearly doubled. And in blacks ranging from 15 to 24 years old, suicide ranks as the third-leading cause of death.”

  3. ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates (Politico)
    “Moderates and centrists and Democratic candidates still don’t understand what happened in 2016 and they didn’t realize, like Hillary Clinton, that she wasn’t just running a presidential campaign, she was involved in a global information war.” State-sponsored surveillance and disinformation is Putin’s whole deal.

  4. Atlantic City Is Really Going Down This Time (Longreads)
    When a failing casino town faces something even worse: rising sea levels. “There is a pervasive Tale of Two Cities narrative that hangs around Atlantic City—the obscene wealth that circulates within the casinos butting up against dilapidated row houses outside—but the reality is rich people don’t really live in Atlantic City, they just come for conventions. It’s a city of waitresses and bartenders, and many of the residents are elderly. Others moved here after being driven out of Philadelphia and New York by rising rents. Some of them do not have anywhere inland to which they can evacuate. A stronger hurricane, a more direct hit, and people will lose everything.”

  5. Don't Read Thomas Friedman Either (Intelligencer)

  6. Punjabi Deli: New York’s Favorite Rest Stop (Roads & Kingdoms)
    Another year, another New York bright spot under threat from a changing economic climate and sharply-increased rent.

  7. Amazon Got Burned by Its Own HQ2 Game Show (The Ringer)
    “Amazon blames meddling local lawmakers for scuttling the deal, but the company should own up to its agency in meeting legitimate local concerns with hardball. It’s a recurring Amazon tactic. In Seattle, the tech giant stopped construction on a new building last spring to protest a proposed per-employee tax to raise funding for affordable housing and homelessness. There, Amazon got its way when the tax was rescinded by the City Council just weeks after it was passed.”

  8. Patricia Lockwood travels through the internet (London Review of Books)
    One of the great and most-online writers of our time gives a lecture at the British Museum, and it’s a glitched-out, psychedelic, hot beef injection of beauty.

  9. The most radical Pogs video of all time has finally been unearthed (A.V. Club)
    “‘Milkcap Krazy,’ which comes courtesy of YouTube’s Consumer Time Capsule, introduces viewers to Pogs with a concentrated hit of spastic, mid-‘90s video editing and some old-fashioned ‘tude.”

  10. Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same (Bloomberg)
    “Cheap stick framing has led to a proliferation of blocky, forgettable mid-rises—and more than a few construction fires.”

  11. George Saunders' Writing Education: A Time Line (New Yorker)
    A remarkably-sweet love letter to teachers and mentors, almost too saccharine, in that way George Saunders somehow pulls off all the time.

  12. An Oral History of Office Space (The Ringer)
    I’m not kidding in the slightest when I tell you that Office Space changed my life for the better. This is full of great little bits and stories. The thing that really impressed me is Mike Judge’s attention to detail. His vision and specificity is… something else.

In great news, Stereolab announced their first major tour in a decade, which is a great reason to go back and listen to Emperor Tomato Ketchup.