Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Playboy Interview: A Candid Conversation with Gawker's Nick Denton:

PLAYBOY: You're more willing than most people to organize your life according to principle and see how the experiment turns out.

DENTON: You could argue that privacy has never really existed. Usually people's friends or others in the village had a pretty good idea what was going on. You could look at this as the resurrection of or a return to the essential nature of human existence: We were surrounded by obvious scandal throughout most of human existence, when everybody knew everything. Then there was a brief period when people moved to the cities and social connections were frayed, and there was a brief period of sufficient anonymity to allow for transgressive behavior no one ever found out about. That brief era is now coming to an end.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Heart of Blandness: A Walking Tour of Silicon Valley:

Silicon Valley is also marketed as The Future of Humanity.

But as a human landscape, it's a crushingly boring sunny suburban slab of freeways, fast food, traffic, and long smoggy boulevards of faded retail sprawling out to endless housing developments of sand-colored stucco boxes. It's Phoenix with milder weather, Orlando minus the mosquitos.

Tech-loving travelers come from around the world to see Silicon Valley, but there's nothing to see—no Times Square, no French Quarter, just low-rise office parks and security guards circling the parking lots. Could anything be gained by walking from corporate landmark to corporate landmark? Maybe not, but two days of walking always beats two days of looking at a computer, even if I'd be walking from technology company to technology company.