1. Going Over the Limit
A few years ago, a parent explained his kids’ experience with the newly released iPad: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” It might surprise you to learn that the parent who said that was Steve Jobs. But to many tech entrepreneurs, investors, and journalists, that quote will hardly sound like a revelation. Here’s former Wired editor Chris Anderson: “We have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.” As Nick Bilton writes in the NYT, those closest to technology are often those most wary of it. The benefits of technology are countless. But we need to consider the impact of these technologies — especially as we start to wear them on our person — as we move forward. I have seen devices and social networks bring distant people together. I have also seen my daughter kiss my laptop goodnight.
+ “Pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.” Back in 2011, the NYT’s Matt Richtel talked to the tech execs who send their kids to Waldorf.
2. The Long(er) War
The New Yorker’s John Cassidy sums up President Obama’s return to the familiar battlefield: “Still, the fact remains: President Obama, long a reluctant warrior, has committed the United States to a risky and open-ended military campaign, the ultimate consequences of which are difficult to predict. Confronted with popular outrage at the beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and political opponents keen to exploit any hint of weakness or indecision, the realist has relented.”
+ Fred Kaplan on the complexities: “So, the cause is just, and Obama’s plan sounds reasonable, even nuanced. What could go wrong? Well, as anyone who’s studied the region (and the cavalier predictions made, time and again, by Westerners who go to war there), everything.”
3. Nine Eleven
Thirteen years after first responders ran in while everyone else was running out, Rex Sorgatz reflects on the changes he’s seen from his life atop Ground Zero. “The new World Trade Center is the embodiment of New York City as the fantasy it has always projected, a constantly refurbished dream of America. In this place, images can change, but names are always waiting to be remembered. This is what it means to never forget.”
+ “We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft. I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.” WaPo with another reminder of just how crazy that day was: F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11.
+ Longreads has a excellent collection of archived stories about 9-11.
4. Let’s Go to the Videotape
The NFL says they didn’t see the Ray Rice tape. A report from the AP suggests that law enforcement sent the tape to their offices back April, and now a former FBI director will investigate. What did they see and when did they see it? That question is a red herring. It doesn’t matter. Why? Because we know that everyone had already seen the original video of Rice pulling his then-fiancee out of the elevator unconscious. His abuse of her has never been in question. Because we know that, we also know that his increased suspension was not a reaction to them seeing the second tape. It was a reaction to you seeing it.
+ “Pro football, I love you, but we can’t see each other anymore. And it’s definitely you, not me.” My indie syndication partner Jason Kottke: I’m quitting football.
5. Low Riders
As a kid, I was nicknamed Low Riders because I wore my pants low. It was less a fashion statement than a reaction to the place along the body shape continuum upon which I fell (what the experts would describe as a pear atop two toothpicks). But the level I wore my pants was high compared to the sag exhibited by some of today’s teens who seem satisfied if their belt rises above the calf. It’s a style that’s rooted in history, and one that has been attacked by parents and politicians for years. From NPR: Sagging Pants And The Long History Of Dangerous Street Fashion.
6. I’m the 22 Percent
“He logs into the internal project room where team members post discussions about what they’re doing. It’s buzzing with hundreds of updates from employees working from their homes in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the East Coast. Most of them only see each other once or twice a year. Mullenweg turns on some jazz and starts reading. There will be no formal meetings today, or on any day this month. And only rarely does anyone communicate using email … And that is how Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, founder of Automattic, and chairman of The WordPress Foundation, runs 22% of the Internet.” And hopefully he keeps running it. WordPress dot com is my sponsor and the tech that powers my blog and iOS app. When I go to the WordPress offices, there are usually only a couple of people there. So, with some help from FastCo, it’s worth learning How Matt’s Machine Works. (They didn’t ask me to post this. Amazingly, they never ask anything of me. But they support NextDraft and keep it coming to you gratis.)
7. Adulthood in the Age of Hoodies
In the NYT Magazine, A.O. Scott reflects on the death of adulthood in American culture: “What all of these shows grasp at, in one way or another, is that nobody knows how to be a grown-up anymore. Adulthood as we have known it has become conceptually untenable. It isn’t only that patriarchy in the strict, old-school Don Draper sense has fallen apart. It’s that it may never really have existed in the first place, at least in the way its avatars imagined. Which raises the question: Should we mourn the departed or dance on its grave?”
“Waterslide designers compete in a parallel-universe version of The Right Stuff, vying for height and speed records because — this can be the only reason — it seems like a really awesome thing to do. Of these men, Jeff Henry is the most brilliant. He has the ability to make humans not only go down waterslides but up them, in the manner previously possible only on roller coasters. More than one of his employees compares him to Steve Jobs.” From Grantland’s Bryan Curtis: The Wet Stuff.
9. Bono Over the Edge
Like many others, Sasha Frere Jones didn’t approve of Apple shoehorning U2’s new and free album into our iTunes accounts: “U2 stuffed a locksmith card in your doorframe, which you’ve probably already tossed. In case you didn’t delete this modern-rock wet wipe, here is my track-by-track guide to Songs Of Innocence. (People are angry about a free album. The Internet is a tough room.)
10. The Bottom of the News
Which are the best and worst airlines? For that answer, you can just ask Twitter. (Few people know that Twitter was originally created to give people a platform to complain about United.)
+ Richard Kiel has died at the age of 74. You probably know him better as Jaws, the Bond villain with the teeth of steel.
+ Lionel Messi’s hometown bans parents from naming their children Messi. (Just name a few kids Ronaldo — they’ll lift the ban…)
+ 93 people. 30 billionaires. 13 millennials. Here’s look at the twentieth anniversary of Vanity Fair’s New Establishment (which, until it includes me, will remain in the bottom of the news section).