five links, apr 29 2020


Michael Sippey
2 min readApr 30, 2020

This is How The Gap Dies, by Rob Walker at Marker. Gutting look at the prospects of the iconic retailer. (Note: “iconic retailer,” not “iconic fashion brand.”)

As recently as an April 9 investor conference call, the company noted that it entered the quarter starting in February carrying $1.7 billion in cash. But then, late last week, Gap Inc. warned that it had blown through about half that cash, thanks to its largely idle store fleet, and had thus raised $2.25 billion in secured (junk-rated) debt and other financial maneuvers.


Via Kottke via Vice, r/BuildTheEarth, the subreddit for the community of people building a 1:1 map of the earth in Minecraft, and “the video that started it all:”

I’m old enough to remember when the Internet just wanted to pave the earth.


Matt Webb: Videogame soundtracks, and a format for adaptive music.

And so streaming music apps, royalty calculations, ID3 tags, charts, indie upload sites, etc, all still perpetuate the album, even — as they are now — untethered from the physicality of vinyl or plastic disc peppered with microscopic dots to be read by lasers — all still propping up the old system just because that’s what everyone else does, like the end of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, nobody able to drop their gun and walk away.

Yes, this…but maybe the “album” constraint isn’t a gun? Maybe it’s a tool, an implement to shape ideas into form.


I’m obsessed with WITH, the new concert album+film from Sylvan Esso, which captures the electronic pop duo performing with a 10 piece band. With Nick Sanborn “on laptop, keyboard and trigger pad,” the possibilities of what SE can do in the studio is basically limitless; the addition of 10 live musicians introduces a new set of constraints and opens up their songs.


Kevin Kelly: 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice. All of them are good; this one is great:

Separate the processes of creation from improving. You can’t write and edit, or sculpt and polish, or make and analyze at the same time. If you do, the editor stops the creator. While you invent, don’t select. While you sketch, don’t inspect. While you write the first draft, don’t reflect. At the start, the creator mind must be unleashed from judgement.