on the list, 4 jun 2021

Winslet, Phair, Mehrotra, Panzarino, Venice, Saraceno, Eno

  1. Liz Phair’s new album, Soberish. Top tracks on first listen: Soul Sucker and Good Side, which starts with this gem: “There’s so many ways to fuck up a life / I try to be original.”
  2. Shishir’s Mehrotra’s Coda doc about how YouTube scaled. “Over time the YouTube team went from being known for ‘controlled chaos’ to being known as a well-aligned team that could simultaneously run a complex business while taking on meaningful strategic initiatives.” I particularly love the $100 prioritization exercise, which I’ve found super useful in product validation work in the past.
  3. Matthew Panzarino on that one Apple email. “There is no extensive rationale provided for each item, something that is often unnecessary in an informed context and can often act as psychic baggage.”
  4. Highlights from the Venice Architecture Biennale. Curated by Hashim Sarkis, the dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT: “At this moment, we are tired of dystopias. We were looking for signs of hope and optimism, and we found a lot of it.”
  5. The Aerocene Foundation. Tomás Saraceno is one of my favorite scultpors, and his foundation was one of the highlights of the Biennale linked above. They’ve built a fuel-free hot air balloon. “Aerocene flies without fossil fuels, batteries, lithium, solar panels, helium, hydrogen and carbon emissions. This marks the most sustainable human flight in the history of aviation.” Oh, and the Aerocene Backpack “is a starter kit that offers a new way to move and sense the air, using only the heat from the Sun.”
  6. The reissue of Brian Eno’s Year with Swollen Appendices. It’s one of my favorite books, and the new edition is gorgeous. From Brooklyn Rail: “In his own introduction to Faber & Faber’s new, beautiful 25th anniversary edition…Brian Eno wrote out a list of words that are new in the vernacular since the initial 1996 publication. With one word per line, the list spans nearly 13 pages, and includes: 9/11, alt-right, Amazon, barista, binge-watch, Black Lives Matter, cisgender, dark money, doomscrolling, emoticon, flash mob, ghost (verb), helicopter parenting, iPod, MSM, paywall, podcast, ransomware, SARS, sexting, snowflake (not the substance), truthiness, two-factor authentication, Uber, vaping, WikiLeaks, Wikipedia, and Zooming.”

Person of interests.