Every Day is Fungible
"I don't want to reminisce. I'm still HERE."
It’s the anniversary of the Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game that was cancelled just before it started, and a pandemic year that was also cancelled just before it started. NPR reminisced this morning, but I agree with Silvia Killingsworth: “I don't want to reminisce. I'm still HERE.” I feel like a Pompeian, buried up to my neck in ash, saying “Wow remember that thing with the volcano? Can you believe it’s been a year?“
You know who else is buried up to their necks in ash? Verkada, the hacked surveillance camera company where everyone from engineers to support staff to interns had access to all the customers live feeds. Bloomberg’s William Turton and Ryan Gallagher follow up yesterday’s scoop with some hair-raising quotes about the “Super Admin” account that was apparently the hack vector. Remember Uber’s “God View?” Same deal. This remains a standard tech industry practice, and some junior engineer is watching you read this right now. Also, someone is mining bitcoin on whatever you’re using to read it.
Today in Unmoored Nostalgia: I miss mixtapes, the click and hiss, the awkward uneven silences between songs, the word “dub.” The inventor of the cassette tape, Lou Ottens, just died. Playlists aren’t the same, you can’t hear the hands of the person who made a playlist carefully stitching it together. Playlists are fungible, mixtapes weren’t.
Game designer and conceptual artist Zach Gage made an artwork called “Scarcity,” which unusually for him comes with an artist’s statement that explains why that link to it probably doesn’t work anymore. If any of you decide to grab the code and keep track of it, set a calendar reminder to email me its current location one year from today.
The stories about the (nice) $69 million Beeple are pretty fungible, so here’s the one in The NY Times. “Art is no longer about a relationship with an object. It’s about making money… I feel bad for art.” says Sylvain Levy, an art collector who may not have entirely grasped what the art market was already about. But who’s buying these things? Doesn’t this all feel fundamentally fake? According to ARTnews it’s just rich crypto nerds, so: yes. Leave it to Felix Salmon to predict how this will soon get worse:
Beanie headed fash kisser Tim Pool’s Kickstartered media project “Collapses Amid Allegations He Took a Cat Hostage” reports The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer. Before yesterday’s expenses tidying bloodbath, BuzzFeed was already rumored to be planning a SPAC IPO via Ben Lerer’s Group Nine… vehicle? Company-socket? Whatever you call an empty SPAC. New rumors have it “in talks” with a different SPAC-hole, this one led by a hedge fund guy and a media guy and named after the Avengers HQ. What a whimsical game! Here’s Liz Lopatto on what a SPAC is (with Metallica references). The New York Times has a pretty well-reported “What Really Happened at ‘Reply All’?” followup by Katherine Rosman and Reggie Ugwu, which includes some possible Spotify acquisition payout amounts for the founders and early Gimlet employees. And here’s a leaked Fox News ad sales deck: the “Fox News will absolutely not harm your brand!” slide is raising a lot of questions that are answered by the “Fox News will absolutely not harm your brand!” slide.
Bonus Animal Tabs: “SUV crashes into house in Montgomery; hedgehog involved, unharmed.” What is the Hot Pigeon?
Today’s Song: Offspring, “Bad Habit” (Pop this in the tape deck and hit the gas).
~ Hey man you know I'm really okay. The tab in my hand will tell you the same ~
I did a lot of home schooling this morning and now I feel like I probably missed everything that happened? Sorry! I’m sure it wasn’t crucial. It’s Tabs Friday, so I’ll see you in the Open Thread tomorrow (subscribe to post!) and otherwise have a non fungible weekend.