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Our moment! I'm so concerned about our moment.
Every night, when I wake at 3am drenched in cold sweat, the thing that woke me is the fear that one day I’ll write something that Molly White takes a very personal and detailed interest in reading closely, the way she previously took an interest in Kevin Roose’s work and has now taken an interest in what Sam Bankman-Fried had to say for himself in his recent ill-advised newslettering début:
Paul told me that she’s sometimes disappointed by readers’ failure to recognize humor. “There was this one instance where I wrote a piece looking at the downside of losing masks, and I said, ‘Without having masks, you’re not going to be able to politically pigeonhole people in five seconds or less,’ ” she recalled. “Some people were, like, ‘I think it’s really wrong to politically pigeonhole people.’ ” She attributes this disconnect to the tenor of public discourse: “Our moment is so humorless,” she said.
Our Moment! Our Moment Is So Humorless And I’m Also Scared About Our Moment. Mindy Kaling apparently thought our moment needed cartoon characters that “constantly pause the action to call out and summarize narrative tropes rather than letting the story unfold,” wrote Shirley Li in her Atlantic review of the truly abysmal “Velma.” Andy Baio recovered a political tv clip that everyone of A Certain Age remembers but had apparently been lost to internet history: the Bill Clinton “boxers or briefs” moment. And sensing their moment of culture-war attention might be waning, M&Ms attempted to juice it one more time by declaring Maya Rudolph their new spokescandy.
Holy Fucking Bingle: NationuWu secuWuity was (allegedly) compromised by programmer and tumblr-blog-aesthetic ”tiny kitten” maia arson crimew who got bored one night and went looking for exposed Jenkins servers in Zoomeye, eventually finding a development server that contained the TSA No-Fly list, cleverly named “NoFly.csv.”
the nofly csv is almost 80mb in size and contains over 1.56 million rows of data. this HAS to be the real deal (we later get confirmation that it is indeed a copy of the nofly list from 2019).
holy shit, we actually have the nofly list. holy fucking bingle. what?! :3
If you’re a journalist who’d like to dig into this carefully-sourced and no doubt legally defensible list of names, you can request access here.
Very occasional media newsletterer Daniel Stone is back with an investigation into whether FT could possibly be correct in its 2018 reporting that “every partner [at “the esteemed law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore”] is entitled to a procession of past and present partners at their funeral, after which the assembled lawyers chant: ‘The partner is dead, the firm lives.’” (Spoiler: no, but it’s interesting where it probably came from.)
Cory Doctorow wrote a grand unified theory of “platform enshittification.” Speaking of enshittified platforms, former Tweetbot developer Tapbots tapped out of Twitter entirely after being arbitrarily banned by Elon Musk, and have just released the first official build of their Mastodon client Ivory. I’ve been using the testflight beta for a few weeks, and it’s good. Please leave Twitter, it’s harming your soul. Also here’s a list of handy Mastodon digest tools and utilities—if you miss Nuzzel, try Quintessence.
Having first discovered that CNET was secretly posting AI-written articles, and then discovering that those articles were also full of basic mistakes, Futurism now reports that the error-riddled AI articles are also heavily plagiarized. Every part of this genuinely rules and I hope they never stop finding new depths to this nonsense.
Katie Notopoulos reports that the “‘Trad Life’ Carnivore Influencer” Carnivore Aurelius is not Caeleah Taylor. The Buzzfeed story is very light on corroborating evidence but I trust Katie to know her job. That leaves us with an anonymous (but allegedly male) liver-chip peddler who outsources the “operations of [his] e-commerce business” so he has plenty of time to post RETVRN memes using stolen images of blonde women. Seems legit!
Joshua Bote in SFGate: “Man worth $7.48B says Google should cut 28,000 more people after layoffs.”
“Toadzilla is amazing!” report Queensland wildlife officers. “PS we killed him.”
Tabs Senior Contributing Editor and Intern Emeritus Bijan Stephen, who relentlessly refuses to stop doing inspiring creative work, made a space-emo text game on Itch.io called “Turn Out The Lights.” It’s really great, and your robot companion sounds like Artemis, so I’m considering it part of the larger Fun City Cinematic Universe.
Also Today in Games: "Post-Cringe: Forspoken and the Self-Sabotage of the Smirking Protagonist.”
Today’s Song: "SHINIE (Escha & Ytem Remix)” by Varg2™ & Bladee
My internet at home has been out most of the last three days THANKS SPECTRUM so I apologize for missing yesterday, being very late today, and generally being even less focused than normal, if that’s possible. Tune in tomorrow to see if Tabs continues to exist or if I have gone permanently and involuntarily off the grid.