Rich People Made Polyamory Boring

Today in scheduling, and Wonder's Bug Man.

The book promotion machine is dating every influential New York publication at once on behalf of Park Slope Momoirist Molly Roden Winter’s open-marriage memoir “More” and the verdict is: rich people have made polyamory boring. “How a Polyamorous Mom Had ‘a Big Sexual Adventure’ and Found Herself” promises the Times review, but the whole thing sounds more administrative than adventurous. New York Magazine put out a panoramic poly-author polyamory package, with a long feature by Allison P. Davis about a gaggle of pseudonymous but indistinguishable Nicks and Annas and Sarahs and Alexes who are all in some kind of tedious relationship and/or therapy with each other. I read the whole thing and never managed to sort out who was married to whom but don’t worry, Davis assures us “they are all hot.”

“Some people like to run marathons. We like to do polyamory, complex relationship stuff. Sarah’s favorite activity for the two of us to do is couples therapy,” Nick says, smiling. “Navigating the relationship dynamics is kind of generally a fun thing for us. It’s like for relationship nerds.”

If “managing relationship drama” is your hobby, this seems like a great way to pursue it. NYMag also offers something unreadable that appears to be a podcast transcript (but poly themed!) and a soul-crushing list of jargon and best practices that reads more like a scrum master training manual than sexy inspiration for your love life. To be clear, I think this is a public service. People need to understand that the sex is just an excuse to raw dog someone else’s Google calendar.

Although she never directly addresses the matter in “More,” it is clear from her life style that Roden Winter and her husband are better off than most of their partners, who tend to be younger, single, and less financially secure than they are. One of their rules is that they cannot have sex in their home, and so, in the course of the book they spend untold amounts on New York City hotels, taxis, and co-working spaces. When Roden Winter first hooks up with Matt, she immediately notices his cramped living space: “There’s no foyer in his small studio apartment, no mudroom with four identical cubbies like I have in my house.” Who thinks about a mudroom during sex? Someone who writes a book called “More” is who.

I’m glad we have The New Yorker to call out rich people, I guess???

Dr. Brooke Magnanti posted: “Safety first, people.” over a picture of some kind of industrial machinery with a pink printed sign taped to it which reads “WHEN RUNNING THE BLANKET BLASTER MAKE SURE THE POWER BOTTOM IS TURNED ON FOR BOTH ENDS. THANK YOU!”

🤑 Today in Sponsors

I told Kyle that two days was all it would take to put his new book Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture in front of all of you, so don’t make me a liar. The book asks “what if we let the algorithms turn everything into AirSpace?” and personally, I don’t care for that idea.

The Filterworld cover, featuring a yellow person-icon-shaped cookie cutter, next to a blurb by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Ahktar that says “Necessary reading for anyone who has wondered just how, in expanding our world, the internet has ended up emptying our experience of it. Timely, erudite, important.”

In Filterworld, Chayka traces this creeping, machine-guided curation as it infiltrates the furthest reaches of our digital, physical, and psychological spaces. With algorithms increasingly influencing not just what culture we consume, but what culture is produced, urgent questions arise: What happens when shareability supersedes messiness, innovation, and creativity—the qualities that make us human? What does it mean to make a choice when the options have been so carefully arranged for us? Is personal freedom possible on the Internet?

Of course personal freedom is possible. Here I am using my human meat fingers to recommend you buy this book… that Kyle is paying me to advertise. Oh no.

How’s It Going?

How’s it going at Substack? Well, Jonathan Katz left, Casey left, Ryan Broderick is leaving, Hunter Harris sounds like she’s out, David Farrier sounds ready to go, and Anne Helen Petersen is… working hard to create change from the inside, I’m sure. Slug boy Freddie and former journalist Jesse Singal are big mad, for reasons that they aren’t competent enough to express clearly using their words. And Josh Drummond took an hour to cruise around the Substack recommendations and discovered that “Substack’s business is built on — and, I argue, depends on — enabling horrific amounts of racism, disinformation, and hate speech.” If this whole Substack thing has felt abstract to you, this is the post that makes it very clear what the problem is.

How’s it going in journalism? Max Tani reports that Pitchfork will be folded under GQ. Pitch…forq? More like Pitchfuqed. Alden Global Capital sold the Baltimore Sun to Sinclair executive chairman David Smith, who hates newspapers and appears to have bought this one purely to kill it. In a three hour meeting with staff, report The Baltimore Banner’s Cody Boteler, Lee O. Sanderlin and Giacomo Bologna, “Smith seemed to try and pit reporters against each other, asking them to rank who was the best in the newsroom. Several times throughout the meeting, he said he has ‘no idea what you do.’” And the Instagram co-founders hobby news curation app Artifact is dead, less than a year after its big launch.

Kottke posted: “The Artifact news app (by the Instagram founders) is shutting down because “the market opportunity isn’t big enough to warrant continued investment”. I’m so tired of devoting time to new VC- & BigCo-funded apps that are just gonna shut down after 12 mo.“

What to do about that? Who knows.

How’s it going in Steve? OpenAI’s Sam Altman, who I now know primarily as “the guy who gave himself scurvy” (thanks a lot Allegra) said artificial general intelligence “could be developed in the ‘reasonably close-ish future.’” If you’ve never been a PM or worked in engineering management, that’s a euphemism for “lol, never.” And Carpet Vocalist took a look at what Amazon is advertising to be a “SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS” of his book OPPOSABLE THUMBS: How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever. The allegedly AI-generated scam book begins:

In this helpful history, film academic Performer (Wonder's Bug Man) looks at the creative mind and impact of Significant worth Siskel and Roger Ebert's television program At the Motion pictures and its different emphases.

Perceiving the couple for beginning the gravely organized visit plan that soaks current association news, Vocalist fights that Siskel and Ebert democratized film assessment by turning "a work of art that had ahead of time existed as a development of talks into a consistent exchange."

Yep, AGI is definitely in the reasonably soon-ish, quarter after the quarter after next, two or three sprints from now kind of time frame, for sure. Learned a lot today, love Galactus, we’ll talk next week about adding middle names to the profile.

Today’s Song: Fucked Up, “Stress (Justice Cover)”

Music Intern Sam uploaded this special for us, so don’t expect to see it on the Season Nine Playlist. He seems to be on one about Justice today, idk. I just listen to the songs.

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