Basecamp burns, Hearts are Plundered, and McDonald’s needs ice cream
Howdy [subscriber:firstname | default:yall],
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Hope yall have had a good week. Mine has been unusually busy. It seems like there is an ebb and flow to the freelance life where a bunch of projects will come up at once, then everyone is silent.
Part of why I started doing maintenance work was to avoid the ups and downs of clients all seemingly coordinating to want things this month, then collectively taking next month off. Since I still take on non-maintenance projects though, I get to have some weeks that are loaded with calls and emails and the little tasks that come with getting to working on work.
One thing that I’ve been conscious of has been making more time to just create. So often I worry about the idea that what I’m doing means less when I’m feeling guilty just writing some fun code for myself, or pulling out a notebook to try to improve my drawing skills. Or even taking time to craft these newsletters in advance, and not the morning of, making me rush to think of something to write up here 😅
I’m not going to forget that I’m extremely lucky to be in the position that I’m in, able to do the work that I do with the support of a lot of great people around me. I’m starting to miss some in-person events, remembering that most of these connections that I’m leaning on now are people that I randomly met at a place where we were meeting up to talk about WordPress or PHP or just the web in general. So much of what opportunities are presented to us is based almost entirely on random chance, and I’m grateful that chance has been kind to me.
Are you looking to make the right connection with someone, to get a bit of that luck? Maybe I know just who to send your way, maybe not. The only way to know is to ask, so my task for all of you this week is to email back with something that you are working on now, something that you need help with, or the kind of connection that you are looking for. We’re going far, so let’s go together!
An Open Letter to Jason and david – Jane Yang
I almost started with the link from DHH’s response to the Basecamp meltdown, but I found a much better read for you instead.
If you want, you can see the confusing vagueposting from one owner, the first response to the controversy by the other owner, and then his followup to Casey Newton calling them out publicly for their poor behavior.
It takes a certain kind of person to think that this is itself not a political statement being published on a company facing blog, telling people that discussing society and politics at work is bad.
Another great week from IF50. This story is about what was wrongly called “the first game by a woman” in a lot of press, because players of video games were apparently not used to having to think about controlling a character that wasn’t a man. Glad we’re well past that in games… oh wait.
…In general I like stories about strong heroines. I like those stories more when the heroines are not above falling in love. …One doesn’t have to be Miss Simper to enjoy dancing (or necking in the gazebo) or be Ms. Rambo to defeat the bad guys. Just be yourself, and do both.
– Amy Briggs
She never returned a VHS copy of ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch,’ DA’s office said. 20 years later, she faced a felony. – Jaclyn Peiser, The Washington Post
Gotta admire the reaction where cast members are offering publicly to autograph a copy of the show for this woman to help her raise money and she admits that she doesn’t care about the show. Wonder if she watched the new Netflix version 😂
People Are Playing a Guessing Game in Google Maps – Will Backus, Wired
Sometimes I have ideas and think, “I should do something about this”, then don’t and see someone else do it and realize that I can’t do all of the ideas that I have.
One that I had recently was to write about how one of my partners and I started playing GeoGuessr a bit every day, and how that was a recurring thing that let us see a bit of the outside world while locked down at home. Maybe I should still do that, considering this is basically all about speedrunning it. Hmmmm… 🤔
I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget – Lauren Goode, Wired
This one has made the rounds on a lot of my feeds and I finally made the time to read it this week. It’s a good reminder that much of the internet is just a cashgrab, ad networks need to be reined in, and maybe we shouldn’t just make accounts everywhere until the first two things are fixed.
Seems like a comprehensive list.
Copyright: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Wisecrack, if you are hiring part time researches, send me an email. I enjoy these videos that give a concise rundown on an interesting topic, even if I knew pretty much all of the information in it beforehand.
The Great Molasses Flood • Puppet History
As a season finale this is a good one! Love The Professor and his complicated jelly bean point system.
The REAL Reason McDonalds Ice Cream Machines Are Always Broken
Johnny Harris does a video version of an interesting Andy Greenberg Wired article. They make this sound like a story about a specific issue and corporate espionage and the legal issues around that. But what I really wanted to read/see was a story about Right to Repair and the legalities around doing what you want with your own property.
Johnny Harris: A Story of YouTube Propaganda
Since I’m sharing a Johnny Harris video, this one is a good followup for how people like him can work outside of the wider journalism world like his former employer Vox, and lose a bit of the journalistic integrity that can be automatically granted to large institutions.
Games That Save the Best for Last
I’ve never played any of these games that Jacob Geller talks about in this video, but they look bonkers bananas and I love it.
I haven’t played these games either, but I’m glad that my new dad is proud of me
What is Crypto Art, and Why? with Everest Pipkin – Factually! with Adam Conover
This is a lot better conversation about cryptocurrency and cryptoart than pretty much any other that I’ve heard lately. I shared an article about the environmental cost of cryptoart that Everest wrote in the newsletter a few months ago.
While there check out their amazing website.
Something that I think that we need more of online is self-aware whimsy. The things that can make you laugh but are explicitly disconnected from chasing money, clout, and some further agenda. Alas, the machine of productivity makes this seem impossible to do sometimes.
Billie Eilish – Your Power (Official Music Video)
That’s the same snake from Lil Nas X’s “Montero”, cinematic universe confirmed.
Share the stuff that you liked this week. See yall in a week and stay safe! 💝