Alex Wright


Ephemera

Sign of the times July 22, 2008

Recently spotted in a SoHo broker's window:...
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Back in the fold April 17, 2008

Like many a boy of the 1970s, I grew up on a steady diet of Mad Magazine. As a 9- or 10- year old, I got maybe half the jokes. But I loved it anyway, and understood enough of what...
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Into the wild April 4, 2008

From a guide written for Masai warriors, on the occasion of their first visit to London: "You may be surprised by the number of people that there are and they all seem to be rushing around everywhere," the guide says....
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E-mail apnea February 8, 2008

Ex-Microsoft researcher Linda Stone has a gift for pinpointing the maladies of the information age. A few years ago, she coined the memorable term "continuous partial attention." Now she's back with another nifty neologism: "E-mail Apnea," which she defines as...
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Redneck creche December 23, 2007

Spotted at the corner of Davis and Main:...
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Thanks for the boogie ride November 26, 2006

Anita O'Day may just have been, as Nat Hentoff put it, "the most authentically hot jazz singer of all." It's sad to see her go. Thanks for the boogie ride, Anita. > Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer...
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You gotta salt the meat to make it complete February 25, 2006

Sometime back in the dark days of the mid-1980s, I worked my way up the Wendy's food chain from chief fry-boy to the lofty position of grill cook. Back in the day, we learned burger-flipping the hard way: through long...
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Anita O'Day January 27, 2006

Ever since I first watched her light up the bandshell in Bert Stern's Jazz on a Summer's Day, I have harbored a monumental crush on Anita O'Day. "Brassy chanteuse" scarcely begins to describe the woman. But then, she scarcely needs...
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Tree Drawings January 17, 2006

Just when you thought the last thing the world needed was another tree diagram, David Byrne comes out with his own weird inspired twist: History of Mark Making Music of the Future > David Byrne's Tree Drawings...
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Say it ain't so, Dr Hal November 30, 2005

If I were in San Francisco tonight, I would surely make my way to Cafe du Nord for the final performance of the Ask Dr. Hal show. Without Dr Hal (a.k.a. Harry Robbins, Reverend Howland Owll, and/or Perditus Pedale),...
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Scatman Mailer May 19, 2005

Last night over at Sam Barry and Kathi Goldmark's house (of Rock Bottom Remainders fame - Sam is my piano teacher), I mentioned in passing that I was a fan of Norman Mailer. Hearing this, Kathi promptly disappeared into the...
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Noted May 11, 2005

Samuel Johnson, on not taking notes: Others I have found unalterably persuaded, that nothing is certainly remembered but what is transcribed; and they have therefore passed weeks and months in transferring large quotations to a common-place book. Yet, why any...
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Drudging at the writing table May 9, 2005

"From sun-rise to one or two o'clock," wrote Jefferson, "I am drudging at the writing table."...
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Huh? May 2, 2005

Introducing Huhcorp: When we deliver your new designs and business strategies to you, they'll be in really snazzy binders that look nice sitting on big, round meeting tables. (via zeldman)...
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Deliver us April 29, 2005

McSweeney's thirteen leading synonyms for "deliverables."...
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Sartre & Peanuts March 13, 2005

Of course we always knew Charlie Brown was an existentialist at heart, but who would ever have thunk Linus was a born Kierkegaardian? Every Halloween, Linus faithfully waits by a pumpkin patch, in the hopes that he will be blessed...
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The Gates February 12, 2005

I won't get back to NYC in time to catch The Gates, but fortunately flickr has got them, well, covered: I imagine Christo would approve....
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Hooking up, over and out February 7, 2005

Clive Thompson points to James Moody's study of teenage sexual networking in a rural midwestern high school. The collective behavior appears to conform to the classic social network distribution pattern: most members are concentrated in a broad central cluster...
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Chasing tails December 27, 2004

While I have serious misgivings about whether the public interest is really served by trying to "out" CIA agents, I have to admit the Washington Post has done an awfully impressive sleuthing job (with a big assist from the blogosphere)...
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Buddhabrot December 23, 2004

"The Buddhabrot Set is a re-visualization of the familiar Mandelbrot Set ... The result is an amazing universe of structure, spirituality, and mathematical intrigue." (via kottke)...
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Citizen Matt redux December 19, 2004

Eddie reminisces about his days stumping for the Matt Gonzalez campaign (which I encountered briefly last year)....
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"Challanged" December 19, 2004

(from Yahoo! News)...
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Duly noted December 17, 2004

It's been a while since I updated the blogroll, so thought I would take stock of a few new feeds crossing my radar these days: Somehow I missed that Jesse has started up again Dharma pal Erin shares her thoughts...
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Quote for the day November 3, 2004

Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters. - Abraham Lincoln...
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It's up to you November 2, 2004

(tip of the chad to purselipsquarejaw)...
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Scenes from the front November 1, 2004

When I volunteered to staff the Kerry phone bank this weekend, I had pictured myself crammed into a dank warehouse full of bleary-eyed, overcaffeinated politicos. Instead, I found myself perched in a plastic chair on a roof deck in Noe...
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Working the phones October 28, 2004

One of the few downsides to living in San Francisco is that during an election year, the city turns into a giant political echo chamber. Opposing viewpoints are nowhere to be found; and in five years of living in this...
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The Note October 27, 2004

Thanks to the recent New Yorker profile of ABC's Mark Halperin, I am now a devotee of The Note, a daily political cheat sheet for inside-inside baseball. If you ever wondered where all those talking heads get their talking points,...
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September 2, 2004

They're ... here?...
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August 9, 2004

CIA Asks Bush to Discontinue Blog (from The Onion)...
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We are not making this up June 24, 2004

Arnold, on governating: Asked to describe his governing philosophy seven months after toppling Gray Davis in California's recall election, he said, "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women." > Schwarzenegger, Confident and...
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Bigger blue June 14, 2004

News.com on the fall and rise of IBM. Nothing too startling here, but a decent recap of the last few years' doings among my former paymasters. The first installment paints things in mostly rosy terms, falling just short of descending...
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A Syllogism June 10, 2004

God is Love. Love is Blind. Therefore, Ray Charles was God. R.I.P. (with apologies to Tim Stone)...
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De mortuis nil nisi bonum June 7, 2004

One never of course wishes to speak ill of the dead, but I found this Washington Monthly article, Reagan's Liberal Legacy (published in Feb 2003) to be a penetrating look inside the Reagan myth machine: One would have to go...
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May 26, 2004

from Jon Stewart's Commencement Address: I donít know if youíve been following the news lately, but it just kinda got away from us. Somewhere between the gold rush of easy internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we...
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Memery April 12, 2004

Caterina points us to Memery, an experiment in distributed literary collage (a la William S. Burroughs' "cut-up" technique): Grab the nearest book Open to page 23 Read the fifth sentence Post it along with these instructions Here's mine: "The easy...
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Sea of Possibilities March 29, 2004

David Byrne on the poetics of meetings: If business is poetry, then numbers are words and sales presentations, marketing meetings and conferences are the salons and literary collaborations of our time. There is no avant-garde, it is no longer possible...
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Ninja Dwarf March 29, 2004

Lowell pointed me to Tom Coates on pirates and ninjas, elves and dwarves: I have always considered the profound distinction between ninjas and pirates to be an absolute one. One was either ninja or pirate - there were no inbetweens....
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Bardic bonding March 16, 2004

Shakespeare social networks With temporal decay taking place, each frame can be pieced together to form an interesting animation of an entire Shakespeare play. You can watch the evolution of the social network and understand the entire social structure of...
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Settling up March 1, 2004

Thanks again, Cory....
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Dogster bites back February 3, 2004

In the wake of my admittedly flip comment about Dogster a few days back, who should respond but the top dog himself, CEO Ted Rheingold: Perhaps a SNA bubble will be bursting quite soon, at least an investing bubble... [B]ut...
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Just in time ... January 28, 2004

Introvertster...
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Will to Power(point) January 27, 2004

Nietzsche, reduced to bullet points: We have free will There is no God Social conformity should not hold us back The interests of others should not restrain us We should be passionate beings Masculinity, strength and passion are the highest...
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Pet wars redux? January 26, 2004

No surer sign that an Internet bubble is fixing to burst than the emergence of the "pure pet play": Dogster (insert your own joke here about social networking software going to the dogs)...
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January 19, 2004

The Hallucinatory Encyclopedia (via Heckler & Coch)...
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My So-Called Blog January 11, 2004

Emily Nussbaum on teen blogging and adolescent angst, from today's Sunday Times magazine: A result of all this self-chronicling is that the private experience of adolescence -- a period traditionally marked by seizures of self-consciousness and personal confessions wrapped in...
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"The quiche of death" December 19, 2003

Zagats outtakes (courtesy of Jennifer)....
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Found art November 18, 2003

AOL captchas as random poetry. William S. Burroughs, eat your heart out. (via brian kromrey at Yahoo!)...
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Where do Legos come from? November 6, 2003

The Making of a Brick (via mark bernstein)...
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It's a boy October 28, 2003

According to the Gender Genie, this site is 80.5% male (whew). (via Caterina)...
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That's our gov October 22, 2003

Watch Arnold get all hopped up in this Lost In Translation-style ad for a Japanese energy juice. (via Joi Ito)...
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Secession anyone? October 8, 2003

This map makes a compelling case; the San Francisco vote ran 80.4% against the recall. Or maybe we could all pack our bags and move to Jefferson?...
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Goodbye brisket yarmulke? October 1, 2003

I'm not entirely sure this is what Charles Mingus had in mind when he wrote "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," but then, well, who knows? It's a world of meat-lovers' millinery over at hats of meat....
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Requiem September 24, 2003

It seems like every time a new dictionary gets released, the newspapers run the obligatory "new words" story in search of linguistic trendlines (e.g. "blog," "phat," cheesed off" being among the more over-reported recent additions). But somehow you never hear...
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but is it poetry? February 5, 2003

Glancing away from your computer screen, Your unfocused eyes reveal a vision. Modular, innovative, advanced. Is it a hallucination? You arise from your chair, Drawn to this mechanical marvel. The hallucination is real. A Belkin USB 4-port hub! (line...
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why i'm glad to be a eukaryote January 7, 2003

because for your average prokaryote, life ain't easy. from sympathy for the life of bacteria: If you were bacteria: You can have sex, with males possessing a sexual apparatus for transferring genetic information to receptive females. However, since you are...
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free money January 7, 2003

thanks cory, for turning me on to a quick $20. the RIAA, responding to allegations of rampant price-fixing in the music industry, is offering a class-action settlement to everyone who bought a CD, cassette or LP at any US music...
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Batman meets his match January 1, 2003

skimming TV Land's year-end last episodes marathon (yes, way too much time on my hands today), I just caught the final episode of Batman, in which - how's this for prescient casting - Zsa Zsa Gabor (future celebrity villain, of...
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doggy style December 21, 2002

he'p me, i've been shizzolated (courtesy of ask snoop)....
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"alex wright" is ... October 30, 2002

alex wright is phoenix pop's vp of user experience alex wright is television champion alex wright is vp of user experience at liquid thinking alex wright is a user experience architect who has built and lead alex wright is one...
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cartoon catharsis August 13, 2002

odd todd finds the art in being laid off (via bloug)...
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our secret weapon, revealed August 8, 2002

so al-Qaeda may have dodged a few bullets in Afghanistan; it now appears they are hopelessly outmatched in the face of superior technology....
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Engrish spoken here alison hill July 26, 2001

Engrish spoken here alison hill pointed me to Japanese Engrish, a fantastic compendium of all that wonderfully inscrutable pseudo-English you see on Japanese t-shirts, shop signs, and assorted packages....
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wei kewl? May 30, 2001

salon writes about the weiku generation, China's emerging generation of Web hipsters rising up from the rubble of the country's recent dotcom implosion. an instructive trendline here - as failed attempts at mercenary corporate Web antics fizzle, the Web returns...
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only in LA... would people September 7, 2000

only in LA... would people pay good money to attend a technology conference keynoted by Shaq....
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Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages

GLUT:
Mastering Information Through the Ages

New Paperback Edition

“A penetrating and highly entertaining meditation on the information age and its historical roots.”
—Los Angeles Times     

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