Kara Swisher interviewed Matt Mullenweg on Recode Decode! It’s extremely sad how excited I was to see this in my podcast feed (and that I’m already writing about it before the post has actually gone up on Recode, itself.)
Also, I had no idea his and WordPress’ company, Automattic owned Longreads and Atavist. Hilariously, I also found out his old blog themes are now available in the WordPress theme directory. Unfortunately, I had to wait a whole darned week for a “lightly-edited transcript” [local backup] of this episode, but frankly, I’m just glad they decided it was worth transcribing at all, considering WordPress’ out-of-the-excitable-for-dabblers status. I mean… it was probably a bit cruel to place Mullenweg’s episode in direct followup to Kara Swisher’s interview with Mark Zuckerberg the previous week, which — for obvious and entirely-justified reasons — will surely be the most-listened-to Recode Decode episode by far in its recent history, at least.
“I’ve been doing WordPress for 15 years and I’d like to do it the rest of my life.”
Yiokes! Ya know? You’re damned right, “oof.”
“I think every tech company should have an editorial team.”
Out of signficant and nearly-unbearably heavy bias, I must agree wholeheartedly with this statement — and Mullenweg’s requisite elaboration — and I must leave you with the expression of one final wish: that Zuckerberg had been interviewed post-Matt, instead, and Kara Swisher would’ve brought this up with him.
Today, after positing on whether or not a pastry was in fact the namesake of the battleship Bismarck, I was told by its owner — a local woman of a far-from-excusable age — that “[I] should be on that big bang show.” Upon such fuckery, I looked her in her eyes and informed her that she’d just changed my plans for the night: I was now going to go home, wrap my lips around the barrel of my Beretta, and blow my brains out. I should’ve known better than to so jest with a boomer immediately after receiving such glaring indicators of minimal intellectual function, but I fell for the hope — as I often do, to no avail — that such a jarring reaction would encourage reflection on her foul, tragically misled sentiments regarding the general state of youth, and perhaps even spare a peer or two from future tribulation.
Instead, she called the police.
Three round cops found me, an hour later, approaching hesitantly. Strangely enough, they were chuckling — maybe to a little joke about all the recent hubbub on the radio covering a recent wave of blatantly negligent medical care in American prisons, though I hope nervous laughter is just SOP when responding to a suicide threat. As all Columbia cops always are toward me, they were aggravatingly genuine and hilariously understanding. I began by simply recreating my interaction with their summoner, quoting her word-for-word, and — I swear to my new Lord — all three immediately released a choral “ohhhhh” in unison. I’ll never know for sure if they actually assimilated the reality of the situation so quickly, but it’d certainly seem that way.
Clearly, I should’ve threatened her life.
Despite the day-to-day expression of our recurring wisdoms, habits, instincts, patterns and cycles of cultural metamorphosis in the discourse, the stream of “well, you know they were sayin’ the world was going to end when I was in elementary school” to my ear has fallen abruptly silent since the inauguration. Our parents and grandparents are both impossibly fortunate and unfortunate, having to duck out as the most multiplicative (read: sickest) cerebral orgy in the history of mankind will just’ve begun nibbling on the slope to its climax. We’ll be lucky if we’ll still be able to articulate our goodbyes by the time they reach the door. Nonsense does a fuckin number on perceived wisdom, but the gaps are widening at a dangerous pace. Tectonic or domestic, we are all straddling expanding space, and the chill of its draft is now stealing too much of our heat to ignore.
Though it is entertaining in the moment (and otherwise redundant,) it would not be well-to-do of me now — nor was it, then — to leave the conversation in edgy absurdity. Though a part of me would like to campaign for Sheldon to be reclassified as an expletive, in disgust, I must — as an adult in all-out sprint to make up for stalled emotional development — note that such a display of concern should’ve been at least reciprocated with a bit of explanation, if not appreciation, though I won’t condone wasting public employee time for a misunderstood retort from a complete stranger.
It’s not news — the Theory is providing some ghoulishly skewed portrayal of less-than-forty pseudointellectuals. Though my savior’s time is obviously worth very little to her, the fact that she spent any quantity of anything at all engaging with even a decidedly mainstream generationally ambassadorial bridge could be regarded — if stretched — as the result of a curious seed, which has skyrocketed in human value, as of late. It is undiscouragable. Read the trail a bit, and you’ll find that your frustration is simply an expression of the terror that’s ignited by the stagnancy of their pace.
It’s great that you’ve managed to inch over to modern-ish sitcoms from Judge Judy and Independence Day, mom, but you’re gonna have to really pick up the pace and work on following a few body modification communities on the darknet.
If an absence of solutions are the crux of the blog, here I’m now gloating.
To whom does the commoner look to for such solutions when they’d prefer not to terrorize their kooky middle age parents into a half century of brutal fasting under vows of silence?
The Big Thinkers! The Men of the Hour.
Yes, men. All Big Bumbling Billionaire Imbeciles.
Elon Musk cannot be the Nicola Tesla of the 21st century, or even the 20th, for that matter, because literally every mechanically-minded professional I’ve ever heard talk about battery technology has condemned it in some manner as an inescapable dead end, developmentally. Perhaps, then, the champion of electrochemical storage is the* False Prophet.
No, I’m not capable of citing research or conjuring Mars-capable spacecraft, but I’ve been a bit too preoccupied with my country’s class war and its 10% adult illiteracy rate. It’s all well and good to be privy to romanticism, but it’s not the 1960s anymore. Even Howard Hughes would be more concerned for the wellness of the species than our continued reach for the stars, were he still alive.
Well. Maybe not… Charles Lindbergh would be, though.
We spent the 1990s preparing to rid ourselves of history because the smartest among us foresaw some facsimile of the renaissance we are currently experiencing. If they’dT been shown a glimpse of some statistics on the volume of media we consume, they’d exclaim of their pride — no doubt — in their species’ capability to progress, and perhaps even their own contribution to it. However, extended observation of an average American’s day-to-day life would be lamented, in disgust, and a huge portion of the blame can be placed on one t-shirt-touting cyberyokel: Mark Zuckerberg. His name is stupid, his spawn is ruining my life, and he continues to insist upon saying shit that frightens the bejesus out of me. Zuckbrain is fucking scary. “Wiring the globe” is fucking scary. Jarvis is fucking scary. But Fuck, himself wouldn’t be at all intimidating without his money. The scariest bit is the lack of class in the criticisms of his intellectual influence. Farhad Manjoo’s attention has been diligent and premium as a Timeser’s should be, but the same occupation bars him from authoring with the color of unsubstantiated claims. Mine does not.
Elon Musk is not an apologetic genius. He’s willing to joke about his intellectual distance from the planet and its populace on Twitter. Apparently, his mind’s even surpassed the need to punctuate. Crazy.
Google is well on it’s way to becoming the neo-Vatican… yada yada yada, but they’re too far gone — I do not have the expertise to address them. Fuck, though, is a singular short-sleeved, Even Stevens-haired young man without so much as private office space (even though his sentiments on breathing room at home are obviously inverse.)
Clearly, it’s all just to protect him from the truth:
The Apostle John’s Book of Revelation is about Facebook.
Fuck’s cyberchild is the horseman, the beasts, and the plagues, stuffed into one tyrannical website.
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
If I can repeatedly trigger accidental voice calls on Fuckbook Messenger, don’t tell me it’s not possible to inadvertently live stream myself on the pot.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Of course, it’s unlikely that Mark’s essence was bred entirely of evil, but — like Tump, in many ways — he is an excruciatingly wealthy idiot. Though he is spending 2017 touring the United States, he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in actually closing the gap between himself and the rest of us, which suggests that he only wants us to throw us off his extra-terrestrial, xenophobic scent. I can’t imagine what The Mothership would really want with my Amazon browsing history, though.
And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
Just to be clear, he is not The Antikhristos. He’d better not be, anyway. I’d be absolutely Livid with Lucifer if his choice of a figurehead for his Big Plan was such a Fucking dork .
I mean… if Fuck wanted to spend his time crafting 6000-word essays, why the Fuck didn’t he just build a Fucking CMS back in his Jesse Eisenberg era instead of the actual weekly-updated tower of digital Babylon? Surely, Satan would know better than to waste resources and pulverize creativity by ordering his Demonic Dev team to release regular builds for build’s sake rather than on a per-need basis, but that’d be because The Tempter is an authority on incentives as thoroughly as Fuck isn’t.
If you’re equipped with the privilege of literacy, you’ve been reading a lot about Fuckbook’s political consequences, recently. Frankly, it’s about Fucking time, but I’m compelled to emphasize that the most significant motor driving the politik is fueled by the eldest, fossilized portions of our thought meat. According to Manjoo, “the News Feed team’s ultimate mission is to figure out what users want,” dipping in Fuckbook’s ocean of action data, searching for a soul.
Yet another Fuckism that suggests he’s an alien: everybody knows that nobody knows what they want.
There’s a central mechanic of our brains that by nature wreaks a whole helluva lot of contradiction. If you’ve ever mentioned ADHD with your doctor, or know a hypochondriac/adderall fiend who has, you may have heard it described as “the lizard brain.” Simply put, it’s the brain stem, and it’s responsible for the most basal and primitively emotional instincts and habits; an anti-intellectual agitant, arguing at all times for the course of action with the most immediate gratification. The Great Clickbait War of 2013 was a startling demonstration that revealed the strength of the hold Fuckbook had (and still has) on these reptilian bits — the true location of its power.
“In surveys, people kept telling Facebook that they hated teasing headlines. But if that was true, why were they clicking on them?”
Volition is the Word of the Day.
Here, we must once again invoke an ancient parable from the wise foretellings of the Disney film, Smart House: when dealing with human beings, boundless compliance quickly leads to abject misery for all parties involved.
Mindlessly, habitually , endlessly clicking … this is how we die.
Something about Fuck’s direction is fundamentally poisonous to the human mind. Yes, he is assuredly too Fucking democratic, but misinformation is far from the only form of evil his creation has assumed. If you can jog your memory back a bit, you’ll remember a much wider variety of brain-rotting filth.
In lapses of their existences’ finitude, the 40-something second cousins of the world may still send you the occasional Can Crunch Saga invite, jarring you back to Jr. High in 2009, and forever associating themselves in your mind with the horrors of mortality and
f u c k b o o k g a m e s .
More than one sixth of all living eyes see Fuckbook every single day, placing its consumption behind only eating and drinking as the most universally human activity. Mr. Fuck achieved his vision and became perhaps the greatest purveyor of words who’s ever lived. He’s taught (or… is teaching) us a few very profound things about ourselves.
Capability is not the whole of the equation. Ability on its own cannot guarantee growth, but it can often result in decay. Discussion does not inherently lead to connection. Population is not a cure for isolation.
That said, I must begrudgingly admit to you that I, myself am one of the 100 million users who’ve depended upon a “very meaningful” Facebook group for a “physical support structure” for which I have Fuck to thank.
I’ve spent half of my existence watching cheesy barnstorming movies, whirling around die-cast biplanes, seeking out stories from old pilots — military and commercial, and eventually trained to become one myself. As regular activities at young ages do, aviation became deeply ingrained into my identity, but my local community is very sparse — it’s not exactly cool, these days. On Fuckbook, an unofficial group for members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has allowed me to stay connected to the rest of the world’s Soaring Nerds, which is no small deal. It’s the only forum which I am compelled to participate in with 100% sincerity and emotional effect.
Photos of members standing proudly next to their first airplane, or of adolescent students in a similar pose after their first solo, or of three old white rubes on a hangar picnic, laughing around a fold-up table full of rudimentary ham sandwiches in front of two gleaming Stearmans…
They tug around on my heart like nothing else in life can.
I stopped flying lessons at 16 because I began to see behind the naivety of my childhood perception of what it meant to fly commercially and realized that I was unequipped for- and uninterested in the sort of challenges it presented. I haven’t flown in seven years, but the community will always have a tremendous dividend of my core being.
These days, not a single person in my day-to-day life knows or cares about aviation, which wouldn’t be laudable whatsoever were it not so emotionally necessary for me.
A few days ago, a member shared a photo with the group of Charles Lindbergh’s modified Ryan cockpit, captioned “what airplane am I?”
In my youth, Lindbergh fulfilled my closest equivalent to the ‘childhood hero’ role. My grandmother bought me a first-edition copy of The Spirit of St.Louis from a small town bookshop when I was six or seven, and I carried it literally everywhere with me until middle school. I watched the Jimmy Stewart film tens and tens of times, and I cried when I saw the Spirit in the flesh at the Smithsonian, yet I’ve never had an informed conversation about any of it with another human being. It really warmed me to see how many of the comments were correct answers.
Breaking news: it’s nice to know that there are other people on Earth who give a shit about the same things you do.
Again — aspiration should always be encouraged. This is Fuck’s vision for his creation, and it is feasible, even for myself. At least his public persona — however valid or invalid it may be — is making a huge effort to have positive consequence, even if his idiocy is imbuing itself in all of humanity. Fuck is too powerful to be exempted from responsibility for what Fuckbook’s done to the Western psyche over the past decade, but — like the Christian god — perhaps all we need require is his repentance.
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
My favorite short story of all time was published by the Southern Literary Messenger in the summer of 1835. It compiles all of my favorite story elements into one painfully tedious body: absurd proper nouns, completely unbelievable premises, lighter-than-air craft, exploratory context, and an utterly unsatisfactory aftertaste. Technically, it’s a hoax, and could only have been spawned by the most frustrating comic of them all — Edgar Allan Poe. If you find yourself one day reading his collected works cover-to-cover, The Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfaall is how you’ll be introduced. I’m sure the ‘ole sadist would be pleased at the thought of you crawling your way through his exhausting thirty-page-long description of the bellow-mender’s space balloon and its bizarre journey.
Originally, I’d remembered incorrectly — a bit of light research says Pfall was a bit too absurd to be overwhelmingly believed, but it was believed — that an indebted laborer obsessively constructed a DIY dirigible which he flew to the moon before managing to convince a lunarian to use it to deliver his surgically-detailed chronicle of the journey to be read publicly in front of his township’s civic leaders, only to have the scoop exclusively broken by a small arts periodical. In fact, it caused enough hubbub to inspire an entire subera of similarly-styled hoaxes, many from the originator, himself.
It’s no secret that Poe was as bitter as he was brilliant, so I’ve found myself again and again wondering, lately, what/if he would have spoken amidst his country’s 2016 election for President. As I’ve known him — much more intimately than most; much less than a few — I would posit that his brilliant, suffering mind would’ve been locked in the most productive year-long mania of his career. He was the sort of extraordinary man who was disgusted by the existence of anything less. I think he would’ve played the tricks of Search Engine Optimization, engagement, and news aggregation with a veracity that could’ve swung an election, if we accept the recent verdict against some good-humored Macedonian adolescents.
His laughter would be abruptly stayed, though, if you told him that ten percent of the adult population is illiterate, two centuries later and twenty years into the single most profound renaissance in the history of human communication. Though a nearly-equivalent upset could probably be had by informing him that his best-known work by a vast margin has since been The Raven, but I’ll spare you that subject for a less-topical dissertation.
How do I begin an argument about intellectual disparity in America? You got the President you deserve…
“Deserve” is no less ignorant of a concept as “truth,” so that’d be awfully hypocritical. Not that hypocrisy gives me any sort of pause, whatsoever, as a purveyor of fake news. Perhaps I should begin with an overview of Extratone’s bias on advertising.
Total advertising revenue we have received to date: $0.
Total number of advertisements that have appeared on extratone dot com to date: 3.
Total number of advertisements for non-defunct companies that have appeared on extratone dot com to date: 0.
As of this moment, advertising is Google, more or less, which means they are one of the few companies on Earth with the sort of cash flow to even consider attempting to craft a standard of maliciousness (the only useful spectrum I could come up with that could accomplish the goal of “eliminating financial incentives that appear to have driven the production of much fake news.”) I suppose the first authority on intent would be the Church, but I — a fake news writer — have been unable to arrive upon the method Jesus Christ would choose to go about eliminating communion.
But The Lord has forsaken this place — we have only Google, now, and — as the resident omnipotence, it is They alone who can stay what They have made. So perhaps that smelly gentlemen wondering aloud about the “second coming” on the bus stop bench is actually smarter than you, but unable to foresee the digital setting of his apocalypse. If Google is our neo-God, surely Walt Mossberg is now the pope. Yesterday morning, he addressed Facebook (neo-Hell,) commanding them to behave like the “media company” he believes they are. I would like to imagine that Mark Zuckerberg is hissing, currently.
He cites a Pew Research Center study that was conducted this past Spring, which found that “44 percent of the U.S. adult population got at least some of its news from Facebook.” I’d like to point all 2000 of my greasy, thumping, slanderous fingers at the beginning sentence of the next paragraph, though: “but that puts a heavy responsibility on Facebook…”
Who exactly is placing this burden on Facebook? Have we actually reached the point of social media as a public service? Perhaps their influence on the country’s psychology is enormous enough to exempt from all of the cheques that guarantee freedom of information exchange.
Thank God… perhaps FarmVille shall finally face its Day of Judgement. All the requests from one acquaintance of mine are stressing me out, and federal employees have not forcibly changed their foul-ass color scheme yet, so I cannot navigate deep enough to block her without becoming physically ill. Don’t get me wrong — hanging Mark Zuckerberg by the Neck Until Dead for treason would make for quite a spectacle, but I cannot help but wonder if you have forgotten one of your most irritating expressions: don’t blame the messenger. I hate to be rude, but POTUS Tumper is the definite sign: you are responsible for your choices and your ignorance. Volition in informed media consumption is the only effective weapon with which one should combat deception.
For some perspective, know that I came shamefully close to falling for a fucking phone scam a few days ago. I didn’t end up costing my company, but I came within inches of doing so. I hadn’t experienced such all-consuming embarrassment in a decade. But — as life experiences tend to be — it was humbling, and preparatory — I’m sure — for the next time I must identify dishonesty.
I appreciate the sentiment of personalities like Mossberg and the effort they expend in the name of my protection as a user, but I must be allowed to discern the nature of content for myself, especially when using a service who’s CEO is publicly crying “we do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves.” Whether or not Facebook has the cash to deliberate on, design, or redesign algorithms and/or other software to combat inauthentic content sources is irrelevant. Max Read’s account of the process as it relates to the election is the sharpest one-take I’ve seen thus far. In it, he suggests that the sheer size of Facebook’s audience “would seem to demand some kind of civic responsibility.” And — while it is now undeniable that it is “the most efficient distributor of misinformation in human history,” I must speak for the general readership and note that when we are “misled,” it is out of our own failing diligence, intellect, and/or education as ballot-eligible adults.
As far as myself and my editorial course are concerned, it is tremendously disrespectful to remove a reader’s volition in their consumption. If there is “blame” for the votes in this election, the single polite course of action is to leave it on the voters, indefinitely. Any alternative is what we’d brand an acute theft of will. Volition in informed media consumption is the only effective weapon with which one should combat deception. It’s not a contentious sentiment — assuming competence from all participants when legislation or demand are concerned. If it were, the safteynet wouldn’t be focused on such a small portion of digital disinformation as misaggregated news represents, but instead on the highly-potent culture of Google AdWords cons, or the longstanding institution of email phishing. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not the biggest fan of Zuckerberg’s Culturesuck. I founded our flagship podcast around reprehending it, and see plenty of evidence that it’s profoundly effected Western psychology in a startling way, but attacking the issue in an ethical context is tremendously inefficient, if nothing else.
Yes, it would make for an entertaining story, watching Google and Facebook hurl their masses of cash at the 9th commandment, but it’d be much better spent remaking the critical readership in American society. A federal program to confront the ~10% adult illiteracy rate might be a better place to start.