90WPM

I would give up my entire professional existence on Twitter for one six-hour period around a bonfire where nobody checked their cell phone and we all just talked about our lives.
Nick D, on this branch about Jenna Wortham’s piece on the end of the offline world.

A Shock to the System

Today, eight years since the first signs of Parkinson’s and after months of fiddling, my body is almost free of symptoms. With the stimulator turned off, a Parkinson’s test shows 20 significant impairments. With the stimulator on, it drops to two. Add just a touch of L-dopa and it drops to zero.

Amazing story in Wired about a new surgery for Parkinson’s where doctors implant electrodes in the brain.

Welcome to our creepy future.

Why You Should Kill Your Robot Twitter Followers

For those who aspire to some kind of fame, even Internet fame, Twitter looks like a great in. It is, in many senses, a meritocracy, with the smartest, funniest, or most interesting accounts eventually gaining a large following. But, unsurprisingly, many people were unsatisfied with their tiny feifdoms of followers on the social network. Armed with the early revelation that most users tended to follow back a percentage of those who followed them, these people set out to follow as many people as they could as a way of gaming the system. The process of following, however, was both laborious and excruciatingly boring.

Then someone wrote a script that automated it.

I’m keeping track of spammers and reporting them religiously, and you should, too.

Shortly after Twitter began burrowing its way into the early adopter crowd, a pattern began to emerge among its users: people started taking notice of how many other users followed them. In retrospect, it’s only natural that a service which allows us to amass a “following” should inspire such religious devotion to the ego; after all, we’ve seen this with Facebook before.

But while Facebook has a hard limit to the number of people in any one user’s network, Twitter has no such thing. And when Ashton Kutcher engaged in a public race with CNN to see who could reach a million followers first, suddenly the game began to take on more epic proportions, and the concept of “Twitter Fame” began to emerge in the public consciousness.

Follow-back spam is a natural outgrowth of this phenomenon, and the subject of my latest article for BuzzFeed.

The New Yorker reviews R. Kelly's New Autobiography

In his twenty-year exploration of the limits of the R. & B. sex ballad, R. Kelly has often toed the line between satiric and satyric. In his song “Sex Planet,” he made the obvious joke about Uranus; in his song “Sex in the Kitchen,” he made the obvious joke about salad-tossing; in his song “Pregnant,” male backup singers (ominously? chivalrously?) offered to “knock you up.” He has referred to himself as a “sexosaurus” and a “lesbian R. & B. thug.” He has attempted onomatopoetic renderings of cunnilingus and of flesh skidding down a stripper pole. He has yodeled, twice, in the songs “Echo” and “Feelin’ on Yo Booty.” (To perform the latter song in concert, he donned a top hat and cape for an extended operatic remix.) And then there is his unfinished magnum opus “Trapped in the Closet,” a series of twenty-two songs (and counting) featuring a gay pastor, a stuttering pimp, and a woman named Bridget whose lover is a midget.

All of which inspires the inevitable question: he’s kidding, right?

Epic review of Kelly’s new auto-hagiography, and one of the wittier pieces I’ve read lately.

First Look: Simple Reimagines Banking

My review of Simple for The Next Web went up last week. Still using the card, still loving it.

The Psychology of a $666 Burger, and Other Haute Cuisine

What makes a dish stand out so much that a (presumably) sane person would spend twice as much — or ten times as much — as she would on the meal’s déclassé cousin? Is there something innately superior to foodstuffs like foie gras and truffle oil that justifies their astronomical cost?

My first piece for The Atlantic Health is about why we pay so much for gourmet food. If you’ve ever wondered about why lobsters or truffles are so damn expensive, it’s worth reading.

Finally. (Taken with Instagram)

Finally. (Taken with Instagram)

Tom Bissell reviews Spec Ops: The Line and explores the reasons why we play shooter games.

I watched the Splinter Cell franchise’s long-established hero, Sam Fisher — operating somewhere in Middle Eastistan — enter a tent, kill two gentlemen, and grab a third. Sam asks this third gentleman where a certain colleague of his might be. The gentleman declines to answer, so Sam sticks his knife into the gentleman’s clavicle. The gamer is then given an onscreen prompt to twirl around his controller’s joystick, which in turn twirls around Sam’s knife in the gentleman’s wound. The screaming gentleman gives Sam the info he needs — and, suddenly, it’s “moral choice” time, for Sam has to choose whether to kill or knock out his freshly tortured victim. Let’s review: a moral choice — after an interactive torture sequence.

An unflinchingly personal moral analysis of shooter games. Tom Bissell rocks my world.

Tiny Wings 2 Coming to iOS July 12

Even with the glut of lo-fi ads for tech companies, this ad for Tiny Wings 2 is refreshing and will send chills down the spine of anyone who played the original. Excited for the launch Thursday.

Building and dismantling the Windows advantage | asymco

Realizing that Windows is not a hegemony will unleash market forces that nobody can predict.

Awe-inspiring. 5 years later, it turns out the iPhone and iPad helped Apple cut Microsoft’s lead on overall devices from 52x to 2x.