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Life news: I got a dog



Through his mailing list, Robin Sloan gave away a few copies of his new novel, Sourdough. I guessed one of the lowest primes (409, natch) and was lucky to receive one. What a treat! I blazed through the book over the course of a day.

Sloan uses the temporal flexibility of a futurist-historian to tell a story of food, culture, and technology. Like in my hometown friend Derek Dellinger’s year on fermented food, the miracle of living food plays a key role in the narrative, which as you might expect hinges on sourdough.

The novel falls short of science fiction primarily because technology caught up to us; Sloan living on the vanguard in the Bay Area captures the emergent present. All said, a delight to read and I’m sad it’s over!

You can read a bit more about the book here.

And do preorder.

Update 6/23: I learned about Alice Waters after reading Sourdough, but she totally inspired one of the characters! Cool.

Follow me on Twitter

Less, More, and None

My friend Ethan shared his Less, More, and None list (inspired by Jacoby Young). Cool idea, thought I’d give it a try. Always good to remind yourself of your better aspirations.

Lenfest Institute and Digital First Media?

Notes on dynamic meters

Notes on newsletters

Notes on the membership model for news


Capturing Shawmont Station before its $1,000,000 preservation begins – the oldest extant passenger rail station in America

Originally a 18′ by 36′ stone house (Wissahickon Schist), the structure wouldn’t have stood out from the other country homes in this part of Philadelphia, at the tip of the Manayunk Reach, situated at the end of today’s Manayunk Canal Towpath.

Testing WordPress Gutenberg on a high volume news site

Water, sand, and societal change

The best restaurant? Matunuck Oyster Bar

Does Perry Raso run the best restaurant? Yes, I think he does.

EverQuote and patent medicine

In a thread begun October 2016, Washington Post technology director Aram Zucker-Scharff tweeted about the shady advertising practices of EverQuote, a Boston-based startup. Since then these ads have become prolific on the web (and nearly as prolific are Aram’s tweets documenting the malfeasance).

Lenfest Institute and Digital First Media?

What if Alden let another organization manage its newspaper assets as a blind trust? It would lose a great deal of flexibility in using DFM assets to leverage other companies it owns, but it would be able to wash its hands of the growing public relations crisis. Furthermore, it would give space for the strategic direction of DFM to be explored and pursued without the added baggage of hedge fund cross-percolation.

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