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The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.

Technical and whimsical is a tough combo to pull off, but Nicole Galland & Neal Stephenson did so effectively in their debut collaboration, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Set in a world where magic had existed (until technology and quantum mechanics interfered), the book features a polyglot Harvard lecturer who finds herself at the center of a government skunkworks to close the “magic gap” by constructing a device that lets witches practice their craft, and time travel, in very specific environments. Underlying the techno-adventure is an interesting display of gender interplay – no wizards in this universe, and the bureaucrats & other characters who stymie our protagonist’s efforts are uniformly male (with one critical exception). The book ends in a perfect setup to a sequel, which I’m already anticipating.

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Thoughts

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

Essays

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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