What it really means to be young

June 27, 2021

Each time I listen to The Linda Lindas — in particular their song, “Missing You” — I’m struck by their youth. Partly, it’s the lyric about doing homework; mostly, it’s the youthful energy in the performance that is somehow different from the energy that much older musicians present, even if otherwise they share more similarities than differences.

Being 30 years old means you can’t sincerely channel the same emotions as a 15-year-old in a rock performance. It just plays different.

Pitchers using sticky substances: What's become collective understanding and what's ephemera?

June 14, 2021

A problem with being Super Online is that when certain issues cross over to the mainstream and trigger fresh waves of “discourse,” it can feel disorienting. In my internet-rotted brain, the controversy about MLB pitchers using sticky stuff to grip the ball was litigated in the middle of the 2010s and ebbed away, so the return of the argument, inflected with newer, Statcast-inflected understandings of the effects of better grip, feels like a sneaker wave.

My brain won't let go of a job I wasn't offered

June 7, 2021

In the summer of 2017, I applied for a communications job with a Silicon Valley startup. After two phone interviews, they invited me to an in-person interview at a co-working space with no signage on the outside.

The two gentlemen conducting my interview met me outside on the sidewalk and guided me to their home office, which occupied one of the co-working space’s sub-warrens. As we headed through the company’s rooms, we passed several young men in shorts and t-shirts working on laptops. One of them had four or five cases of Soylent stacked under his table.