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Catching up with the Times.
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The Human Behind a Favorite Spambot, Horse_eBooks

Horse_ebooks is Mr. Bakkila’s primary presence on social media. He said he has a Facebook account but that it’s more like “a phone book.”

The person behind one of my favorite Twitter accounts, Horse_ebooks finally steps forward. His name: Jacob Bakkila.

Also, Facebook is indeed a phone book, but one mostly without numbers listed. But you can just as easily direct message someone to get it.

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Who Made That Built-In Eraser?

“To keep our past failures ever before us would cause us to continue to fail…take out your pencil, rub out the mark and start over again.”

The eraser, an American origin to fit the American mentality of making mistakes and learning from failure.

After all, the right answer is a function of the mistakes you make.

Now, just imagine the computer without the “Delete” button.

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What Was, Is and Will Be Popular

New York Times culture editor Adam Sternbergh explains the conundrum of popularity in today’s high speed, viral world.  

If something is popular, it can’t also be good.

What’s to say something is actually popular, something that sells or streams, or both?  Just because something is popular today, doesn’t mean it’ll still be popular tomorrow.  Our digital appetites are transitory and therefore misleading.  

Paradoxically, popularity is now both infinitely quantifiable and infinitely elusive.  

Just make it stick.  

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Fallen Idols

“A work of art is something produced by a person, but is not that person — it is of her, but is not her. It’s a reach, really — the artist is trying to inhabit, temporarily, a more compact, distilled, efficient, wittier, more true-seeing, precise version of herself — one that she can’t replicate in so-called ‘real’ life, no matter how hard she tries. That’s why she writes: to try and briefly be more than she truly is.”

Writing strives to live up to ideals that rarely get truly matched.

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Tech

I Am TOM. I Like to TYPE. Hear That?

Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap like ones you hear in a Starbucks — work may be getting done but it sounds cozy and small, like knitting needles creating a pair of socks. Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece.

I’ve never used a typewriter but I bet it’s easy to recreate that sound in the computer keys like Coffitivity does for recreating coffee shop noise in your home. An advanced product, same effect, at home. That sounds good to me.