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Deep Routes

Spencer Hall writes about depression and the Internet:

And here’s the icky, horrid, and needlessly personal part : I am, and have, for the better part of my life in tidy five year-ish cycles, dealt with depression. Dealing is the right term. You don’t fight it, because if you are the kind of person who suffers from depression, then you know you surrender the minute it shows up, and simply send distress signals to the appropriate people. They send meds, changes of routine, and patience. Then you wait for it to blow over, and just pardon yourself for the crying jags, long walks, and repeated listens of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” over your headphones.

I’m just one data point, but the internet has never, ever exacerbated any of that for me, particularly regarding depression. If anything, it helped by giving the best data set in the world on the universal crap-to-gold ratio, i.e. that 90% of everything is crap, and that the 10% worth keeping is a matter of editing and careful curation.

In Vanity Fair, Rich Cohen talks about attempting to ghostwrite billionaire Theodore Fortsmann’s autobiography:

He asked why I wanted to work on the project, or, as he put it, “What do you see of value in my story?” I got a chill from this question. It suggested pathos: he needed me to tell him that his own life had significance, was worth recording. I once dated a girl who made me tell her why I liked her. It reminded me a little of that. I said I was interested in his story because it was a great one, as grand as a scenario by Trollope, the ingenious way he made all that cash and helped create the private-equity industry, how he broke up Dr Pepper and turned around Gulfstream, but it was the family story too, his grandfather, a man who made a fortune in woolens, his father, who battled the bottle, his older brother, Tony, who stands for big brothers everywhere. Written the right way, I said, it could be the story of America itself, epic, unique, and gloriously grand. In other words, I behaved like a whore, mouthing pretty words while my real motivation was self-evident. Hey, you want me to say you’re the biggest and the best and the most amazing and that I’m in this joint because I find you irresistible? Fine, as long as it ends with me getting paid.

At SB Nation, Andrew Sharp covers the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference skeptically:

There usually isn’t a clear answer to these debates anyway, and even when there is, there’s a good chance it all changes when the games happen. Randomness, variance, anomalies, etc. A growing faction of the media uses advanced stats to write mythbusting articles to make the sports conversation smarter, but it actually just makes things more pedantic. We are not scouts. Rather than couch all of our 2013 sports arguments in data that’s not as conclusive as it seems, it’s more fun to just have an argument.

It makes you appreciate the millions of people who don’t care about any of this, because maybe they have the right idea. Look around the Sloan Analytics Conference and you see a group of thousands of over-educated smart people, most of whom are white males, congratulating each other on expertise and hitting on all the same themes, forging this echo chamber that’s supposedly rendering everyone else extinct. “This conference is the Internet,” I write on Saturday afternoon.

There’s a much bigger world out there, and thank God for that.

Quick Reads

- NY arrests 2,500 after facial recognition technology detects identity thieves [Circa]

- 10 bands you never would have thought used to be good [Riverfront Times]

- 22 rules of storytelling from Pixar [Bad Language]

- 50 best strip clubs in America (semi-safe for work) [Complex]

- 11 pizzas that (intentionally and awesomely) look like stuff [Mental Floss]

- Tips for making yourself look good when people Google you [Mashable]

Food Porn

Duck and coriander burger with dried apricot, orange marmalade, mustard greens, tarragon & foie gras torchon @ Peasantry (Chicago)

Duck confit/mozzarella sandwich @ First Slice (Chicago)


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