by adam mathes

Experience Based Economy

And yet, despite the odd food-court fisticuffs, the US shopping day was relatively slow. Much of this, of course, can be attributed to shoppers taking their business online, but it seems a greater movement is afoot. Even—or perhaps especially—post-recession, a bargain is no longer enough. Our values have shifted. For more than a year now, Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a guide to de-cluttering one’s life, has sat on the New York Times best—seller list. Even the clothes-horses among us have embraced systems to limit our consumption and work with what we have. Some even enlist the help of psychologists.

Jenni Avins, For many people this Black Friday, a bargain was no longer enough


The entire point is how these purchases make you feel, and it’s that feeling, whether it be an appreciation for craftsmanship, status, or simply being pampered, that provides the sort of differentiation that makes all of these products profitable.

Ben Thompson, Selling Feelings

Power Animal

You’re going deeper into your cave.

And you’re going to find your power animal…


Now the only authentic way to fav something on Twitter is to delete your account.

Other Waters

On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow.

· · ·

No movie will ever be our childhood memories of Star Wars.

Intention vs. Attention

We experience the externalities of the attention economy in little drips, so we tend to describe them with words of mild bemusement like “annoying” or “distracting.” But this is a grave misreading of their nature. In the short term, distractions can keep us from doing the things we want to do. In the longer term, however, they can accumulate and keep us from living the lives we want to live, or, even worse, undermine our capacities for reflection and self-regulation, making it harder, in the words of Harry Frankfurt, to “want what we want to want.” Thus there are deep ethical implications lurking here for freedom, wellbeing, and even the integrity of the self.

· · ·

Your technologies, on the other hand, are trying to maximize goals like “Time on Site,” “Number of Video Views,” “Number of Pageviews,” and so on. Hence clickbait, hence auto-playing videos, hence avalanches of notifications. Your time is scarce, and your technologies know it. But these design goals are petty and perverse. They don’t recognize our humanity because they don’t bother to ask about it in the first place.

James Williams, Why It’s OK to Block Ads


Continuing with my previous work on glitching out old Sierra games, I’ve done some work to expand my virtual palette to include the SCI0 games (these include games like Space Quest III, Leisure Suit Larry 2, Colonel’s Bequest, and others.)

Here’s some of the output:

You can follow the work as its autogenerated by my bot army at quest_glitches

In case you missed it, there was some nice press about my work on this on Kill Screen and Offworld.

Social Media Trolling

impact of the democratic debate is seeing which people i follow are most easily trolled by incompetent social media interns of republicans

It was weird to come home on Tuesday and check Twitter. I should have avoided it because I didn’t want the Cubs game spoiled.

Instead the chatter about the Democratic debates (for an election that is 391 days away) was ever present. And mostly the soundbites and tweetable moments, not from the debaters but the insane idiotic bullshit from the other party.

social media trolling is the brand advertising of the now. it’s the unescapable visual and noise pollution that permeates our world.

· · ·

There’s something terrifying as I increasingly worry the structure of modern social media itself is leading us to an unending cycle of outrage and trolling.

This will be the first US presidential cycle where we see the impact at its fullest and its already scary.

“what’s happening?” trump is ultimate troll. trolls have won. trolling and marketing and advertising converge into this streaming cesspool.

There’s an impulse to look away and retreat. I’m weird in that I have a custom, bespoke self-coded media cocoon of my own design — my own custom coded CMS, quiet and removed from freedback, an RSS reader where every piece of code I understand and my filtering and blocking and experience is exactly how I choose it.

· · ·

The trials of adult life are impossible to prepare for.


A very relaxing time.

Paper Anniversary

Best year of my life.

Executive Hobby

As Willis describes it, their careers hinged on the tastes of one man, Adult Swim’s senior executive vice president Mike Lazzo. “Once in my late 20s when I was working on Space Ghost it occurred to me that my career was basically working on a show that was a hobby for our boss, Mike Lazzo,” Willis explains. “He was running programming and development for Cartoon Network, and I think this was his fun thing to do. It was a value but I think this was what he really enjoyed doing. It occurred to me my whole career was this, doing this guy’s hobby. I hope he continues to enjoy his hobby and doesn’t go into like hunting, boating or fishing.”

The Life and Death of Aqua Teen Hunger Force

I cried during the season finale.

Calming Influence

In my 10 years in the tech industry I have been privileged to work with some brilliant people with decades of experience, some of who have been kind enough to try and mentor me at times.

A lot of their advice can be boiled down to “dude, chill.”

In The Year 2015

“Well instead of tail -f ‘ing referrer logs your watch will tap your wrist when people talk about you on the internet. Also there are hoverboards but they are basically just brand marketing.”

“What about snacks?”

“Snack technology is basically the same as in 2000.

“I was really hoping for better snacks.”


@cantwait_bot expresses the agony and excitement of waiting.