briansholis + theatlantic   16

Amanda Mull, "Laptops Killed Work-Life Balance," The Atlantic
"Some disagreement exists over whether 2007 or 2008 was the first year that laptops outsold desktops in the general market, but 2008 was the first year that American employers bought more laptops than desktops."

"Instead of liberating white-collar and “knowledge” workers from their offices, laptops turned many people’s whole lives into an office. Smartphones might require you to read an after-hours email or check in on the office-communication platform Slack before you start your commute, but portable computers gave workers 24-hour access to the sophisticated, expensive applications—Salesforce CRM, Oracle ERP, Adobe Photoshop—that made their full range of duties possible."

"More than the smartphone, laptops ended “work hours” as a concept."
laptops  technology  computers  AmandaMull  2020  2020-02  TheAtlantic  business  WorkLifeBalance 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Ian Bogost, "The Smartphone Has Ruined Space," The Atlantic
[Pair with Kyle Chayka's 2016 "Airspace" essay]

"Blockbuster is dead, but the emotional dread of its aisles lives on in your bedroom."

"Nowhere feels especially remarkable, and every place adopts the pleasures and burdens of every other. It’s possible to do so much from home, so why leave at all?"

"The den or the bedroom has to take on additional responsibilities, haunting them with the functions of locations where other activities once took place."

"… any place whatsoever—even the anthropological spaces that Augé thought gave human experience context—can become equally anonymous."

"… technology has allowed personal intimacy and connection to flourish too much, and anywhere. Now every space is a superspace, a place that might be fused together with any other."

"It’s not just that the work comes home with you, but that the office does as well. Infinitely portable, the smartphone turns every space it enters into a workplace. Once Salesforce is launched, whatever room you occupy is a conference room."

"These changes hollow out the spaces where specific activities once took place. The unique vibe and spiritual energy of the record shop or the clothing boutique evaporate away once Spotify or Amazon takes over for them. Peripheral spaces also decay, such as the transit lines or roads that lead to them, and the cafés or boba joints that flank them."

"It’s easy but disorienting, and it makes the home into a very strange space. Until the 20th century, one had to leave the house for almost anything: to work, to eat or shop, to entertain yourself, to see other people. For decades, a family might have a single radio, then a few radios and a single television set. The possibilities available outside the home were far greater than those within its walls. But now, it’s not merely possible to do almost anything from home—it’s also the easiest option. Our forebears’ problem has been inverted: Now home is a prison of convenience that we need special help to escape."
IanBogost  TheAtlantic  smartphones  architecture  media  technology  2020  2020-01 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Robinson Meyer, "How the Death of iTunes Explains the 2010s," The Atlantic
" What the idealized iPhone user and the idealized Gmail user shared was a perfect executive-functioning system: Every time they picked up their phone or opened their web browser, they knew exactly what they wanted to do, got it done with a calm single-mindedness, and then closed their device. This dream illuminated Inbox Zero and Kinfolk and minimalist writing apps. It didn’t work. What we got instead was Inbox Infinity and the algorithmic timeline. Each of us became a wanderer in a sea of content. Each of us adopted the tacit—but still shameful—assumption that we are just treading water, that the clock is always running, and that the work will never end."
RobinsonMeyer  TheAtlantic  technology  iTunes  productivity  hoarding  FileStructure  2020  2020-01 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Anita Schillhorn van Veen, "The Feminine Mystique Edition," Why Is This Interesting?
"I’m surprised Thompson didn’t reference Betty Friedan in his article; after all, her book is a famous turning point for the “housewife,” and sparked second-wave feminism by articulating the malaise that many women felt in relation to this limited role in society. Friedan made the same argument as Thompson, and thereby catalyzed women to seek professional fulfillment.

I imagine Friedan and Thompson would further agree on another point he makes: That, as Thompson puts it, 'a lot of modern overwork is class and status maintenance.'"
AnitaSchillhornVanVeen  WITI  BettyFriedan  DerekThompson  TheAtlantic  DomesticEconomies  labor  WomensWork  2020  2020-01 
11 weeks ago by briansholis
Jedediah Britton-Purdy, "Becoming a Parent in the Age of Climate Crisis," The Atlantic
"What does it mean to teach a child to live in a time of perennial crisis, always in the shadow of loss? I think about trying to teach him love and wonder first, before he inevitably learns fear. I would like him to be fascinated by a Manhattan red oak, a red-tailed hawk perched in its limbs, or a morel mushroom at its roots, before he thinks, This forest is going to die, with everything in it. When the thought of climate doom arrives, I hope it will arrive in a mind already prepared by curiosity and pleasure to know why this world is worth fighting to preserve."

"Some of the wonder of the world is what is already gone from it. Nothing he learns to love will be undamaged. Love for half-broken things and places is what he will have to practice, like all of us."
JedediahBrittonPurdy  TheAtlantic  environment  parenting  2020  2020-01 
12 weeks ago by briansholis
Our Predictions About the Internet Are Probably Wrong
"Consider what it meant to own books personally and read them silently, rather than having to hear words read aloud: No one knew what you were up to in the privacy of your home. Writers and publishers wanted some degree of ownership—­hence the new concepts of copyright and intellectual property. More books and rising literacy created an eyeglass industry, which in turn brought advances in lens-making, which ultimately made possible the telescope and spelled the end of biblical cosmology. The printing press transformed religion, science, politics; it put information, misinformation, and power in the hands of more people than ever before; it created a celebrity culture as poets and polemicists vied for fame; and it loosened the restraints of authority and hierarchy, setting groups against one another."

"When people can publish whatever they want, they do. The printing press made individual books more uniform and more numerous, but it also put the idea of universal truth up for grabs."

"More books were printed in the five decades after Gutenberg’s invention than had been produced by scribes during the previous 1,000 years."

"we no longer register the impact of the printing press because we have no easy way to retrieve the ambient sensation of “before,” just as we can’t retrieve, and can barely imagine, what life was like when only scattered licks of flame could pierce the darkness of night."
printing  HistoryOfTechnology  technology  internet  TheAtlantic  Gutenberg  RareBooks  2020  2020-01  from instapaper
december 2019 by briansholis
Peter Brannen, "The Arrogance of the Anthropocene," The Atlantic
"So what to make of this new “epoch” of geological time? Do we deserve it? Sure, humans move around an unbelievable amount of rock every year, profoundly reshaping the world in our own image. And, yes, we’re currently warping the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans violently, and in ways that have analogues in only a few terrifying chapters buried deep in Earth’s history. Each year we spew more than 100 times as much CO2 into the air as volcanoes do, and we’re currently overseeing the biggest disruption to the planet’s nitrogen cycle in 2.5 billion years. But despite this incredible effort, all is vanity. Very little of our handiwork will survive the obliteration of the ages. If 100 million years can easily wear the Himalayas flat, what chance will San Francisco or New York have?"
PeterBrannen  TheAtlantic  geology  anthropocene  ClimateChange  environment  2019Faves  2019  2019-08 
september 2019 by briansholis
Peter Brannen, "The Amazon Is on Fire, but Earth Has Plenty of Oxygen"
"In the long run, and from the perspective of oxygen, it’s a wash. As much is consumed as is created—and not only by life. Free oxygen likes to react with almost everything on the planet, whether that’s rocks at Earth’s surface, or sulfur in volcanic gases, or iron in ocean crust. Left to its own devices, oxygen will disappear all by itself."

"You don’t get to 20.9 percent, or an atmosphere that can host animal life, without geologic time, and without the fossil record. The tiny remainder of photosynthetic stuff that isn’t consumed and respired again by life—that 0.01 percent of plants and phytoplankton that manages to escape from this cycle of creation and destruction—is responsible for the existence of complex life on Earth."

"And so we breathe in not merely the thin wisp of oxygen created by living trees on Earth’s surface, but also the ancient oxygen gifted to us by these tens of millions of years of preserved forests and plankton blooms (coal, oil, and natural gas) that now rest under our feet."

Underneath West Virginia and England are vast sleeping jungles, more than 300 million years old, filled with centipedes the size of alligators and scorpions the size of dogs. Under West Texas is a tropical coral reef from a 260-million-year-old ocean, visited, in its day, by sharks with circular saw teeth. Under Saudi Arabia are whole seas of plankton that pulsed with the seasons and sunbathed under the waves in the age of dinosaurs. This is what we are burning at Earth’s surface today."
PeterBrannen  TheAtlantic  environment  ClimateChange  oxygen  TheAmazon  geology  2019Faves  2019  2019-08 
september 2019 by briansholis
Sarah Rich, "Imagining a Better Boyhood"
"As boys grow up, the process of becoming men encourages them to shed the sort of intimate connections and emotional intelligence that add meaning to life."
parenting  gender  masculinity  TheAtlantic  SarahRich  2018Faves  2018  2018-06 
february 2019 by briansholis
Diana Saverin, "The Thoreau of the Suburbs," The Atlantic
When Annie Dillard wrote Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, she didn’t think anyone would want to read a memoir by a "Virginia housewife." So she left her domestic life out of the book—and turned her surroundings into a wilderness.
AnnieDillard  wilderness  NatureWriting  writing  DianaSaverin  TheAtlantic  gender  2015  2015-02  2015Faves 
january 2019 by briansholis
Leslie Jamison, "Enough About Me," The Atlantic
"Both books offer a vision of personal experience as something intellectually constructed rather than nakedly exposed; in their pages, revelation is a mode of self-scrutiny rather than a plea for absolution or attention."
LeslieJamison  BookReview  TheAtlantic  diaries  identity  self-presentation  2015Faves  SarahManguso  DavidShields  2015  2015-04 
january 2019 by briansholis
Peter Brannen, "Why Earth's History Appears So Miraculous," The Atlantic
"In a strange way, truly gigantic craters don’t appear on the planet’s surface because we’re here to look for them. Just as the wounds of the returning planes could reflect only the merely survivable, so too for our entire planet’s history. It could be that we’ve been shielded from these existential threats by our very existence."
PeterBrannen  TheAtlantic  science  DeepTime  geology  life  astronomy  2018Faves  2018  2018-03 
january 2019 by briansholis
Peter Brannen, "How Climate Change Helped the Dinosaurs Come to Power," The Atlantic
“The need to understand strange events like the Carnian Pluvial Episode has taken on new urgency."
PeterBrannen  TheAtlantic  science  geology  DeepTime  dinosaurs  ClimateChange  2018  2018-10 
january 2019 by briansholis
Rebecca Boyle, "Searching for Life in a Martian Landscape," The Atlantic
This liminal state, between finding and not finding, is characteristic of astrobiology in general. We don’t know whether we’re alone, but we don’t know whether we aren’t. We do know that there is one planet with life, and on this planet, life is everywhere; because of us, we can be sure life in the universe is possible. If we don’t find life on Mars pretty soon, or on Enceladus or Titan or Europa or Trappist-1b, that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. But it’s also possible that life has happened only once. We might be it.
astrobiology  AtacamaDesert  Chile  TheAtlantic  RebeccaBoyle  AlienLife  bacteria  2018  2018-11 
january 2019 by briansholis
William Deresiewicz, "In Defense of Facts," The Atlantic
"John D’Agata has accomplished an impressive feat. In three thick volumes, over 13 years, he has published a series of anthologies—of the contemporary American essay, of the world essay, and now of the historical American essay—that misrepresents what the essay is and does, that falsifies its history, and that contains, among its numerous selections, very little one would reasonably classify within the genre."
WilliamDeresiewicz  JohnD'Agata  essays  BookReview  TheAtlantic  facts  writing  2017  2017-01 
january 2019 by briansholis
The History of the Universe Is Written on the Ocean Floor - The Atlantic
Sediments from the bottom of the sea preserve a record of exploding stars—including some that may have changed Earth’s climate, and led to the rise of humans.
RebeccaBoyle  TheAtlantic  2016Faves  science  astronomy  DeepTime  2016  2016-04 
january 2019 by briansholis

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