Blog posts

  • The Fourth Emergency Service

    Courtesy of the The New Yorker, a tale of the downside of working from home:

    911 OPERATOR: 911 - what's your emergency?

    ROBERT: Hi, I . . . uh . . . I work from home.

    OPERATOR: O.K., is anyone else there with you, sir?

    ROBERT: No, I'm alone.

    OPERATOR: And when's the last time you saw someone else? Was that today?

    ROBERT: Uh, my wife . . . this morning, I guess.

    OPERATOR: Anyone else?

    ROBERT: I don't think so. Well, the mailman, but that was through the blinds. I don't know if that counts.

    OPERATOR: I'm afraid not. (Pause.) I'm going to ask you to open the blinds, O.K.? Let's go ahead and let some light in.

    […]

    Me, I don't work from home. We're allowed to - indeed, my employers are very proud of how their 'TW3' 1 program contributes to making a brilliant workplace by, among other things, permitting us to work from home for up to two days a week. Past experience tells me that if given the opportunity to set my own hours I'd be prone to end up with no clear sense of the gap between work mode and the rest of my life. 2

    [Via swissmiss]

    1. Transforming the Way We Work.

    2. One positive side of an 80 minute daily commute by public transport, split between three or four different services depending upon the precise time I leave work, is that it serves as an opportunity to leave work mode far behind me.

  • Remigration

    Six years before he earned an Oscar nomination for Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins turned his attention to science fiction with a short film called Remigration about how San Francisco would deal with the day when it became clear that gentrification had pushed the working class out of the city:

    Nice work, more concerned with the people than the technology.

    [Via Little White Lies]

  • Mr Madila

    Meet Mr Madila:

  • God of tennis meets Prometheus

    The prospect of one more grand slam final between Federer and Nadal prompted Greg Jericho to break out the statistics:

    Take for example [Federer's] record of 36 consecutive grand slam quarter-finals. The only player who had any hope of matching it was Novak Djokovic. He gave it a damn good try, making it to 28, before coming unstuck at Wimbledon last year. That left him only two years short.

    How absurd is 36 in a row? Were Grigor Dimitrov, who after his run to the semi-finals looks set to make the next step, to start a streak from this tournament, all he would need to do to break the record is to make the quarter-final of every grand slam tournament from this year's French Open until the Australian Open in 2026.

    Quibble all you want over how Federer's face-to-face record against Nadal shows that Nadal had Federer's measure during his glory years, or about how if you want to see an individual's domination of an era in tennis you need to look at Serena Williams. The bottom line is that we'll not see Federer's like again any time soon in the men's game. Thank goodness that we had David Foster Wallace to memorialise him.

    The metaphysical explanation is that Roger Federer is one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws. Good analogues here include Michael Jordan, who could not only jump inhumanly high but actually hang there a beat or two longer than gravity allows, and Muhammad Ali, who really could "float" across the canvas and land two or three jabs in the clock-time required for one. There are probably a half-dozen other examples since 1960. And Federer is of this type — a type that one could call genius, or mutant, or avatar. He is never hurried or off-balance. The approaching ball hangs, for him, a split-second longer than it ought to. His movements are lithe rather than athletic. Like Ali, Jordan, Maradona, and Gretzky, he seems both less and more substantial than the men he faces. Particularly in the all-white that Wimbledon enjoys getting away with still requiring, he looks like what he may well (I think) be: a creature whose body is both flesh and, somehow, light.

  • STANDARDS PERSIST

    Postlight's Drew Bell explains why SHOUTY CAPS persist:

    Now, the funny thing about the timing of the various computer revolutions is that they overlap enough that a few well-kept networks from the early days are still alive and kicking, so you can guarantee that every time you lop off some backward compatibility, a sysop in a basement office somewhere will groan, outraged.

    [Via Track Changes]

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