From The Archives
5

An Awl Programming Note

Do not adjust your feeds; they are working correctly. Rather than let pieces trickle out over the next couple of days while we sit by a pool or alone on a mountaintop and try to pretend that our lives, like the summer, are not rapidly collapsing into a single point of nothingness, we are trying an experiment in which we publish all of the day's stories at once. If it proves successful, we may consider an entirely new form of publishing, in which we bundle an entire day's worth of news and commentary into a single package that we deliver to your doorstep. It has never been done before. We're [...]

---
0

How to Count to Infinity

As a child, one might have imagined counting to ten billion in the course of reckoning with the seeming infinitude of enormous numbers. This is actually impossible to do in a human life time, since it would take over three hundred years. But, as an adult, one might discover that he can simply will himself from zero to that number, or even more—at least as long as he is counting in dollars, as the founders of Snapchat and Uber have discovered, whose companies are now valued at more than ten billion dollars. A lingering question: now that the ten-billion-dollar frat has become a little less exclusive, who will be [...]

---
3

Neighborhood Demographics Shifting

"But walking around the East Village, I just want to cry at the state of it. There are so many fuckin’ jocks everywhere! It’s like a frat house everywhere. There are all those terrible bars like The 13th Step, and it’s just spreading over to A and B. And now, in Williamsburg, you have all these frat guys dressed as alternatives. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, but where are the real weirdos?" They have apparently moved to Park Slope.

---
1

The Waning of the Hobo

"There are currently nine major North American freight railroads. Operators point out that hopping freight is illegal and extremely dangerous and hope that the slide in hobo numbers in recent decades will continue."

---
1

Who's a Good Trendspotter? You Are, You Are.

"It's never been cooler to look like a baby."

---
0

Website Editor Named

Please join us in saying hello and welcome to the new editor of The Hairpin, Haley Mlotek, who you may remember around these parts for advocating for Showgirls, the end of Vogue, and manifestos that demand the death of all men. Even though she is Canadian. Hi Haley!

---
1

Music Scene Finds a Way

"I'm outside a strip mall in Stockton, Calif. It's got a big Asian grocery store, a pet shop, and a secondhand store, called D. Thrift. There are about 50 kids my age — all in their late teens and early 20s — talking and smoking in front of an empty storefront. It used to be a cellphone shop and before that a place that sold diet pills, but tonight it's the best underground rock show in town."

---
0

Robin Williams, 1951-2014

Robin Williams, comedian and actor, has died.

---
0

Transit Problem Disruptable

In light of the discovery of more bedbugs, on another N train—leading to calls to fumigate the entire line—one wonders how long it will be before Uber, savior of the public from our degraded, inefficient and apparently infested transit system, offers a bed bug special.

---
3

Invisible Hand Left In Invisible Pocket

“Let’s say Ron Paul is Nirvana,” begins the first paragraph of a piece that wonders if the "Libertarian Moment" has finally arrived. "Our libertarian moment, in other words, might very well pass unexploited," begins the last paragraph of the same piece.

---
0

Some Good News for a Change

"It's springtime on Saturn, and the hexagon is out."

---
1

A Reminder That Google Precog Is Only in Effect for Certain Crimes

A reminder from Google after its automatic scanning of all email moving in and out of Gmail recently identified a man using the service to send pictures of child pornography: It is important to remember that we only use this technology to identify child sexual abuse imagery, not other email content that could be associated with criminal activity (for example using email to plot a burglary).

Gmail: a secure choice for plotting assassinations and most other crimes since 2004.

---
1

The End Arrives in a Paper Cup

The newest project from The Mast Brothers—giant-bearded gingers who arrived on the shores of Williamsburg in exquisitely crafted aprons and denim shirts to make conscientiously sourced and highly articulate hand-crafted bean-to-bar chocolate after leaving behind soulless corporate lives—is called The Chocolate House, and it combines all of that painful earnestness with the trappings of a Fancy Coffee Shop, like cold brew and pourover chocolate. Pay heed, children. This may be one of the signs of The Brooklyn Apocalypse, come to pass. (via Eater)

---
0

Expert Made Available

Every morning, that first glance at your email is a concession and a gamble. It is a concession that this day will proceed in the manner of ___days past, and that you agree to deal with whatever shows up in your inbox, either by consciously engaging with it or consciously ignoring it; it is a simple wager that nothing too horrible has arrived since you last checked. A good gambler would look at the inbox (Unread: 1,642) and see only downside. And yet the tab stays open. And this morning:

Good morning and welcome to the first full week of August.

---
0

When Lights Are Low In London

"SCARED residents are snapping up stab proof vests and protective clothing to shield themselves from attacks during the street light switch-off, an Essex defence company boss claims."

---
4

The Subway Train I Would Not Ride

If I had to choose one subway train to not ride, I’d not ride the 2 train. After researching more than twenty subway lines and testing six measures of performance, the Straphangers Campaign found that that the 2 was the one train that its panel could agree on was the worst. It's not perfectly awful—although it scored below average on "regularity of service," "delays caused by mechanical breakdowns," and "seat availability during rush hour." It fortunately tied for best in the system on subway car announcements. However, it is pretty bad, and of all the trains, it is the one that I would not ride.

---
7

Moral Calculus Elucidated

Amazon, apparently no longer all that comfortable with the role that it has settled into during the course of its ongoing standoff with the publisher Hachette—unrepentant and unyielding monopoly monster—now wishes to explain itself: It's also important to understand that e-books are highly price-elastic. This means that when the price goes up, customers buy much less. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 [...]

---
1

Habitat Unnatural

"The curtains are drawn. Some light comes through, casting a small glow on the top left of the air conditioner. It’s daytime. The wall is an undecorated slab of beige. That is the American room." —Paul Ford observes the species through the eyes of the machines, and it is fantastic.

---
2

Gauntlet Thrown Directly into Toilet

"'This is one of those wonderful high-water marks in The Atlantic’s 157 year history,' Atlantic Media chairman David Bradley said in a press release. 'Our founders (Emerson, Holmes, Longfellow …) would welcome Fareed [Zakaria] enthusiastically—and then worry about raising their own game.'"

---
1

Filtering Technology Advanced

Whisper's advanced technology to reduce the amount "meanness" floating around on its service, otherwise known as "libel," has a high cost: The company, based in this city’s Venice neighborhood, says it has built filters to reduce celebrity gossip and everyday name-calling. "We have a huge layer of technology that detects proper names and puts those posts in a different queue for evaluation by 130 full-time human moderators," Mr. Heyward said. "At least in the short term, these policies have been growth inhibitors for us."

What a terrible thing this at least passing interest in making people less savage hath wrought: an inhibition of growth, a startup's only [...]

---