Posts Tagged: Rob Walker

Obituary, The Poem

Awl pal Rob Walker looks back at the lives they lived, epic poetically. Yeah, sure "epic poetically" is a description. Well, it is now. Jesus, what's up with you today?


Luxury, Responsibility and the Double-Headed Shower Fixture

Possibly the dual shower head is commonplace place in the wider world, but it’s not in mine. So when I recently encountered one in a hotel-room shower, I found it confusing, and vaguely freakish. I wondered: Is this some thick-headed vision of progress—the same level of “innovation” that answers the three-blade razor with a four-blader? Or is it simply a production error, an industrial design mutant? What I would soon learn is that whatever the original intent, what it had become was, of all things, a moral crossroad.

Awl pal Rob Walker has to fight the gluttony that lives inside us all… before coffee.


Will You Have Eternal Life On The Web?

Awl pal Rob Walker examines what happens to our Internet presence after we die. It's a long read, but worth it.


OkCupid Explained

I've spent the last couple months wondering about dating site OkCupid and its data-driven attempts at viral marketing, but I've always been too lazy to really look into it. Fortunately, Awl pal Rob Walker did so this weekend, and now I know everything.


'Significant Objects' Book Launch Is Next Week And You'll Be There

Got plans for July 10th? Liar! That's like 8 days from now, you're not that organized. Anyway, here's what you should do: Head to the Strand for the launch of Significant Objects (the book). "Join contributors LUC SANTE, MATTHEW SHARPE, MIMI LIPSON, BEN GREENMAN, ANNIE NOCENTI, SHELLEY JACKSON, JASON GROTE and Editors JOSHUA GLENN and ROB WALKER as they read their stories from and celebrate the release of SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS." So yeah, do that.


Consider The Waveform

"What visual sign says 'music'? Notes remain the most typical answer – particularly, it seems, beamed eighth or quarter notes (see the iTunes icon); the solitary eighth note with its jaunty flag; and the clef. The disc shape has had a pretty good run, and you still see instances involving headphones (Napster’s logo, for instance). Maybe representations of speakers and guitars would make the list, too. But if you want to suggest music in the digital era, how about the waveform?" Well? How about it?


Why Boing Boing Works

Awl pal Rob Walker takes a look at "one of the most popular blogs on the planet." (Spoiler: It's Boing Boing.) "Boing Boing's longevity hasn't happened despite its refusal to get serious, but because of it," he argues. This is a good one to print and read at leisure.


The End of the 00s: Noted, Without Noteworthiness, by Rob Walker

Just the other night I was watching Anderson Cooper's variety show on CNN, and right before a commercial break, Mr. Cooper showed about seven seconds of wobbling and grainy footage of a burning truck speeding down a highway. "A burning truck on a highway," he said (or words to that effect). He looked, and sounded, very concerned. "We'll tell how it happened, and where, right after this."


The Story Of Junk

Remember Significant Objects? It's the project from Rob Walker (Buying In) and Joshua Glenn (Taking Things Seriously) wherein writers are paired with a cheap garage sale/thrift shop item chosen by the curators. The writers compose a short story about the item, and the item is put up for auction on eBay. Well, here's your chance to signify! Rob and Kurt Andersen visited a thrift store in Manhattan and picked up "three prime examples of junk." Can you come up with a backstory for them? Of course you can! And you should.


By Design

Awl pal Rob Walker has a new online venue at Design Observer, where he will be writing about the places where design meets the marketplace. It will for sure be worth your while.


The Making Of Willow Palin

Everybody said the Sarah Palin show would be boring. In fact, Sarah Palin said so. Just a few minutes into the first episode, while complaining about unwanted next-door-neighbor Joe McGinniss (who goes unnamed), she declares the author will be “bored to death” observing Palin and family going about their business. That’s a strange thing to say at the top of a multi-part television series about watching Palin and family going about their business. But that is the media genius of Sarah Palin: She wants to be perceived as dull, regular folk, someone who spends her days doing nothing more remarkable than riding in a prop-plane to a [...]


Significant Objects

This is pretty cool: Significant Objects is a project from Rob Walker (Buying In) and Joshua Glenn (Taking Things Seriously) wherein writers are paired with a cheap garage sale/thrift shop item chosen by the curators. The writers compose a short story about the item, and the item is put up for auction on eBay. "Invested with new significance by this fiction," write Walker and Glenn, "the object should – according to our hypothesis – acquire not merely subjective but objective value." The contributors list includes a ton of names with which you're probably familiar. How's it going so far? "As of Monday morning, 57 thrift-store objects purchased for a [...]