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Inherent Vice, Awkward Mood

If the options for an Inherent Vice movie were Joaquin Phoenix reciting Pynchon's best lines in a grave tone OR Joaquin Phoenix slipping in and out of mania while falling down a lot, physically, this seems to have been the right choice. It's just barely apparent in the trailer, but here is something that I'm curious to see in practice: Robert Elswit, longtime Paul Thomas Anderson collaborator, is listed as the movie's cinematographer. Elswit's all BIG SKIES and SYMMETRY and LINGERING SHOTS and MUSCULAR ACTION. There's not a whole lot of comedy in his credits! And certainly nothing quite like this: "It’s a stoner detective film so overstuffed with visual gags and gimmicks that the filmmaker said he was inspired by slapstick spoofs like 'Top Secret!' and 'Airplane!'"

Time Spent

That audience-measuring company Chartbeat has "gained accreditation from the Media Rating Council for attention-based measurement of both content and advertising" is important to advertisers and therefore to all the people whose work and internet time-wasting activities depend on them. This metric, the apparent next metric, after page views and "uniques," is perhaps harder to trick but still easy to optimize for, especially if you're one of the new formless internet publishers—a relatively straightforward video, a quiz, or some as-of-yet unknown demanding media object that can hold you still, if not keep you truly engaged, will, in time terms, usually beat out a written story that takes a long time to produce and read. People are already hashing this part out. READ MORE

Stars, "No One Is Lost"

If you told me that this song was by Stars I would say, oh yeah, obviously, that voice, yeah, I hear it. But if you didn't, I would hesitate to assume. If you told me it wasn't, I would absolutely believe you. Anyway: This is not a new song by some new band from LA or Berlin or The Playa. This is a new song by Stars.

Publishing's Best Worst Friends

The leaders of American "literary culture" are worrying, gathering and organizing: READ MORE

Lifestyle Appraised

"We rarely fight, but when we do, we’re forced to choose our battlegrounds carefully. My place is usually out and the dumpster doesn’t work either–it’s impossible to take anything seriously in a one-room box that doesn’t even have a proper door. If a fight needs to be had, we usually end up hashing it out in the relative privacy of a car in a parking lot. I’ve cried my fair share of tears parked between two yellow lines." —The world's most performative dater (previously) on cohabiting in a dumpster.

Dev Hynes, "Everything Is Embarrassing"

Lost in the slightly tense but mostly tepid feud between songwriter Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) and Sky Ferreira over artistic ownership of "Everything Is Embarrassing" is the document itself. Ferreira's version, the enormous hit, is slick and perfect and instantly imprints itself on your brain, where it is stored as just one or two repeating stanzas. Hynes's version, a functional and unpolished demo, feels small and tentative—it sounds embarrassed.

The Drivers Must Roll

Here is some totally unhelpful but still fascinating background decoration for Uber's incredibly rapid recruitment, containment and domination of its drivers, who, if they work in New York, just found out that their recently and suddenly reduced rates are now permanent, despite protests. It's a passage from Robert Heinlein's 1940 short story, "The Roads Must Roll," in which cars have been replaced by enormous conveyors operated by a largely invisible network of technicians: READ MORE

Self Affirmed

"He reads a lot of sort of opinion writers online, including a lot of people he thinks are smart, including [Vox's] Ezra Klein, [The Dish blogger] Andrew Sullivan and [New York's] Jonathan Chait."

New York Endless, "A Consultant's Agreement"

Sunny, approachable computer music that will remind you of a lot of things—this track took me straight to Bugskull, while the next two songs on the EP pointed in different directions entirely. The full stream is here.

The Internet's Unspoken Zoning Rules

"We’ve also gotten a steady stream of feedback from non-members (including Google) that our design makes the site look dated and neglected, and the information on the site may be untrustworthy as a result," says Metafilter's Matt Haughey, who yesterday announced the site's first new template in over a decade. Machines make unpleasant neighbors.