Daily Bafflements

Polyamory in Silicon Valley, media startups, and Nicholson Baker’s latest

The BafflerSeptember 30, 2016
Not normally the domain of cute things. / Space Engine

Not normally the domain of cute things. / Space Engine

• As if being known for inventing the Twitter hashtag isn’t enough of a sign that you’re an irritating schmuck, writing about how you came to non-monogamy by going to Burning Man ought to do the trick. Chris Messina, #hashtag inventor, is here to explain that not only is “non-monogamy . . . a bicycle for our hearts,” it also ought to be one way for Silicon Valley to begin “disrupting” relationships. Tragically, he’s not the first to make this point.

• A startup with no name, no known funders, and a little more than a mission statement on Medium seeks to reinvent news. After all, those that don’t [cue ominous music] will die. Of course, nearly everyone who has started out with this ambition claim has either: 1.) gone bankrupt; or 2.) trashed their news team for some ambitious turn to “video.” But, hey—details! 

• Over at The Nation: “[Nicholson Baker] is driven by a rather singular set of obsessions, and his writing, though always finely crafted, often feels compulsive, as if his mind were a perpetual-motion machine unable to bring itself to rest.” One of Baker’s “singular set of obsessions”—the assassination of JFK—made it into Baffler no. 25

• “Governments have begun to offer friendlier and more accessible iterations of their space programs,” Talia Lavin explains in the latest Baffler. Well, one of them, Rosetta, is coming to a close, and even has a cutesy YouTube video to announce it.