All posts tagged: things

A Poem by Diane Seuss: ‘Nature Which Cannot Be Driven To’

A Poem by Diane Seuss: ‘Nature Which Cannot Be Driven To’

[ad_1] Illustration by Akaterini Gegisian March 20, 2024, 8:50 AM ET To drive to it is to drive through it.Like a stalker, it is in the back seat of the car.It’s in the passenger seat, and the wires of the radio.You want to think of it as a destination,a two-week break from purchase power.Though you have purchased much to get there.Certain shoes, with certain soles.Like an exile in a self-made skiffin the middle of a tortured sea, natureis what you have done to it.Nature is you, and the doing to it,and your platitudes, and the wishingyou could do more, or could have done more.Could have done—a part of speech referred to asa “modal of lost opportunities.” Natureis the parts of speech, having learned them,and having forgotten them. It is the singularpronoun you looking in the mirror,realizing you could have done more to hold onto your beauty. Who are you kidding?You were never beautiful. There was nothingto hold on to. Nature is how you were born,with a birthmark that blazed when you cried,centered right between your …

Jensen Huang Is Tech’s New Alpha Dog

Jensen Huang Is Tech’s New Alpha Dog

[ad_1] Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos have each taken a turn as technology’s alpha dog, but none of them can claim that title now. Musk has become a polarizing figure, drained of all mystique. Zuckerberg sold us on a social-media dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Bezos self-ejected from the CEO chair at Amazon, so he could make rockets and frolic on his yacht with his fiancée. (Good for him.) At the top of the tech world, a vacancy now looms like a missing tooth. In the months after ChatGPT was released, in November 2022, it seemed as though it might be filled by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI—but he doesn’t yet have the requisite longevity. (Zuckerberg was in a similar position in 2010, before he acquired Instagram and WhatsApp.) The AI boom has, however, produced another contender in Jensen Huang, the 61-year-old CEO of Nvidia. Rather than manufacture chatbots or self-driving cars themselves, Huang’s company develops the fantastically intricate chips that make them possible. Read: The lifeblood of the …

‘The Zone of Interest’ Sound Design Told Another Story

‘The Zone of Interest’ Sound Design Told Another Story

[ad_1] The Zone of Interest is a Holocaust movie that only ever lingers on one victim of the Holocaust. (He’s a prisoner whose job is mixing ashes of the dead into a German commander’s garden soil.) It’s centered on the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, yet you never see a train, or a vicious dog, or a crying baby. Instead you mostly watch domestic scenes from a German commander’s family, as they eat, play, swim, and tend to the garden. This decision has led some critics to complain that the movie keeps the “horrors at an oblique remove,” as Manohla Dargis put it. But that’s true only of the visuals. Through the soundtrack, the horrors come alive in a whole new way. In this episode of Radio Atlantic, the film’s sound designer, Johnnie Burn—who is nominated for an Oscar along with the sound mixer, Tarn Willers—does a close analysis of key scenes in The Zone of Interest. Early on, Burn and the director, Jonathan Glazer, decided they would not use sounds from actors. Instead Burn collected …

The Lost Boys of Big Tech

The Lost Boys of Big Tech

[ad_1] The original “Burn Book” from Mean Girls was used to spread rumors and gossip about other girls (and some boys) at North Shore High School. Kara Swisher’s new memoir, Burn Book, tells true stories about men (and some women) who ruled Silicon Valley. In the 1990s, Swisher was a political reporter in Washington, but tuned into the dot-com revolution early and moved to California to cover it. As a handful of tech titans grew in fame and power, so did she, styling herself as “the best-connected of the tough reporters, and the toughest of the insiders,” writes the Atlantic staff writer Helen Lewis. Swisher became an innovator herself, starting a famous tech conference, launching several successful podcasts, and building a small media empire along the way. Her book collects those decades of stories and insights. On this week’s Radio Atlantic, Swisher recounts some of the most cringey moments of the early dot-com boom, including strange antics at parties she never really wanted to go to. (“I’ll admit I’m not that much fun.”) But mostly …

Jesus of the Small Screen

Jesus of the Small Screen

[ad_1] THE THIRD SEASON of The Chosen, a television series about the life and ministry of Jesus, includes a moving scene between Jesus, played by Jonathan Roumie, and his disciple James, the son of Alphaeus, known as “Little James.” Jordan Walker Ross, who plays James, has severe scoliosis, minor cerebral palsy, and a noticeable limp. His character, nervous, vulnerable, and troubled in spirit, requests a moment with Jesus. Why would Jesus send out his disciples to heal the sick and lame, he asks, and not heal him? Jesus, speaking with tenderness, explains to James that he could heal him, and if he did, James would have a good story to tell, as many others who had been healed by Jesus did. “But think of the story that you have, especially in this journey to come, if I don’t heal you. To know how to proclaim that you still praise God in spite of this. To know how to focus on all that matters so much more than the body. To show people that you can …

The politics of noise and silence

The politics of noise and silence

[ad_1] “Silence was more than the absence of noise; it was an aesthetic to be revered,” Xochitl Gonzalez wrote in 2022. David Gray / Reuters / The Atlantic February 24, 2024, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. One of my favorite descriptions of New York City life comes from a 2022 article my by colleague Xochitl Gonzalez: New York in the summer is a noisy place, especially if you don’t have money. The rich run off to the Hamptons or Maine. The bourgeoisie are safely shielded by the hum of their central air, their petite cousins by the roar of their window units. But for the broke—the have-littles and have-nots—summer means an open window, through which the clatter of the city becomes the soundtrack to life: motorcycles revving, buses braking, couples squabbling, children summoning one another out to play, and music. …

What If Your Best Friend Is Your Soulmate?

What If Your Best Friend Is Your Soulmate?

[ad_1] A lot of the language we use to describe the crucial phases of friendship is borrowed from romantic relationships: friend “crush,” for example, or friend “break up.” A friend can stick around longer than a spouse and be the key to your daily sanity, and still lack a satisfying title. “Best friend”? “Buddy”? “BFF”? All of those fail to convey the weightiness such a relationship deserves. And what if you do “break up” with a best friend? Where do you put your grief? What are the rituals of mourning? In her new book, The Other Significant Others, Rhaina Cohen imagines how life would be different if we centered it on friends. She explains the extremes of friendship—situations in which pairs describe each other as “soulmates” and make major life decisions in tandem. We talk with Cohen about the lost history of friendship and why she cringes when couples at the altar describe each other as their “best friend.” Listen to the conversation here: Subscribe here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Google Podcasts …

Why productivity makes us so anxious

Why productivity makes us so anxious

[ad_1] Our writers’ most helpful insights on getting things done without stressing about them too much. Francois Lenoir / Reuters February 10, 2024, 8 AM ET This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. “Productivity is a sore subject for a lot of people,” my colleague Amanda Mull wrote last fall—and I’ll admit that just reading that line makes me feel a little stressed. Perhaps it’s because, as Amanda puts it, “Americans invest personal productivity with moral weight, as though human worth can be divined through careful examination of work product, both professional and personal.” Today’s reading list is an attempt to contemplate productivity without experiencing the accompanying anxiety. I’ve rounded up some of our writers’ most helpful insights on getting things done and conceptualizing productivity’s role in your life. On Getting Things Done The Only Productivity Hack That Works on Me By Amanda Mull Never …

Long Live the Chicago Rat Hole

Long Live the Chicago Rat Hole

[ad_1] Even something that starts as irony can give us a sense of community. Evan Jenkins January 26, 2024, 7:30 AM ET There’s a hole in the cement of a Chicago sidewalk. It is shaped like a rat. That’s about it. Still, over the past few weeks, the Chicago Rat Hole—named Splatatouille in a vote by the residents—has evolved from a neighborhood quirk into an internet sensation. The story began on January 6, when the comedian Winslow Dumaine posted a photo of it on X (formerly Twitter). The photo now has more than 5 million views and has inspired hordes of people to travel across the city to visit the hole themselves, bringing offerings of coins, cheese, and liquor, and posting on social media about their voyage. Discourse abounds. Maybe it was really made by a squirrel, an animal more likely to fall from high up in a tree onto wet concrete. Perhaps the rat already had a name—some speculated it was previously known to locals as Chimley. This past Saturday, the fever around the …

Things Young Men Do That Confuses Older Men

Things Young Men Do That Confuses Older Men

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