Two Pieces by Cory Doctorow

I’m not always a Cory Doctorow fan. Sometimes his jargon sort of backs up the flow of his point1. When he’s onto something, though, his observations about what is happening now in our spheres of information technology are frequently illuminating.

Back in January, Cory Doctorow published an article at Locus magazine called “Social Quitting.” My own ongoing2 ambivalence about social platforms runs in tandem with my curiosity about them, and so Doctorow’s title rang several of my bells. And these days, for anyone who’s watching, the platforms and the economy they support have been in flux. His point that these developments are cyclical is well-taken. However myopic we are day-to-day, the truth is that Meta and Twitter are just advertising companies and not utilities, and eventually we’ll all move on to something else.

Also worth a look is Doctorow’s piece in this week’s Atlantic, “How Google Ran Out of Ideas,” which I found equally interesting.

  1. as in clogs, not supports.
  2. neverending?

A Record a Day 2023: January

For anyone who might want to follow along, here’s an approximate Apple Music version of a-record-a-day from January. I missed a few days but since a) I’m sure I can make them up this year, and b) I was making a record those days, I believe I remain on track. There are a few titles that aren’t streaming, so I substituted wherever it made sense. Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros does not appear at all.

Frank O’Hara

Why I Am Not a Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink” he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES.