Reading on the internet's shadows
or how independent magazines are the sun we need
Lydia Davis says there are two types of reading. On one hand, the text becomes invisible, and our attention is only attached to the story. We read, as one who is carried away by a narrative that flows smoothly in our brains. In the words of Lydia Davis, one gets the feeling that "fiction has more reality than I do."
On the other, we are mindful readers - eager to learn, critic, and expand our minds. We read aware of the text, we take notes and try to understand how the author thinks. Instead of getting lost in a narrative that ins’t ours, we study every word, every choice.
As an editor, when I read independent magazines, I realized that I do both types of reading. First, I let myself get lost in articles, essays, and interviews, only to, in a page flip, be awakened by a different layout or a curious highlight that forces me to zoom out and regain the consciousness of the printed media I have in hand. Then I start to think about what I like in a magazine. Is it their tone? The eye-catching design? Or is it the touch of the paper? Maybe I like the magazine as a whole, as a curated selection of pieces. Still thinking about my own magazine and how I can improve it, I start to read again.
In the shadow of Internet distractions, it is with these fragmented publications in mind that I exercise my way of thinking. What can I say, sunny days request kaleidoscopic readings.
💾 Memory Lane
“I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then” - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Falling into a rabbit hole was unthinkable for a human, at least until 1865 - the year Lewis Carroll made Alice fall into a den and get lost in an unknown world. On the Internet, the expression Rabbit Hole has become a metaphor for the moments when we stumble, figuratively, into information holes that spice our curiosity and feed our obsessions. It was only this week that I let myself be carried away by this train of thought, but Kathryn Schulz has already summed it up brilliantly in the article "The Rabbit-Hole Rabbit Hole" - a reflection about the skeins that we unfold on the Internet.
💻 Present Tense
“I think that ideas exist outside of ourselves. I think somewhere, we're all connected off in some very abstract land. But somewhere between there and here ideas exist.” - David Lynch
I have always been fond of clouds, but I only recently discovered that I could make this love affair official. The Cloud Appreciation Society aims to foster understanding and appreciation of clouds and has over 49,000 members worldwide from 120 different countries. They pledge to fight 'blue-sky thinking' because life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.
This week I also started watching Connected, a new Netflix docuseries, and found that my fascination with clouds was only beginning. In the fifth episode, science journalist Latif Nasser investigates the meteorological forecast's birth and its connection with the data we store in the cloud. On Twitter, I found out that the temporary water mountains we call clouds are enormous. I feel like I spent the whole week with my head in the clouds.
🔍 Time will tell
“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them” - Steve Jobs
Matt Webb is indignant. Its 2020 and screens not only did not adapt to the sun's variation but they did not have fluorescent yellow pixels yet. In his blog Interconnected, Webb writes about the last decade's expectations for the screens and how billions of smartphones manufactured annually are an offense to the imagination.
I should be able to run my thumb over my phone while it’s in my pocket and feel bumps for apps that want my attention. Touching an active element should feel rough. A scrollbar should slip. Imagine the accessibility gains. But honestly I don’t even care if it’s useful: 1.5 billion smartphone screens are manufactured every year. For that number, I expect bells. I expect whistles.
And today's question is:
🤔 Which magazines keep you company when the Internet goes to sleep?
Let’s share ideas, recommendations, and thoughts!