Webtacular World Issue # 377, July 25, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! I guess I owe you all an update for how the first week back in the office went – and the answer is about as good as could be expected moving into a new building in the undefined period of a pandemic. Everyone in my office is self reported as vaccinated, so that was a huge weight off, even amidst the rising number of cases. The other good thing was that since we were simultaneously moving into a new building, that meant that I wasn’t the only person who had no idea how to function in that space. What was most interesting is how exhausting the whole endeavor is; getting out of bed early, putting on office appropriate attire and looking presentable, commuting, and putting on a positive face and being around real live humans who are not my immediate family for 8 hours at a time (even if I genuinely LIKE my co-workers, which I am lucky enough to actually do), day after day, is EXHAUSTING. I came home each day and was in bed by 10pm, which, if you know me, is entirely against my nature. Again, the arguable only good thing about COVID is that it showed everyone that working from home full time is a real possibility, and not some unobtainable goal. Sure, I highly doubt that I would have ever learned that I have another colleague who also really likes hot sauce, but how important is that to actually getting our jobs done? On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Pomp And Circumstance In Front Of No One
Why: Because the Olympics are happening even though it seems entirely clear that they should not be. It doesn’t help that there are multiple other failings of these games that are highlighting the fact that it doesn’t seem like the world really wants to come together at this moment, at all. The weather gods also seem angry about it.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Metaverse Is Your New Home
Why: Because it seems like tech companies keep learning the wrong lessons from dystopian fiction, or just (probably correctly) assume not enough of us read any of it to understand why this is an absolutely trash idea.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Mississippi Tries To Make The US Worse, Yet Again
Why: Because it is 2021 and whether a woman has the sole right to her body should no longer be a discussion.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: EVs Are OK
Why: Because one of the common arguments against electric vehicles is that they end up either causing more pollution or are no cleaner than traditional internal combustion engines. This is not true. This is not saying that there aren’t issues with mining rare earth minerals, or choosing to develop personal transportation over community based solutions like rail or busses, but as far as a better replacement for our current car culture is concerned, EVs win hands down.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (long reads)
What: America At A Crossroads
Why: Because early on in the games, Team U.S.A. seems to be facing stiffer competition than it is used to. Particularly, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics are not dominating the way that they were expected to. However, this has allowed more stories of other countries’ successes to break through – Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia won in the pool, while Kimia Alizadeh came within inches of winning the first medal ever for the Refugee Olympic Team.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: Walking Without Rhythm
Why: Because the new Dune trailer is excellent.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Rising Failure Of Kanye West
Why: Because Kanye’s public implosion keeps happening, and no one seems to want to stop him.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Let’s Look At Some Amazing People
Why: Because Olympic athletes represent the the peak physical state of the human condition, and it is amazing to see what the best of us can do.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Go Read Snow Crash
Why: Because, as stated above, not enough people have probably read the book to understand why trying to build a metaverse is a terrible idea. I realize I used an Amazon link, which is very problematic in its own way, so preferably go pick up a copy from your local book store instead.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Empathy In Game Form
Why: Because the cult classic Psychonauts is getting a sequel that has been years in the making. Tim Schafer, the game’s creator, is well known in the industry for pushing stories that are generally rooted in positivity, and seems to continue here.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: The Google Games; Our Fun Future; Be More Like Ted
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: NOTHING BUT GOLD, BABY
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

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