The Happy Hour

By M.G. Siegler

The Last Dance

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The Happy Hour
We got hammered (in a bad way). We danced (in a bad way). Basically, it seems like the pandemic has played out as Tomas Pueyo laid out in March of 2020. So when he came back a couple weeks ago with a new message: the pandemic is now over, you obviously have to listen (read) to what he has to say. And, of course, it makes sense. It hasn’t been easy or without cost (sadly, some very real costs), but we’ve largely done what we set out to do which is: make COVID less deadly. The situation isn’t perfect, but it was never going to be. Yet science, and to a lesser degree, humanity, has held up its end of the bargain. So now what?
Well, the answer, at least in some circles, is a return to some level of normalcy. Some believe it’s too soon to start that process with Omicron still ripping through the world. But the reality is that there will never be a perfect time to declare an end to the pandemic. Because COVID will never be fully over. It’s here to stay. And we’re here to live with it.
The most interesting part of Pueyo’s new post is his assertion that governments are going to be too slow to react to the new reality. This will undoubtedly also prove true. And it’s too bad because this malaise has very real trickle-down effects. It’s going to be hard for all of us to move on from this, after a full two years of living in various states of very real fear, uncertainty, and doubt. How do you go back to normal from here? It was always going to be hard, but it’s harder when authorities (which still includes the CDC, despite their best efforts to undermine themselves) are slow to come to this realization about the new reality as well.
And then there’s the political element that has unfortunately been layered on top here. If we take masks off, all the anti-mask contingent will be quick with the “see, we were right the whole time!”. They were not, of course. And their selfishness at best prolonged all of this – and at worst, caused more death and potential variants. But the flip side is also worth noting: those whom hold on to the strictest ways of living with COVID are going to make it very hard to ever get back to some semblance of normal. We need to recognize… both sides of this.
Anyway, this is probably a much longer post. So for now, let’s just grab a drink and contemplate how we return to normal.
Drinking: a Marin Brewing (RIP 😢) 3 Flowers IPA 🍺

The Great Resignation Is Accelerating
Trainspotting, but with Nukes
Eloquence is Overrated
Moxie Marlinspike on "Web3"
Class 1 / Class 2 Tech Problems
Quotable
"It could well be Covid effects. It could be we are pushing on a smaller market than we thought. But I’m not sure why."
Reed Hastings, talking on Netflix’s earnings call as to why subscriber growth is slowing. Hastings is usually good for a comment like this – a seemingly dry, honest answer. I mean, he probably has some thoughts as to what’s happening, but he’s also probably not going to share too much without knowing for sure, and instead will aim to surprise with a fix – even if it means moving beyond the ‘flix’. “We are staying calm and trying to figure it out.” The squid squirms, but I remain a bull.
Quick Hits
🍎 Stephen Hackett argues that Apple should bring back the “Dashboard” feature in macOS. I completely agree. The notifications “tray” is a mess. Dashboard was an absolute delight when it first launched, and it may be more useful now in our era of insane multitasking (not to mention iOS widgets – which can now run on M1 Macs, of course).
🏢 Great eulogy of John Arrillaga by his daughter, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen. Amazing how much of Silicon Valley he built, quite literally.
👕 Amazon, which has failed time and time again to crack fashion, but has quietly become a force in apparel retail, seemingly just thanks to size and scale, wants to open physical clothing stores now. Mildly dystopian, sure but mainly I just think they should do so under a different brand.
🖥 Uh… Apple’s new “Universal Control” feature just launched in the latest iOS and macOS betas and holy shit, it looks amazing. One of those “it just works” things that only Apple can pull off so seamlessly thanks to the software/hardware integration they live by.
🤳 Solid profile of Cameo by Tom Faber for The Financial Times, who uses the service to ask Kenny G about his hair care regime.
📺 What people actually watch on streaming is not what you might expect. But it mirrors “regular” TV. For all the buzz the marquee titles with big names get, Netflix needs content that eats hours, and syndicated network content does that. 322 episodes of Criminal Minds does that.
🪖 Want a good overview of how and why Russia may invade Ukraine? (As well as how and why Putin may not?) The Economist has you covered.
💬 Matthew Bischoff makes a very compelling case for a “Mark as Unread” feature in iMessage. But honestly, it doesn’t need to be compelling, this has been obvious to any user of the service since day one. It’s sort of wild the service is now 10 years old and still doesn’t have this. At the very least, we need a “snooze” or “flag” or “remind me later” like Slack has (though I often wish Slack’s was simpler). It’s madness in 2022.
#️⃣ Speaking of Slack, Ellen Cushing did a deep dive last October into the current state of how it has changed work communication for The Atlantic.
🔫 Holy shit. Heat 2. But it’s not a movie, it’s a novel. By Meg Gardiner and yes, Michael Mann. Sort of a fascinating strategy to follow-up one of the greatest films of all time. It lands in August. (This is not a preview.)
Some Recent (Not So Recent) Writing
In My Tree
Parts Known
Weather Or Not
Muted White Lotus
Apple is Being Sued into App Store Submission
Speaking of Heat...
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M.G. Siegler
M.G. Siegler @mgsiegler

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