What I Read This Week - 28th October

All week there's been this infuriating persistent drizzle. It's like Oxford's been bled of all its colour. Just another wet greyscale city. I put my winter coat on; I still haven't repaired the broken buttons, but never mind. In the mornings the darkness hangs around for a long time, as sluggish as I feel. Last night I watched four episodes of Green Wing in a row and then cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, finally relinquishing items I've known for years we had to get rid of (a block of tamarind that expired in 2010, a tin of peaches that's lived in this house for longer than we have). - Swimming Upstream: A Memoir in Pools (Nathan Deuel at The Paris Review)

Diving into the water was a revelation: cool and clear and I could swim for ten minutes, then twenty minutes, and after a while I was gone from my desk for an hour and then two, as if the swimming was the reason to be in the East fifties, not the job.

I'd really like to write about swimming pools, so I enjoyed this, even though an adolescent part of me was irrationally jealous that Deuel beat me to it.

- The World Is Not Enough: Google and the Future of Augmented Reality (Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic)

Imagine you've got a real-time, spatial distribution platform. Imagine everyone reading about the place you're writing about is standing right in front of it. All that talk about search engine and social optimization? We're talking geo-optimization, each story banking on the shared experience of bodies co-located in space.

- Speaking in Memes (Nathan Jurgenson at The New Inquiry)

Posting a funny “women in a binder” photo to our Facebook wall the day after the debate can make us feel like we are participating in something bigger on our own accord. [...] What is essential here is that what goes viral isn’t what is most accurate but rather the sort of information [...] that demonstrates we are in the know and offers us the best opportunities to add our own two cents along the way in comments and likes. Look: I know about the Binders Full of Women Tumblr! I found the funniest Big Bird captioned photo! I have just the best GIF of Biden laughing you’d ever want to see!

- Scenes From World War II Photoshopped Onto Today's Streets (Rebecca J. Rosen at The Atlantic)

"Also it to me sort of suggests the idea of someone being left behind, history hanging around and staying," she said to me via email.

Have some thoughts about this one that I may turn into a blog post at some point.