The algorithm “introduced” us. Now, there’s an unexpected, one-way kinship.

Perhaps the first of three things you need to know is I’m a night owl and my TikTok friend works the night shift.

The second thing you need to know is how TikTok works. Its magical, black-box-contained algorithm gathers as much data about you as it can and attempts to intelligently place content before you that maximizes your engagement. If you’re interested in type, as I am, you could expect to regularly see creators’ content about fonts. If you like frogs, you’ll make your way to “FrogTok.” If you’re a Democrat, it’ll figure you out. …

I’ve had to deal with the IRS and AAA this week if you were wondering how my life’s going. Here’s a late newsletter, with a new format I’m trying on for size. Have a wonderful week.

“Tags: crazy pizza, enormous pizza, huge pizza, LaManna bakery, Toronto”

“Friendships hold uncountable sorrows and joys, like toasting your new life or eating Ikea hot dogs in the store parking lot, our masks blowing like flags from our wrists.”

“There’s been surprisingly little written about the specific impact of our digital culture on memory.”

“Perhaps it had been so long since a plan felt viable that I didn’t know how to do it any more.”

“I messed up the word bicycle. The fact it was so easy mortified me. I never stopped being ashamed of that one.”

Breakfast Cereal Timeline

“But although so many coped admirably, this generation will be forever changed. As one 16-year-old put it, ‘Making history is way overrated.’”

“I think that’s what it’s all about — when the internet just kind of understands an image and chooses it as something that they want to share with others.”

“Wimberly said she couldn’t imagine wearing her bathrobe and slippers while tuning in from her living room, even if she was by herself.”

“I also eat jelly beans.”

“Design was more of a survival than a craft at that point.”

“’I felt like a god,’ Dr. Kariko recalled.”

Dua Lipa’s Tiny Desk Concert

“It simply requires showing up in places that are unrelated to your worldly ambitions.”

“This Portuguese fish tin museum is incredible.”

Every child hates going to the doctor for one simple reason: generally, when you’re there, you’re not having a good time. Negative associations abound. You’re sick and you feel bad. If you’re really sick, the doctor might make you feel worse, a shot pricking you with a needle, the momentary pain a betrayal from a person you were told would make things better. Cue waterworks.

When I was a kid, my pediatrician had a clever way of cheering us up in an effort to make shots less scary and painful. He’d take his Bic pen and draw a cartoon character…

O, Wind, If Winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1819

Here’s what all this means: We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May.

President Joe Biden, 2021


“We have to find many, many new words, because so many things happened during the last months.”

Perhaps no language is more famous for ambitious vocabulary than German. Appropriately, it was German that I reached for in coining Pfizerfreude, when in conversation with a friend last week I needed a word to describe the jealousy I…

Last spring, as the quarantine days became weeks, turned to months, and to seasons, our language for the pandemic’s pace changed; we are about to pluralize “year.” This week, as we approach the one year anniversary, the United States has lost now more than 500,000 neighbors to this virus. The time and toll of this pandemic are nearly incomprehensible, playing out on a scale for which we have few reference points.

With only a few exceptions, I have made dinner every night for myself and my quarantine pod over the last year. It is something I offered to do back…

My computer is at the Genius Bar, currently being diagnostically probed for the problems I reported to Apple this week. They’re small as individual issues, but collectively they’ve made using my computer frustrating at times, and near-impossible at others. So far I’m told they can’t find any faults. This, despite my lived experience of unusable peripherals and flickering screens.

There’s been a pervasive sense lately, at least for me, of a misalignment between my reality and that of my fellow travelers on this Earth. Take, for instance, the general approach to the pandemic. While there’s reason for hope that the…

I live in downtown Charleston, S.C., and the home I am renting is currently for sale. Charleston is a real estate hotspot right now, so we’ve had to accommodate a showing almost daily. We’re extra sure to have the house in a presentable state at a moment’s notice. It’s not that the house wouldn’t be generally, but in a year where you’re simply never hosting company, it feels like an extraordinary effort.

The great benefit of this minor inconvenience, though, has been these appointments encouraging — necessitating — getting out of the house. Each showing lasts twenty or thirty minutes…

Pandemic aside, this week has felt normal. The Trump-associated weight of the last four years hasn’t abated, but it has shifted and feels a little easier to carry now. Great typography has returned to government publications, and now I’m sure the government is only screwing things up in the “normal” way.

I spend a good chunk of my time reading things from across the Internet (and in meatspace, too), and I figured I’d pass along a few things that made my week. I’m going to keep at this, so please — please tell your friends about this show. It’s quite…

I had a civics teacher, I think in middle school, who used to refer to the straight ticket option on a ballot as the “dummy button.” It’s not so much that he felt voting on partisan lines was bad per se, but that making an affirmative decision for each candidate connected you more clearly to the democratic process. And, forever a romantic, I’ve always liked that perspective.

I never miss an election, and I never vote straight ticket. And I worked for the Democratic Party. Sure, most of my votes have been to progressive candidates over the years, but on…

Local favorites, Xiao Bao Biscuit and Tu, were caught charging customers extra sales tax on every bill, a 2.5 percent surcharge that was undisclosed and intended as a “convenience fee” offsetting credit card processing fees, according to the Post & Courier. The restaurant has since made strides to reformat their checks and respond to the allegations of deception, but not after more than a day of silence as the story danced across the Internet.

The story has become fodder for social media conversations in a way most Charleston stories don’t because of the combination of storylines: it centers on the…

Geoff Yost

I’m a consultant in Charleston, S.C. helping people, small businesses, and non-profits develop new ideas and solve consequential problems.

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