Goodbye on the Mersey, James Tissot, 1881
As you might have guessed from my four-month absence, I can no longer continue writing Normcore on a regular basis.
A confluence of things has led to this.
First, I recently started a new position at work and am extremely (and very, very happily) busy onboarding (Tumblr is still awesome! If you don’t believe come, come sign up or dust off that alt account :) and I foresee work taking up a ton of my mental space into the near future.
Second, I think I’ve pretty much exhausted all the themes I can possibly write about: it’s important to examine things in a nuanced way instead of with kneejerk reactions and we have to work that much harder at it in today’s media environment, good things don’t scale, machine learning is very hard and made out of people, boring technology is good, the internet is very hard and made out of people, being a working mom is Very Hard, and companies always do the thing where they balance trying to do complex AI with making tons of money.
Third, my second baby, who was born around the same time as Normcore, decided he no longer feels like sleeping and has been waking up at 4:30 am for the past four months, which means by the time it gets to Normcore time, 8 at night, after a full day of work and two small kids, I have about as much energy as a wrung-out mop, if that mop also had to yell at a toddler not to eat toilet paper.
Fourth, it becomes hard, as Brian wrote when he closed BNet, to keep examining new internet phenomena under the same lens over and over again. Combined with the cyclical demands of the newsletter to publish, publish, publish, and the explosion of newsletters in the data space, I personally feel like I am drowning in newsletters, that are all covering similar spaces of takes about the same 5 companies built by the same 10k people over and over again. I don’t want to fall into that trap. I want to write when I have something to say. The newsletter revolution is wonderful for readers, but not always for hobby writers who do it in their free time.
But, trust me, I’m always (for better or worse, probably much, much worse) going to have something to say. I physically can’t not write. So, I’m going to keep Normcore open as a way of letting you know about any new stuff I’ve written, and potentially occasionally free Normcore posts. Paid subscriptions are still on pause and I’m going to look into cancelling them entirely. Feel free to unsubscribe entirely if you don’t want to be on this mailing list anymore.
I’m very sad about all of this this, and at the same time extremely relieved. It’s possible I’ll come back to Normcore at some point, maybe in this format, maybe in another - after all, the whole point of Normcore, as I wrote when I started it, is that there is nuance in what we do, and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
So for now, goodbye, but also not? In the meantime, here’s some stuff I’ve written recently:
Thank you enormously for all your support, for buying my merch for your emails, your DMS, and your comments on stuff I got either right or wrong, especially during this last COVID year. Keep it Normcore. :)
I will miss this wonderful corner of the internet!
Echoing all the nice remarks below. Have been lurking for several years, and always welcomed your insights. Good luck w that toilet paper ingestion thing.