Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly — Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
In one year everything has changed. We have moved apartment, welcomed Uno into our life, said goodbye to family members, purchased a frame for our bed, and been in lockdown, twice. We are living a grown-up life. We have food in the fridge, flowers on the table, and chores piling up. And I love it.
Before writing today’s newsletter, I re-read the letter I wrote you this time last year. I still feel every single word. How you protect and care for the people, space, and time you pass through. Giving your fullest to even minor details. Walking slow and deliberate. Considered and generous.
Thank you for being an incredible woman, girlfriend, and mother. Living with you is like living in an oil painting. You are an artist. And I’m your biggest fan.
Jacob Åström is a Swedish wine lover, creative director and owner of my favourite cap collection. You recognize him by his wide smile and lockdown curls, as he is strolling his child around the streets of Malmö.
K: How do you archive your thoughts?
Jacob: By finding the smallest way to execute it. I dwell by doing. But doing doesn’t have to be this big undertaking — simply articulating it is a good first step, and for me that is the perfect place to put a fantasy: in words. Often that is enough for me.
K: How would you like to be remembered online?
Jacob: The same way as everyone else, I guess… by replacing all the major logos – the G’s, the doodle’s, the FB’s, the etc’s — with a 1:1 real-time video feed of my decaying body.
K: Who would you like to provide a website for that can’t make it themselves?
Jacob: The makers of the first internet – mushrooms. If they for any reason would decline my services, despite the many meetings, pitch decks and travel all paid for by myself, and the dinners, the calls, the countless hours pushed into FungNet… goddamn these ungrateful mushrooms… I’d love to make websites for people again.
K: How would you describe your work to my grandparents?
Jacob: I try to give people confidence that they are right to engage in a specific political issue – and, more importantly, that they are not alone. Through two main tools: the internet, and words.
K: What stones do you carry in your bag?
Jacob: Oh, man was my first reaction to this question. And I guess the best answer as well?
K: What is progress to you?
Jacob: As a newly crowned parent, two things have happened to my definition of progress: it has moved from me to someone else, and become literal. But before that, and maybe it’ll creep back into the equation: when imagination takes the driver’s seat, and the car is not any market of any kind. I don’t know that much about cars but maybe I should cap off this metaphor with something-something about passengers as well.
K: What do you have saved in your bookmarks?
Jacob: A few years back, after another mindless loop of feed scrolling, I decided to make a slightly more conscious effort to actually… visit… the World Wide Web. So I started writing in URL’s manually, to make it both a bit more tactical but also with a little bit more agency. A challenge in this is my tiny memory; the list is short – but a gain is that it actually worked. It feels more like exploring, and a choice made by myself. Defeating the algorithms, one windmill at a time…
So, to answer your question, then: nothing.
K: What was your first internet handle? Where did you use it?
Jacob: RaNz – as in RaNz WaReZ. "If you don’t direct-link the software, it’s not illegal" as my friend told me, and as I tried to explain in court a few days later. Through the warez scene I found webrings and I guess through that my first experience of digital community. (The court part is not true. But by making my own, bevelled, logo, I also found out about Photoshop – and through that, everything that is now.)
K: What is the deepest ocean you went diving in?
Jacob: Therapy. (If you can afford it or live in a healthcare-friendly nation — take a dive!)
K: How would you start a letter to a frog?
Jacob: Here are my 17 questions concerning the process of writing Crazy Frog.
Turntable.fm is back. (password: speakeasy)
In China, it is common to write ‘Podcast lover’ on your Tinder profile. I didn’t know this, just like I don’t know much about Chinese Internet culture in general. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that a collective of skilled writers has started the Chaoyang Trap, a newsletter covering everyday life on the Chinese Internet. The form of the newsletter is as refreshing as the content.
Craig Mod is an Internet walker. His life revolves around taking long walks in Japan and documenting what he observes through words and photographs. I enjoy reading his weekly newsletter. It brings me along serpentine passages and into tiny Japanese cafés. In the article I link here, Craig shows delight and wonder that is unlocked when looking closely.
“What was good for Amazon was never good for America,” these are the concluding words in the review of Alec MacGillis’s recent book about the logistics empire of Amazon. In case you are interested in the politics of big technology companies and how they are transforming our societies, I think you’ll enjoy the book — and this book review is a good toe dip.
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly — Observations from the Internet Wilderness.
Last week this letter was sent to 745 people. Thirtyfive are crazy enough to chip in every month/year to support me making time to write. Logo by Studio Hollywood. Print by Luka. Photograph by Ana Santl.