Five things on Friday on Sunday #296

Things of note for the week ending Sunday, May 12th, 2019.

Newsletter #296: Introduction


Well. That did not feel like a four day week at all.

Hello. I hope you’re having a nice day. I write to you from the sofa. Brunch (it’s 13:35 on a Sunday. It’s lunch. But there’s bacon, and avocado, so it’s brunch) is sizzling away, the doors are open, and a soft spring breeze is tickling the hairs on the back of my neck.

Normally, I write this thing in dribs and drabs. Notes here, an email to myself there; more often than not a TextEdit window stays open on the desktop permanently throughout the week gathering the moss that’ll become Five things on Friday. Normally.

This week however has not been normal. An obscene amount of work sat on the To Do. And given that we here in England started the week with a Bank Holiday, that five days of work was compressed into four which, thanks to an abundance of meetings, in turn, compressed into three. I say again, that did not feel like a four day week at all.

This edition, I fear, will take most of today – on and off. We shall see.

Yesterday I had bottomless brunch (again, this was definitely lunch (the place doesn’t open until 12 pm for crying out) but the alliteration doesn’t work so brunch it shall remain) at Aqua Kyoto off Oxford Street. My friend Ross is visiting from Australia and what better excuse to go and eat a lot of sushi, drink copious amounts of bubbles, and laugh a helluva lot? Precisely. It’s recommended by the way. If only for the gamut of human that decides that brunch at Aqua Kyoto is a good idea. It is, by the way. A good idea. Did I mention?

What else can I tell you?

Thank you to all the people that have written back and/or hit that reply button over the past week. You’re all so bloody lovely (I say that fairly regularly I know but it is true) and the spread of connections that live among the subs list really is quite something. And to those of you who wrote specifically to ask not to be removed from the mailer – simply by reading this note right now you are immediately removed from the pool. So don’t panic. All will be fine.

Where was I?

Ah, that’s right. It is a peaceful and relaxing Sunday. Grand Budapest Hotel is on in the background as I write. And like a warm coat on a cold day, I am wrapping up in it while I go looking for the Five Things for this week.

So shall we do this thing?

Let’s.

1. PUNK AF

Alex Myers. He’s a decent bloke. When he says something like this (pictured), about a client his agency has had a fairly long and famous relationship with, you know something is up.

Kinda stinks, right?

Worth clicking through on the image and reading the thread. Brewdog James tries to reply. Alex rightly responds with detail. Also, perhaps tellingly, the founder [of comms agency] Mr President responded with a similar story.

Since tweeting about it, Manifest has published the original ideas and concepts and while I don’t think there will be any kind of legal recourse (or payment for the idea), I do applaud Alex and his lot for going public with this issue.

It is, sadly, something that happens all too often in comms/marketing/advertising. I’ve seen it first hand and it really stings (especially in FREE WORK / PITCH LAND – which is generally insane).

2. AGNOTOLOGY AND EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAGMENTATION

You had to read that a few times, and probably say it out loud twice, before it went in, right? Me too.

“Epistemology is the term that describes how we know what we know. Most people who think about knowledge think about the processes of obtaining it. Ignorance is often assumed to be not-yet-knowledgeable. But what if ignorance is strategically manufactured? What if the tools of knowledge production are perverted to enable ignorance?

In 1995, Robert Proctor and Iain Boal coined the term “agnotology” to describe the strategic and purposeful production of ignorance. In an edited volume called Agnotology, Proctor and Londa Schiebinger collect essays detailing how agnotology is achieved. Whether we’re talking about the erasure of history or the undoing of scientific knowledge, agnotology is a tool of oppression by the powerful.”


Tell you something I read a few times: this transcript of a talk by danah boyd. Its title, as above. Be warned: it is not fun reading.

But you should read it anyway.

Related: ‘What happened after my 13-year-old son joined the alt-right‘ is equally sobering (and do please read it).

(via Boing Boing – further reading there also)

3. PLAYLIST STUFFING AND SEO. GAMING THE SYSTEM.

This is really, really interesting.

One Instagram leads to one playlist that leads to a rabbit hole of SEO and streaming gamification and monetisation.

Almost like it was done on purpose…

4. PRISON CONSULTANTS

I haven’t read any Tyler Cowen for a while but this article from the BBC reminded me that yes, indeed, there really are markets in everything.

5. FENCING. ANXIETY. PERFORMANCE.

‘I’m an Olympian and I can’t even f***?’

Three and a bit things about tha amazing Jason Rogers.

1. He’s a silver medallist Olympic fencer (and a hero to my brother).
2. I used to work with him at Ogilvy.
3. He’s a bloody good (and courageous) writer.

Read more about point three in this article in Men’s Health.

THE ESSENTIALS:

The Essentials are the weekly links to the #MeToo movement. Any article. Any press. Any story. Any white male firing. If it happens, it’s here.

THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS LINKS.

STOP. BONUS TIME.

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x