Romanticising Crunch Time

One thing that I’ve learned a lot about over the years is crunch time. The night before a pitch or an important creative presentation is rarely an easy one.

Work will expand to fill the time allotted. It’s called Parkinson’s Law. I’m not a mathematician, so I can’t prove that it is the natural order of the universe, but I think we can all agree that it should be considered one of the fundamental laws of physics.

At an agency, crunch time usually means late nights and some early mornings.

Early is relative, by the way.

There will be pizza and snacks and tightly-wound bundles of nerves.

Crunch time gets a bad rap. It feels high pressure, people are tired, spouses are irritated, weekends are lost.

But this is when a lot of good work is done.

Priorities become immediately clear and everything else falls to the wayside.

Decisions have to be made.

Difficult problems are wrestled to the ground.

Arbitrary ideas have to be pulled out of the air and fitted with cement shoes.

Differences of opinion have to be forded and compromises have to be made.

There’s no time to dance around the details or wait for someone else to come around to your way of thinking.

This is when the magic, as they say, happens.

I’m not arguing that all work should be left until the night before.

That work will almost always suck.

Crunch time works best when the work is 90% done, but another 90% of it still needs to be done.

The focus and intensity that a group can bring to their work at the very last minute can be powerful. It’s like pissing-off the Hulk and pointing him towards something that you need smashed.

Is that a good metaphor? I don’t read comics.

When a death interrupts the internet experience

The afterlife will be digitized: 

For years, Facebook has struggled with how to appropriately address the death of its users, eventually creating a “memorialized” setting that turns your timeline into a frozen digital tombstone where people can leave comments in lieu of flowers. Only a handful of states have established laws to address who inherits your digital accounts when you die. (Much to the horror of basically everyone, Delaware was one of the first to decree that its residents’ families would be given full access to their social media accounts when they passed.) And though the market for it remains modest, more and more businesses are offering to manage the posthumous digital clean-up that so many families now find is an essential and unbearable part of the mourning process.

I find this topic endlessly fascinating.

No, I’m not weird.

Thinking about the present as if it were the past

Chuck Klosterman has written an interesting (sounding) book:

… the book explores how (and why) societies in 100 or 300 or 1,000 years might hold radically altered memories of the literature, entertainment, science, and politics of the early 21st century, contradicting the way those concepts are considered in the present. The following excerpt visualizes how television will be remembered in a distant future when TV no longer exists.

The Ringer posted an excerpt focused on how television will be remembered. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the way of life that we’ve all grown up with is a historical aberration. Our reality is a hiccup in time.

Sisyphean News Consumption

I still miss the TV news as it was. A run down of some important things that happened in the world today. It had a beginning and a clear end.

My kids will never know a world where you can finish the news.

There is no done.

Not in the news.

Or in information.

Or in media.

Infinitely scroll through an ever-growing amount of articles and listicles and articles that reference listicles and listicles about articles about listicles. It’s endless. And in the need to fill space and get people to watch, it’s also garbage.

Not Some Big, Long, Boring Thing

My favorite online writing is written by people who post often. Not long posts. Not overly serious posts. Not posts that over-estimate their importance to the world. This post from Kelly Conaboy hits the point right, square in its filthy mouth:

Blog, You Idiots!

We need good things to read. We need them steadily, from people whose voices we enjoy. Short things. Commentary about a topic the writer has a greater interest in than you do. Something funny. Something very stupid. Not some big, long, boring thing, just a little thing that you read and enjoy. If aggregation, less aggregate-y.

Related: Medium is much better since The Awl arrived.