Slouching toward Bethlehem to be born

(Pictured: Sailing vessel ‘Ayala’ sailing through the Juan de Fuca strait between Canada and the United States, on the way to the Pacific Ocean, and thence to San Francisco. Olympic Mountains in far background. October 2014.)

For most of my professional life, I’ve turned pixels and data into money.

Initially the data was from the bond and credit markets, and the pixels were those in front of the traders who used my risk and pricing models to make a mess of the American economy.

Then, the data was targeting data on consumers, and the pixels were digital ads running on Facebook.

More recently, the pixels are the ones you’re staring at, words strung together in order to amuse, inform or deceive. Humans can never seem to stop telling stories about themselves, and there’s no end to our (or my) prattling.

The word pipeline these days looks like:
Twitter thread->WIRED column->Long-form magazine piece elsewhere->book

With the introduction of the (tentatively titled) ‘Chaos Monkey’ newsletter, we’ve got a new input and output to the word economy. My goal with the newsletter is to both publish initial thoughts in longer form (and with a more thoughtful audience) than Twitter, and make you accomplices in my writing process. You’ll also be my intimates in more personal musings and adventures that the more mainstream word economy won’t touch.

‘Will there ever be a paid version?’, you might be thinking. Almost certainly, yes. The paywall is there both to support the Chaos Monkey in his (largely) not-highly-remunerative scribbling, and also keep the paid side a tighter group of people who will (hopefully) comment on and discuss the rawer, more personal paid content. There will always be a free version as well.

The topics will be what you’re already used to if you’ve followed along this far: data, privacy, social media, the impact of this new printing press on Western culture, with occasional forays into religion, prepping, off-grid living, sailing…and God knows what else. We’ll see how much I let the veil slip in the newsletter format.

This will not be hugely high traffic: I’d guess maybe 1-2 missives per week, with perhaps more during times of high drama, and possible silences when I’m recoiling from (post) modernity.

Buy the ticket. Take the ride.