Thinking about the time I was stuck in a very slow-moving elevator with Casey Neistat, discussing for 4 minutes the difference between 6:00pm and 6:05pm. Because is there one, really, like, culturally and ethnographically speaking? Casey won.
This is Geistlist. It is a semi-secret mostly infrequent newsletter about things I do, for people I know. I'm Jacob Ford. You're receiving this because I've met you and think you're interesting. Here's hoping you do too.
I typeset and designed a book for The Brick House. Eventually it'll be printed and sold, but for now it exists, legally speaking, as one PDF owned by The Internet Archive. They bought it for $32, the same price we'll soon be selling it for on thin slices of wood. You can borrow it from them for one hour. If someone else is borrowing it, just wait a bit.
It's an experiment in "controlled digital lending," a legal theory which proposes how institutions can own & lend digital content under existing copyright law. Unfortunately—now—virtually all digital books, film, and music are licensed to libraries, schools, and you, not owned. But there's no legal reason this needs to be so. We just have to figure out ways to get digital content to more or less emulate the laws of physics.
We're working on that.
It's about a queer burlesque troupe that started performing regularly to vinyl records in the backyard of a tiny history museum in the middle of a generational pandemic. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify if you're normal, or Overcast if you care a lot about podcasts.
Let me know how it is, I haven't finished the ep yet because I can only listen to my own voice in 20-second increments.
MIT Mystery Hunt is probably the most difficult scavenger hunt in the world that actually ends and isn't orchestrated by an eccentric billionaire. See my favorite puzzle so far, from the 2019 Hunt. Solution walkthrough in top right corner. The prize for the winning team is that you get to be forced to write & run next year's Mystery Hunt.
My team (Palindrome) won last year, and so now we're celebrating with a website I designed! It launched
today yesterday at noon.
Hope to see you in January.
The intergenerational conversation club I co-host since, like, 2016 with my friend Lynn Preston is back, corporeally! We meet at Lynn's place the first Thursday of every month, so the next meeting is December 2 at 7:30pm.
All are invited, wine & snacks are served. We end at 9:00pm sharp.
Many of you remember the City Reliquary—a tiny museum of Old New York that I love—was on the verge of closing our Brooklyn home and figuring out how to keep the collection intact. I designed some coins in the shape of NYC manhole caps, we re-launched our membership program, accidentally became a thriving backyard nightlife spot (see above), and it worked. Thank you.
Next Thursday night, stop by the museum and celebrate all night¹.
¹ 7pm til midnight
If you're in NYC on Monday After Christmas (my favorite holiday), I'm delivering a 5-minute lecture on illgeal art, then screening Wizard People, Dear Reader at Wonderville in Brooklyn. It's Brad Neely's unauthorized and ostensibly illegal alternative soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It's my favorite Christmas tradition.
I don't have an event link yet but it should start at 9pm. Check wonderville.nyc/events later, or just put in your calendar now and text me when you see it again.
// no comment LLC
I started a company this year. It's called // no comment LLC and I'm still figuring out what it does, but it seems to be working.
One thing it does is confuse the U.S. Internal Revenue System's EIN dispenser. This is because New York is one of few states which allows slashes in limited liability company names, and (I believe but haven't confirmed) the only state which allows LLCs to start with them. The IRS found this strange and doesn't know what to do about it, other than replacing them with hyphens, which also cannot start a company name.
The name is a press + programming joke. ❝No comment❞ is what you say to a reporter when you have something to say but want at least some attention for not saying much. And in programming,
// (two slashes) designates a comment: a line of code meant to be read by other humans, and ignored by computers.
We use them to explain our code to other programmers and ourselves.
// inserts signature at end of email
email.body.append('Sincerely always,' + '\n')
email.body.append('Jacob Ford' + '\n')
// what should title be?
// Programmer at Large? Curator of Stuff?
email.body.append('Designer About Town')
// TODO: make this work better