Upstreamist at L. Rhodes <p>Essays on living with digital technology.</p> 2019-09-20T16:28:40-04:00 L. Rhodes Metalsmith Machines of Understanding L. Rhodes 2019-05-25T00:00:00-04:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist05252019 Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve been asked by different people how I cope with the onslaught of political news cascading out of the Trump administration. I take that as a question of both practicality — how do you process so much information? — and survival — how do you avoid defeatism and depression? Pivoting Privacy L. Rhodes 2019-03-06T00:00:00-05:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist03062019 Earlier today, Mark Zuckerberg posted a note promising a shift in focus for the company he founded. &quot;Public social networks,&quot; he wrote, Returning to the Personal Web L. Rhodes 2019-01-16T00:00:00-05:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist01162019 As alarm over the personal and political costs of social media continues to rise, Jason Koebler at Motherboard suggests rolling back the clock with a return to personal websites: On Mastodon's Local Timeline, and Humanity.One L. Rhodes 2018-08-23T00:00:00-04:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist08232018 Lately, I've been toying with Mastodon, an open source platform that's been positioned as a challenge to Twitter's hold on the market (such that it is) for micro-blogging. There was an initial flurry of interest back when the project launched a few years ago, but the relative complexity of setting up an account kept most people off. Since then, Mastodon has grown much more accessible and -- particularly since Twitter has made itself an exception to the general collapse of tolerance for Infowars -- more appealing to social media users looking for an alternative. A Rider for Online Dialogue L. Rhodes 2014-11-22T00:00:00-05:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist11222014 People will tell you that online discussion rarely amounts to anything more than futile debate. Some even believe it enough to avoid getting into one. Those aren't my people. Linking Our Way to Monopoly L. Rhodes 2013-04-12T00:00:00-04:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist04122013 One of the subtler ironies of Amazon's creeping approach toward a veritable monopoly over the book market is the way in which unspoken Web conventions make bibliophiles complicit. When you write about a book, particularly one with which your readers may not already be familiar, it can be both convenient and helpful to link to some resource about it. For many sites, the destination of choice — or, at least, of convenience — is an Amazon sales page. Amazon has encouraged the convention with incentives like its affiliate program, which pays site owners for the traffic they send to its pages. Believer In the Corner L. Rhodes 2013-04-12T00:00:00-04:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist04122013 When a publication pays for itself with advertising, there will always be the temptation to compromise its message in order to make more money. That's not the advertising's fault, though. It is, rather, a consequence of the indirect relationship between what's being paid for (in this case, an ad) and what the writer does in order to get paid (that is, write). Any payment model that builds that sort of indirect relationship is subject to the same temptation. The Reader L. Rhodes 2012-09-28T00:00:00-04:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist09282012 To ask about the future of game journalism is to start by asking about its audience. Who is reading the new school of criticism about video games, and what are they taking away from the experience? It is by no means a straightforward question, and the answer is bound to be complex. The Critic L. Rhodes 2012-09-21T00:00:00-04:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist09212012 There probably is no single writer capable of representing the current state of video game journalism. Point of view is an asset in the field of criticism, and while it may not be the only way to develop a compelling point of view, living your own life is certainly the tried-and-true method. The Editor L. Rhodes 2012-09-14T00:00:00-04:00 tag:,2019-04-02:upstreamist09142012 It’s worth remembering that Jamin Warren didn’t have to settle on video games. He’s written about culture for one of the top daily newspapers in the country, and about music for the venerable web magazine, Pitchfork. It is, then, one index of the state of contemporary gaming journalism that his next move was to found Kill Screen, one of a new breed of journals framing the public discussion on the culture of gaming. We spoke to Warren about making the jump.