Nearly Coherent: New Year, New-ish Us

The Nearly Coherent Podcast

Behold, last week’s much-better-than-usual episode of Nearly Coherent!

We’re restarting this mess for the new year! In today’s episode, Dave brings two(!) of his garbage news stories to really start things off horribly, everyone looks back on the tenth anniversary of the announcement of the iPhone, and Jeff wonders if his daughter might be a sociopath!

It’s a heartwarming episode the entire family can share! (You probably shouldn’t share this with your family, though, unless you want your family to be subjected to some real weird stuff ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

My New 2017 Hotness

Fireworks. They Go Boom.

Like many of you, I couldn’t wait for 2016 to be over. Between the personal parade of misery that I was stuck in, the existential dread we all experienced regarding the state of the world, and the onslaught of deaths of beloved public figures, 2016 sucked all the buttholes.

That said, I’m not usually one to buy into the whole “New Year, New Me” mantra that fills the minds of every partially-optimistic person at the start of the new year. Sure, I want to try to do better, but I’m usually stubborn and pretty well-set in my ways, so sweeping change is not a thing I’m often looking for.


2016 was an exceptionally awful year full of new horribleness at every turn, and we have no idea what 2017 is going to throw at us. In light of this, doesn’t it make sense for someone to break with their conventional thinking and maybe strive for something new? It might not work, and it might not be better, but at least it would give that person a shot at things going well. With that in mind, I spent the first few weeks of January gathering my nonsense, sitting it down and figuring out just how I’m going to operate in the next year. And, against every instinct I have, I am going to lay it out for you here, in order to give myself a sense that someone will hold me accountable.

It’s horrifying, but horrifying can be good. So here’s the deal:

This site will be home base for all my stupid internet shenanigans.

What does this mean for you? Way, waaaaaaaaaaaaay more frequent updates, usually in the form of linked posts. Whether it be new episodes of my podcast, things I’ve written as part of my consulting work, things I’ve had a hand in creating elsewhere, tweets that I think need to live in immortality, whatever, it’ll be here. This means you can more or less expect an update every day, which might drive you crazy, but it might also be awesome. Who knows!

This site will also be home to stuff I create that has no home elsewhere.

One of my goals for 2017 is to write more frequently than I have in the previous decade or so. Part of the reason I didn’t put out a lot of work in the past was due to pre-judgement on my part — I can see the flaws in everything I write, including this, and I am a bit of a perfectionist that doesn’t like putting things out there that I don’t think “work”. However, I have become more aware of two things in the past year:

  1. I have seen professional writers making stupid, basic mistakes in things they’ve written, and those schmucks get paid for it. Maybe I’ve been a bit too hard on myself?
  2. If the first year of my podcast has shown me anything, it’s that you can put out absolute crap and, as long as you put out enough stuff with enough frequency, that dreaded “I can’t believe I did that, what a moron I am” goes away pretty damn quickly. And the more stuff you put out, the better you get at it, so that feeling comes less frequently as time goes on, anyway.

So, in short, expect more original stuff here, too. It might be weird, it might not make sense, it might outright suck, but the next thing might be better. Then again, it might not be. But the trying will be the fun of it (for me, anyway).

There you have it: a short, self-indulgent plan for what is going to happen with this site, and me, for the course of 2017. Hopefully you’ll stick around and see things get awesome or, possibly, stick around and watch me crash and burn completely. Either way, it’ll be entertaining!

Tale as Old as Time

The first trailer for the live action Beauty and The Beast hit the internet today and it’s a welcome respite from the total shit-sandwich last week was.

Watch it. Get excited. Do a little jig. Take your mind off of how awful everything is for a few minutes.

The “Wonder Woman” Trailer Is Here

While I want to stand firm on my “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” position on the DC Extended Universe, this trailer for Wonder Woman kinda makes me wanna go see the movie. Like, a lot.

And, to its credit, it features 800% more colors than either Man of Steel or Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Boredom had, so maybe lessons have been learned?

The Arizona Republic: How do we respond to threats after our endorsement? This is how.

After endorsing a Democrat for president for the first time in their 126-year publication history, The Arizona Republic has gotten a number of threats against their staff, from the reporters who know that this sort of thing comes with the territory to the kids who are selling subscriptions door-to-door who shouldn’t be dragged into editorial matters unless you’re a freakin’ monster. Mi-Ai Parrish, the president of the paper, responds to these threats in this editorial with a reminder that the First Amendment is kinda crazy-important.

WIRED: Google’s Clever Plan to Stop Aspiring ISIS Recruits

Jigsaw, Google’s think-tank, has used Google’s search advertising algorithms to help dissuade people searching for information on joining ISIS to, y’know, not join.

The program, which Jigsaw calls the Redirect Method and plans to launch in a new phase this month, places advertising alongside results for any keywords and phrases that Jigsaw has determined people attracted to ISIS commonly search for. Those ads link to Arabic- and English-language YouTube channels that pull together preexisting videos Jigsaw believes can effectively undo ISIS’s brainwashing—clips like testimonials from former extremists, imams denouncing ISIS’s corruption of Islam, and surreptitiously filmed clips inside the group’s dysfunctional caliphate in Northern Syria and Iraq.

That’s brilliant and an actual display of courage. Google deserves all the high-fives.


The New Yorker: Trump’s Boswell Speaks

Donald Trump

The New Yorker has a piece on “The Art of The Deal” ghostwriter Tony Schwartz’s feelings on a Donald Trump presidency. It’s only slightly horrifying.

Starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent eighteen months with Trump—camping out in his office, joining him on his helicopter, tagging along at meetings, and spending weekends with him at his Manhattan apartment and his Florida estate. During that period, Schwartz felt, he had got to know him better than almost anyone else outside the Trump family. Until Schwartz posted the tweet, though, he had not spoken publicly about Trump for decades. It had never been his ambition to be a ghostwriter, and he had been glad to move on. But, as he watched a replay of the new candidate holding forth for forty-five minutes, he noticed something strange: over the decades, Trump appeared to have convinced himself that he had written the book. Schwartz recalls thinking, “If he could lie about that on Day One—when it was so easily refuted—he is likely to lie about anything.”

This is fine.