You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

April, 2009

What I've Been Thinking About

Some of these might turn into full posts later, but this is just a quick rundown of some things I've been thinking about lately.


This morning I was thinking about two things I've posted lately, about anti-drug messages and spammers building better artificial intelligence, and realized that as a category the things I find the most interesting are the counterintuitive. Not sure why this is important, but I figured I'd share it anyway.

Remind Me

I think I'm going to write an article/entry about this, but I've been thinking a lot lately about the how everything you can buy that's not out yet should have an easy email reminder service. For instance, today I heard about a new St. Vincent album coming out in like two weeks. I went over to the site to see if I could pre-order (which I couldn't find) and I also couldn't find a giant box to put my email in so they could remind me when it's actually released. All I got was the regular mailing list (which I signed up for). Just out of curiosity, I checked to see if the album was available for download on file sharing sites, and of course it was. It should not be easier to download an album for free two weeks before it comes out than to get reminded the day it comes out (and hopefully have a link in the email to go direct to the place to buy it). It's simple and I think you can apply the principle across the board. (As a side note, NPR is streaming the album, but it's still not easy enough!)


Alan wrote a piece about trolls in the advertising industry and specifically mentioned some comments in a piece I was interviewed for in Adweek. While I appreciate the support, I generally think that there are trolls everywhere and the very worst thing to do about them is to let them bother you (especially if they don't even comment with their real name). I also thought a bit about the way this frames the problem of trolls. The fact is for me, the vast majority of the comments I receive are good and thoughtful (thanks guys) and I don't really like the idea of the world thinking otherwise. Just like telling kids to not do drugs by making them think all their peers are doing it, talking about people being nicer to one another by making them think all their peers are going around making terrible comments anonymously is probably the wrong way to go. (Just as a side note, I haven't discussed this with Alan and don't mean to single him out, it's just been top of mind. Hope I cause no offense Alan, I appreciate what you were doing.)


I was having a conversation over beers the other night with Ryan and we started talking about the amount of stuff that actually disappears on the web. While the popular trope is that "everything on the internet lives forever" the reality of the situation is probably the opposite: Since we're creating more data today than at any other time in history it would make sense that we're also losing more data than ever before. Now most of this stuff doesn't matter (I wrote about this a little in a post over at GE Adventure), but still, The Internet Archive can't possibly save everything.

April 21, 2009
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.