Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

The Model is Message

Simon Dumenco did a great interview with Bill Wasik about his new book And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture. Wasik makes a few very insightful points that make me want to read the book (I started it, but I’m in the middle of three others at the moment).

My two favorite quotes from the article: “The Attention Economy is (mostly) a sorry excuse for a (predictable, rational) economy.” I have been waiting for so long for someone to agree with me on this one. While I get the theory and used to subscribe to the attention ideology, at this point I don’t understand how it’s any different. Quote number two is under the heading “the model is what matters” and says, “Our meta-analyses of culture (tipping points, long tails, crossing the chasms, ideaviruses) have come to seem more relevant and vital than the content of culture itself.” That one made my head spin a little. It’s so true. As a culture we’ve become more obsessed with understanding how things spread than the things themselves. The model itself is the content. (Or, as McLuhan would say, the medium is the message.)

August 13, 2009