Best Of The Web
Never let it be said that I do not suffer for my art(icles). I have just poisoned myself in the name of research. I have downed a dram of Soylent that I found in my cupboard and realised a little too late that 1) I bought it several years ago and it is now horribly out of date; 2) it was horrible to begin with; 3) it is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with modern life; 4) it is possibly made out of people.
Let me start from the beginning. Soylent is a meal-replacement beverage. Media outlets have described it as tasting like everything from “licking stamps” to “a protein shake with sawdust in it”. Despite these less-than-glowing reviews, Soylent has become a darling of Silicon Valley. The company, founded by wunderkind Rob Rhinehart and launched in 2014, has raised more than $72m in funding and amassed a cult following. Having won the hearts and guts of the US, it is coming for Britain; the drink will launch in the UK on Wednesday.
Perhaps you are still confused. I don’t blame you. Unless you are a tech-bro who thinks eating is inefficient, Soylent is somewhat befuddling. Rhinehart developed the products when he was 24 because he thought food was an outdated concept; chewing took too much time and kitchens were terrifying. In his blog (which has now been deleted), he wrote: “I think it was a bit presumptuous for the architect to assume I wanted a kitchen with my apartment and make me pay for it. My home is a place of peace. I don’t want to live with red hot heating elements and razor sharp knives.” So he invented Soylent. A meal you could swig from a bottle, without using any razor sharp knives. A meal that would allow you to spend less time living, and more time being productive. And, because we live in a world obsessed with efficiency, the venture-capital money rolled in. Despite, you know, the fact that the product’s name is inspired by a 1973 post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller called Soylent Green where humans eat a foodstuff made out of people.
JJ Best Of The Web
"You are being watched. Right now, cookies are tracking which websites you visit and what you click on while you’re there. Your smartphone is logging your location."
"The US placed sanctions on 17 Saudis on Thursday as punishment for their alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi... according to experts, the move doesn’t go far enough to reprimand the kingdom."
"If the slow-motion crisis that is Gaza ever has a turning point, then this week’s deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, or what’s left of it, and Hamas leaders, under siege, is what the turning would look like."
"Nicholas Parisi's new biography, 'Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination,' fails to present a complete picture of the legendary screenwriter who did his best work outside the TV show that made him famous."
"Nearly a year after the tax cut, economic growth has accelerated. Wage growth has not. Companies are buying back stock and business investment is a mixed bag."
"By shifting accents, Australian expatriates are seen to be shifting class and status, indicating a sense of superiority to those who remain in Australia. The quickly acquired faux-British accent in particular has been associated with pretension..."
"Denim, usually in the form of the humble pair of jeans, is arguably the world’s most popular fabric. Over the years, it’s been worn by everyone from supermodels to soccer moms."
"Capitalism disadvantages women along several axes. The dawn of the industrial revolution enshrined a division of labor that largely confined them to the domestic sphere."
"In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults."
"Are these business owners trying to keep out certain customers? What about children? Or people who are paid in cash, or others who, for whatever reason, can’t or won’t open a bank account..."
"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."
"...the more modern form of the movement has its roots in late 19th-century Europe... The sole focus of some missions based in England and the U.S. was the conversion of the Jews to Christianity..."