notes on learning, design, tools, & life

The HTML Review

From Maxwell Neely-Cohen’s Letter from the Editor:

The growth at all costs mindset endemic to much of the web’s infrastructure has inevitably led to bait-filled search engine results and thin-skinned billionaires buying entire social media platforms to promote their own egos.

Meanwhile, literary magazines, including many of our favorites, are shuttering at a terrifying rate, often due to the capriciousness of their wealthy patrons or corporate parents. Book publishing is beset with megamergers, dreams of monopoly, the threat of private equity vultures, all while cultural and critical institutions that still overwhelmingly support only a small cohort of the connected.

As friends and colleagues Maris Kreizman and Lincoln Michel have observed, there are seemingly endless attempts at publishing startups, techbro pleas for “enhanced” books, and hastily written AI stories spamming the submission accounts of magazines, all promotions of the worst possible forms of exploring the relationship between digital technology and literature.

Kyle Chayka, a writer we love, recently remarked “can we please build a more artisanal internet / media landscape” (in response to a depressing analysis of the future state of the media business in light of AI text generation hype, from Ryan Broderick, another writer we love).

We hope the html review can be a small part of that future landscape. One of many alternatives, along with our growing list of friends, compatriots, and idols.

Always happy to see folks keeping the web weird.