🤘 Birch Bark Issue #61

Hello, happy Friday, and on to the updates!


G. Keenan Schneider posts about one article per year, but he ****ing nails it every time. Read Ethan Hawk is My Life Coach now.

Casey Newton on Clarence Thomas’s dissent last week that represents a full 180 turn in terms how he has treated private companies’ speech in the past, and I would be surprised it hasn’t enraged the right, except for the fact the right seems obsessed with forcing private companies to do things now, so 🤷🏻‍♂️. This is a premium article, so I’ll also link to The Verge and Slate, who also have good write ups on this.

I’m counting this as an e-commerce/marketing link, but this story of how the Trump campaign used dark patterns to trick donors into making substantial weekly donations in the 2020 campaign is disgusting. I work in e-commerce and I build checkout flows for a living. If I did this I would be fired on the spot. I’m genuinely shocked.

These are some great writing tips for anyone, although Ahmed Soliman learned them writing for The Economist.

This is a powerful, personal piece by Lauren Goode on how the tech products she uses everyday won’t let her forget painful memories like a called-off wedding. This is brutal, and not at all unique to her experience. Things like the Photos app widgets and memories features can recognize people and events, but they don't have the appropriate tools to not dredge up bad memories and present them in your face.

“I am not even trying to conduct false equivalence here: some falsehoods are worse than others, and at least in the United States, the damage done by the political parties to fighting the pandemic is clearly not equal. But it also seems important to understand how, and why, misinformation, bad science and policy and terrible attitudes are not just a problem over there.”


It’s a couple years old at this point, but I think most of this is still very relevant to YouTube and how you get traction on the platform.

And yes, I did just discover Veritasium this week, and I watched a ton of his videos. Here’s the one that stood out to me the most. Loving this channel!

I’m hot and cold on Slidebean from video to video, but the latest on the Dot-com bubble is fantastic.



Did you know you can get music from every album ever recommended in this newsletter? Add the playlist on Apple Music!

I kind of love Empire of the Sun, and despite their wild look, I think they have a great library of songs. They had a bit of a sophomore slump, but their third record, Two Vines, is a fantastic return to form, and an evolution of their style that I adore.

How about a two album week!? I’m also featuring Justice’s record, Audio. Video. Disco. Both of these records have kind of similar vibes, but Justice’s record has a bit of more an edge to it. Check out both though!