Injury-Free Links

It’s Wednesday and the laughter throughout Western New York is just starting to crest over. Here’s some afternoon reading.

My favorite things to read on the internet, aside from Oatmeal drawings and profanity-laced tirades, are pieces that change the way I think about an aspect of my life.

One of my favorite running series is the Paul Miller: Offline one currently running on The Verge. In it, the author completely disconnects from the internet for an entire year. He’s only a few months in and it’s already completely fascinating.

Reading the first post gives you a good overview of the experiment, but he’s run into a number of issues during the project that are best explored in his words. Give it a few minutes and experience it for yourself.

Reading about connectivity and the internet like that has made me think about my own life and my interactions with others. I’m never going to unplug completely, but I’ve been trying to check my phone less and talk more since Miller’s experiment has started. I look forward to every entry.

I can’t think of a single human being on the face of the earth that isn’t obsessed with the fate of the newspaper industry, so let’s talk about that some more. There’s been plenty of good press about newspapers locally, paywalls and all that, but this piece in the New York Times was far less rosy. It also forced me to think about pension funds, which is about as fun as paying into a pension fund. Not good.

Fancy-pants radio show This American Life also had part of its most recent show highlighting Journatic, a company that essentially outsources newspaper copy. Writers in other countries compiling obituaries is just one of the many fine services the company offers. The bylines aren’t real but the detached, ill-informed sentences and phrases sure are. They even have American writers covering city council meetings in towns they will never visit.

There’s been a bit of noticeable backlash to this story as it goes along. Cue the NPR pieces and back peddling that goes along with a media story about the media. Just another brick in the (digital subscription) wall, I suppose.

For the record, the company I worked for didn’t subscribe to such services and there is no indication anyone else in Western New York does, either. It certainly would fill out some pages, though, for better or worse.

Sabres prospect development camp continues to chug along down at First Niagara Center this week. I won’t be making a trip down there, but Chris has been providing updates via Twitter and Kris Baker of Sabres Prospects should be there as well. You can always give our last RoostCast a listen as well, if you missed it.

If you’re truly dying for Sabres links, how about this one? Videos a marketing group did for the post-lockout Sabres. Cue up the Cats soundtrack, it’s about to get misty in here.

Grantland had a cool look at high school sports (Well, kind of) in The Ballad of the Piggyback Bandit. Brian Curtis’ look at a high school sports superfan is easy to relate to if you’ve ever covered high school sports. There are plenty of characters like that, but most of them stay off (and out of) the courts. It’s a fun read, and the story doesn’t seem finished just yet.

You should go buy Brian Castner‘s book, The Long Walk. He’s a local writer who is on his way to doing great things. I picked mine up yesterday and can’t wait to dig in. Let’s read along together.

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