Here in the Middle West, it’s seventy-seven degrees in late October. I took an afternoon drive through Indiana the other day, and it was clear that America is not doing well. The interstate was a patchwork of craters and ragged concrete, and I still feel the judder of the car in my nerves. Above a shuttered rest area, a billboard announced Jesus Christ is the Answer! Call Dan’s Windows & Flooring. I spent several miles wondering about the net return on this marketing strategy: those who want a Christian window installer versus those who prefer a secular approach to home improvement.

Real-world rot feels related to Drew Austin’s meditation on being choked by digital content. “It fills our cloud storage to the brim and piles up at the margins of our digital interfaces like garbage scattered across a freeway median,” he writes. “It is the lorem ipsum that wallpapers and carpets the internet’s liminal spaces.” 

Last night I received an error message from The New York Times: You are browsing and clicking much faster than is typical of a human being.