A year ago I tweeted that when Netflix drops a big new show “it feels like a software update is being pushed to everyone's brain.” I’d recently noticed how The Queen’s Gambit had suddenly caused everyone to start talking about chess, as if the game itself was something we’d all just found out about. What that moment revealed to me was Netflix’s ability to program cultural discourse in a relatively direct way: You realize that a certain topic or event starts coming up frequently in conversations and social media posts—Fyre Festival, the ‘90s Chicago Bulls, chess—and then find out that topic is the subject of a Netflix blockbuster, living rent free in the hive mind (actually, getting
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