#178: I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It)

The Blackbird Spyplane newsletter recently made a valuable contribution to the pantheon of essays about how the internet has transformed the physical world: a hopeful manifesto in praise of the “Un-Grammable Hang Zone,” the definition of which will be obvious if you’ve spent enough time in the Instagram-optimized settings that have proliferated in cities during the past decade—places that BBSP describes as a “high-efficiency, low-humanity kind of eatery where you point yr phone at a QR code and do contactless payment before eating a room-temp grain bowl under a pink neon sign that says ‘Living My Best Life’ in cursive.” Beyond their aesthetic qualities, these environments actually make people behave differently; people enter them “dazed and automaton-like” and take bleak selfies. Two years ago, Molly Fischer ventured a similar description of this style in digital and physical space, calling it the

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