Presented without comment #18

Occasional dispatches from the Republic of Anhedonia: Part 1‘ – Colson Whitehead on the World Series of Poker, at Grantland.

I have a good poker face because I am half-dead inside. My particular combo of slack features, negligible affect, and soulless gaze had helped my game ever since I started playing 20 years ago, when I was ignorant of pot odds and M-Theory and three-betting, and it gave me a boost as I collected my trove of lore, game by game, hand by hand. It had not helped me human relationships-wise over the years, but surely I am not alone here — anyone whose peculiar mix of genetic material and formative experiences had resulted in a near-expressionless mask could relate. Nature giveth, taketh, etc. You make the best of the hand you’re dealt.

Occasional dispatches from the Republic of Anhedonia: Part 2‘ – Colson Whitehead on the World Series of Poker, at Grantland.

There it was again. For years and years, people had informed me I had a good poker face, when I told them I was going to play at a friend’s on Friday night, or ran into them on the subway while carrying my suitcase of monogrammed chips, which was a gift from a college buddy after I was a groomsman in his wedding: “I bet you have a good poker face.” They don’t know a set of trips from a royal flush, but they know this fact. What they’re really saying is, you are a soulless monster whose fright mask is incapable of capturing normal human expressions. You are a throwback to a Neanderthal state of uncomplicated emotions, or a harbinger of our cold, passionless future, but either way, I don’t know what’s going on in your head.

Perhaps I am projecting.

If your website is full of Assholes, It’s your fault‘ by Anil Dash at

How many times have you seen a website say “We’re not responsible for the content of our comments.”? I know that when you webmasters put that up on your sites, you’re trying to address your legal obligation. Well, let me tell you about your moral obligation: Hell yes, you are responsible. You absolutely are. When people are saying ruinously cruel things about each other, and you’re the person who made it possible, it’s 100 percent your fault. If you aren’t willing to be a grown-up about that, then that’s okay, but you’re not ready to have a web business. Businesses that run cruise ships have to buy life preservers. Companies that sell alcohol have to keep it away from kids. And people who make communities on the web have to moderate them.