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The Robots Are Coming Up From Behind

I'm late. It's 2.47 pm on a sunny Thursday in south London. I haven't written one of these in over a
The Robots Are Coming Up From Behind
By Gordon Macrae • Issue #31 • View online
I’m late. It’s 2.47 pm on a sunny Thursday in south London. I haven’t written one of these in over a month. I’m not going to apologise but I do feel guilty.
I moved house. It turns out that takes time. And then my job got really busy (like, silly busy) at the same time. So I neglected you all. I can’t promise it won’t happen again. If I haven’t replied to your email, I am sorry for that part. I will get to it. It just might be three months from now.
I once read that there is “no expiry date” on email. And I’ve adopted that as my philosophy. It actually doesn’t matter when you reply to an email. It can be 2 years from now and I won’t be mad.
I’m sick of reading article after article about how to “improve your productivity” or “radically do more work”. We should all try and relax more.
I have emails in my inbox from 2012 that I’m just getting round to thinking about maybe one day replying to. But seriously, if you were one of the kind folk who have emailed me in the last month, I’m the asshole.
Still, it’s nice to be back.
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I really enjoyed The Metrics of Backpacks by Victoria Gannon in Art Practical. It reminded me of Anna Weiner’s Uncanny Valley piece from a few years ago.
It is about UX Writing but not in a bad way. It is negative about Silicon Valley. And that is the interesting part. It reminded me of Microserfs by Douglas Coupland. Now, that book was prescient.
Remember, we just repeat the past. So now is a good time to revisit the books written about Web 1.0.
I’m starting to see more good writing about Silicon Valley emerge in unexpected places. That can only be a good thing. More people to challenge the weird blandness, obsession with growth, and infantile products the industry is focused on building.
There are some wonderful passages that stand up on their own in Gannon’s piece. Like this one:
Cameron kicks a soccer ball from meeting to meeting and sits on the ground most of the time, stretching his calves and hamstrings when he does. His shoes are some sort of optimized wool sneaker that aims to make all other sneakers obsolete. 
And this one:
We are not changing the world here. Except in the sense that everyone is always changing the world, just by moving through it. We rise each morning, drive north along the sea, notice interruptions in the water before it goes flat again.
We’re living in a rich time for technology writing. Long may it continue.
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On a similar note, for a few years I worked for the IBTimes. And Jenny Odell has written a wonderfully weird expose about fake companies, Newsweek and the IBTimes for the NYT.
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Jobs
Argos are looking for a UX Copywriter in London. Culture Trip are hiring for a Senior Copywriter in London. AirHelp are recruiting for a UX Writer in Berlin. Spotify are hiring for a UX Writer in New York, New York. Aquent want a UX Writer in Boston. Wealthfront are after a Lead UX Writer in Redmond City. And Carbon Black are looking for a Senior UX Writer in Boulder.
And that’s your lot.
Phew, that felt good.
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About
My name is Gordon Macrae. I’m a freelance Instructional Designer. Got a job tip or opinions about UX writing roles? I’d love to hear from you, reply directly to this email.
Good luck out there!

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