Thinking of Paris.

After a few weeks of hectic activities — fun and travels — it was great to return home and enjoy the silence of my apartment. It gave me enough time to do the mundane things around the house — everything from restocking supplies to rearranging the wardrobe for the changing seasons. I am again enjoying my daily morning ritual of grinding and making my pour-over coffee. I can carry my music, my books, my wardrobe, my favorite devices, my favorite soap, and other small luxuries of daily life, but I can seldom replicate the coffee ritual. I have tried and traveled with a coffee-making kit, but it isn’t the same. Making coffee in the morning is a good reminder that I am home. 

Talking about coffee, it seems that climate change and skyrocketing demand have started to impact coffee prices and the availability of good beans. I was reading this article that explains why there is growing momentum for lab-grown coffee. A handful of startups such as San Francisco-based Compound Foods, Voyage Foods, and Seattle-based Atomo Coffee have jumped into the fray. 

In one of my podcasts with Howard Lindzon, I postulated that the pandemic was a beta test for a much harsher future for humanity. Whether it was robotic deliveries, lab-grown meat, or vertical farming — we have to start to live with the limits and limitations imposed by climate change. The sad truth of climate change is that all those who work in the coffee ecosystem will suffer the most. What will happen to the workers at coffee farms, small farmers, and their families when climate change takes away their livelihoods. 

Perhaps that is why every time I drink a cup of coffee — I want to appreciate it and fully savor every drop. 

Being away also was an excellent opportunity to step away from the daily torrent of media inanities, the Facebook whistleblower melodrama, and the eternal sermons of Twitter gurus. In his Big Technology newsletter, Alex Kantrowitz observes that the social media preachers live on a BlowHard Curve.  

“The journey from sage to blowhard is instead a progression, one involving several steps and tradeoffs between being authoritative and overexposed,” he writes and makes a strong case for a momentary pause. Alex’s advice extends to his brethren in the media and newsletter writer community, who start exciting but quickly become tiresome. 

It is hard to be good or brilliant if you are constantly talking (metaphorically speaking.) Even the best television series with millions of dollars spent on talent become drab and drag on after a while, and who can blame “brofessors” with life experiences of a hummingbird. 

We live in a world of platforms, algorithmic content monsters that constantly need to be fed by content. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. It is just a means to create engagement. The feed doesn’t judge. It just wants to devour attention and feed on engagement. Whether it is pandemic, the vaccines, the NFTs, or just some new 

Anyway, that’s it from me for today. This coming week will be fun — there is a likelihood of new MacBook Pros and new M1 Chips. Talking about chips, I just wrapped up a piece on the A15 bionic and hopefully will get it edited and publish it this week. 

October 17, 2021. San Francisco. 

Reading List:

  1. Eco-friendly, lab-grown coffee is on the way, but it comes with a catch. [The Guardian]
  2. The Blowhard Curve. [Big Technology by Alex Kantrowitz.]
  3. How Hunter Thompson, the writer, became a legend. [Rolling Stone]
  4. What’s the story behind GlenPark BART Station design. [FoundSF]
  5. The Newsfeed is dead. Ben Evans said so in 2018

Doug Weber

Douglas Weber is an American industrial designer based in Fukuoka, Japan. He formerly worked for Apple in Cupertino and is a fellow coffee nerd. He is currently working on what he deems the perfect coffee grinder at his new company Lyn Weber, which he founded with VFX designer Craig Lyn. We recently talked about the … Continue reading Doug Weber

Caffè Sospeso

After spending a long, hot day in Florence, I took a taxi back to the little village deep in the heart of Tuscany. During the long journey, I got into a conversation with our driver, Francesco, who was quite a wise man. A well read Florentine, he was articulate about the history of the region … Continue reading Caffè Sospeso