Voices

Kim Kardashian’s Emoji Business, and 4 More Stories You Should Read

Here’s what you missed while doing everything you could to avoid that gorilla story…

The New Yorker: Let’s Get Drinks

Selected by Shane Snow, co-founder and CCO

Everything about this is so real.

Motherboard: Elon Musk Says There’s a ‘One in Billions’ Chance Reality Is Not a Simulation

Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor

“Even if the rate [of technological advancement] drops by a thousand from right now—imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing in the evolutionary scale. So given we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality and those games could be played on a set top box or on a PC or whatever and there would be billions of such computers or set top boxes, it would seem to follow the odds we’re in base reality is one in billions,” Musk said. “Tell me what’s wrong with that argument. Is there a flaw in that argument?”

If Elon believes it, I’m in. What’s up, alien overlords?

The New York Times: Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person

Selected by Brian Maehl, talent development manager

Days after reading Alain de Botton explain how pessimism is essential for any successful marriage and romantic relationship, I’m still not sure how to feel about this article. On the one hand, Botton’s philosophy solves a lot of problems—accepting problems and frustrations takes away the pressure of certainty. However, well, it’s hella pessimistic. Happy Friday, everyone?

The New York Times: A Renegade Muscles In on Mister Softee’s Turf

Selected by Joe Lazauskas, editor-in-chief

I don’t want to ruin the story, so here are some highlights:

“If one of my drivers goes to Midtown, they’ll bring their trucks in and surround them — a bunch of guys,” said Peter Bouziotis, who runs the Softee depot in the Bronx, which covers Manhattan. “They’ll start banging on the windows.”

Bad blood has run through the New York ice cream trade for decades. In 1969, a Mister Softee driver was kidnapped by rivals who blew up his truck. In 2004, a cone-selling couple in their 60s were ambushed by competitors who beat them into critical condition with a wrench. In a 2010 brawl caught on video, two drivers near Columbus Circle exchanged punches before one man pushed the other’s face into a planter.”

“Let me tell you about this business,” Adam Vega, a thickly muscled, heavily tattooed Mister Softee man who works the upper reaches of the Upper East Side and East Harlem, said on Wednesday. “Every truck has a bat inside.”

The Ringer: Kim Kardashian’s Booming Emoji Business

Selected by Jordan Teicher, senior editor

On The Ringer, tech writer Molly McHugh brought us back to the heyday of Grantland with a longform look at the weird, booming economy of celebrity emojis.

Emojis have become such an important part of how we communicate to the point that they’re more ubiquitous and appropriate than text in some situations. Eggplant has never been more popular in the produce world. You have brands putting out press releases of just emojis. A few weeks ago, a company even released a digital bible with certain words replaced by emojis.The market is thriving, and celebrities of all kinds are getting involved as quickly as they can. The queen of the movement is none other than Kim Kardashian, whose Kimoji app allegedly earned $1 million per minute at the height of its popularity last year, despite selling for only $1.99 per download.

But how long will the gold rush last? The story draws a parallel to ringtones, which used to be popular but are now about as sought-after as 8-track players. Emojis may not be the same kind of fad, but if we haven’t hit a saturation point yet, we have to be getting close.

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