Sorry about the window. If you don’t like my solution, build your own.

Ethan Zuckerman leaves a note to future occupant of his office in the MIT Media Lab. The window has some…unique features. And attempts to remove them.
posted by MrGuilt (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You have to forgive him for inventing pop-up ads, right? (He’s a friend.)
posted by wellred at 9:40 AM on August 17
That was a fun, quick read. And I love the idea of the copper wings project.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:51 AM on August 17
a) I love this.

b) I may love this even more. (I was googling to see if I could find more information on the copper angel wings–I really want to see them–and the first thing that hit my search terms, other than the original post, was this beaut from, in which the post has apparently been translated and retranslated into English. Sample: “When drowsing on this set of industrial, I chanced on it helpful to quilt the blue gentle on the sector with a put up-it sign.”)
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:59 AM on August 17

Important context for this post: On me, and the Media Lab. Zuckerman was one of the first people to speak out about the Epstein funding scandal and one of the few to quit his job over it. (As discussed previously on MeFi).

That puts a little extra poignant twist to the part of his story about the “young woman [who] left the Media Lab”. He’s coy, but that story may possibly be related to the food computers which were bad science and possibly more.

The rest of the story is your classic cute MIT hack story about the socially awkward nerd and their weird hours and unique solution to problems. Or if like me and you’re in a cynical mood.. It’s about a grad student wasting time on a solved and irrelevant problem, coming up with something that doesn’t really work, then leaving the mess behind for someone else to clean up.

PS: I hear Joi Ito is back at work for himself quietly making VC investments. He’s mostly kept a low profile online and in the media. The food computer guy is active on Twitter working with cows now and advertises himself as an MIT alum.
posted by Nelson at 10:00 AM on August 17 [3 favorites]

What a fun story! Pieces like this fill me with a nostalgia for a kind of idealized college campus that never actually was but gets conjured whenever someone describes the best, strangest parts of a place.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:20 AM on August 17
(Fun letter, I should say. A very poetic welcome to the next inhabitant.)
posted by Going To Maine at 10:21 AM on August 17
The woman-with-wings story was frustrating.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:31 AM on August 17 [3 favorites]
I must have shown up just a few minutes too late… because now that link is a 404 not found and his main website just shows an Apache HTTP server test page.

No wonder it gave me a warning that it didn’t support TLS 1.2, it’s not even set up!

Archive of same article since the website seems to be DOA now:
posted by deadaluspark at 10:32 AM on August 17

It’s fitting that it’s a story about a knob.
posted by Umami Dearest at 10:34 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]
I feel like maybe I’ve not lived my life correctly because I’ve never received a letter that wonderful.

I want to find the guy who left that window opening machine and slap him in the face with a rotting trout.

I love that in the end her solution involved carving a chunk of wood. Sometime the best solutions are the oldest and most straight-forward.
posted by bondcliff at 10:41 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]

I suppose I’m delighted to see that the terrible electric-window-opener implementation I would have come up with is on par with that of an MIT researcher.
posted by Kikujiro’s Summer at 10:42 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]