It's Signal Problems, but for the post office.
|Aaron Gordon||Aug 18|| 7|
Hello my dear Signal Problems readers!
It has been a long time since I last wrote to you. To be honest, it hasn’t felt that long to me, because every month or so I spend all weekend writing roughly 5,000 words about everything that has happened, is happening, and continues to happen in New York City only to find I have nothing useful to say other than it has been a terrible awful no good year which you already know. So I end up sending nothing.
But, I’m writing today with two pieces of news.
First, if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that, through a convoluted set of circumstances, I now write about the United States Postal Service. This might sound like a strange pivot, but it’s a similar beat to the MTA. Both are struggling quasi-governmental bureaucracies with broken finances. Both serve indisputably vital roles in our society. Both have largely unionized workforces with complex relationships between management and labor. Both are largely ignored by elected officials until there’s a problem, at which point they are subject to non-sensical “reforms” that are more likely to exacerbate issues than solve them. And understanding both organizations, their histories, and how they got to where they are today is critical to understanding our society as a whole.
Because the two agencies are so similar, it became clear to me a couple of months ago that I should cover them in a similar way. Luckily, my bosses agreed.
So, it is with great excitement I’m announcing my next newsletter: The Mail, a weekly pop-up newsletter running through the end of November about the United States Postal Service, election security, and the fight over the future of the post office. I would tell you more about what the newsletter will be like, but the short answer is: it will be Signal Problems, but for the post office.
The main newsletter itself is free, but we're going to have a paid tier as well ($8 per month). Since we're writing about, well, the mail, we're going to be making three printed zines (one a month) that we'll mail out to paying subscribers. The zines will be put together by the entire Motherboard staff, and will focus on digital security, hacking, internet ephemera, labor, and will generally be intended to inform and delight. Paid subscribers will also get access to extra digital updates and posts while we're running the newsletter.
I am not automatically signing anyone up for The Mail, because that would be slimy and lame. So you have to head on over to The Mail to subscribe. We’re partnering with Substack for the newsletter, so subscribing will be very easy. If you liked Signal Problems, I’m confident you’ll like The Mail, too.
The second bit of exciting news: I redesigned my old, bad personal website to be a new, better website, including a much improved Dog In A Bag Photo Gallery experience. This has been a long time coming, and I think we can agree the world is missing dogs in bags right about now. I know I am.
All the best,