The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time was originally published in 2003, with a slight update in 2012. Over the years, it’s been the most widely read  — and argued over — feature in the history of the magazine (last year, the RS 500 got over 63 million views on the site). But no list is definitive — tastes change, new genres emerge, the history of music keeps being rewritten. So we decided to remake our greatest albums list from scratch. To do so, we received and tabulated Top 50 Albums lists from more than 300 artists, producers, critics, and music-industry figures (from radio programmers to label heads, like Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman). The electorate includes Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish; rising artists like H.E.R., Tierra Whack, and Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail; as well as veteran musicians, such as Adam Clayton and the Edge of U2, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Gene Simmons, and Stevie Nicks.”

—”The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” The Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020.

Coffin, Cage or Cocoon?

Imagine being put in a box. Is it a small prison cell? Is it so small that you cannot move, a torture technique out of the middle ages or some 9/11 black site of torture? Imagine dying, and being reborn in the same box. Imagine a life that is a dying and an awakening and a dying again, a Groundhog Day of suffering.

What would freedom mean, in this circumstance? Would release from the cycle, physical death constitute freedom? Would being released from the box by outside forces, returning to the life we had before the box be freedom? Or is freedom taking the experience of the box and using it for transformation, to become something more than what we were before?

Coffin, cage or cocoon. Choose one.

Investigating Normal: Disability, Technology and Engineering by Sara Hendren

“‘Every day every body is at odds with the built environment.” This…is about those odds, those ‘mis-fits,” and the ways designers might open up space for the reality of interdependent life…

…Five years ago, Sara gave a talk about her work that remains one of my favorites, ever, on any subject. There’s the kind of talk where you find yourself nodding along, engaged, agreeable; those are fine. There’s another kind of talk where you find yourself tingling, aware of electricity rippling across the surface of your brain; this is that other kind.

—Robin Sloan, “‡ Lo! So! Bro!The Society of the Double Dagger. September 20, 2020.

The Limits of Growth

“Whether we find ourselves amidst the vast terrain of the commercial internet; in our libraries, archives and museums; or between the parks, public housing facilities and utility infrastructures of our cities, thinking beyond growth as an end in itself requires attending to maintenance and care: who deserves it, who performs it, and to what end. This new world is one that we can choose to build deliberately and in incremental steps—at a Triennale or a brainstorm at a conference–or it could be forced upon us, necessitating triage and reactionary care. We should start planning for the former.”

—Shannon Mattern, “Minimal Maintenance.” Lapsus Lima. October 2, 2019.