welcome to the dump

worth the price of admission.


like many of my peers, i too have decided to plunge headlong into the world of personalized email newsletters.

i call mine brain dump because i cant imagine charging people for the garbage that falls out of my head. and much like real world garbage dumps, occasionally one may find a nugget of value, caked in shit and painfully incorrect syntax, buried deep among the trash heaps and worn mattresses that line the pathways of my mind.

so here we are. i thought the best way to start this thing would be with an FAQ.

then, who knows?


who are you again?

my name is mike isaac, it is very nice to meet you. i am a 34-year-old writer living in san francisco, the land of software and broken dreams.

you might know me from twitter, where i am largely unfiltered and terrible. maybe youve read my writing on technology for the new york times, where i am a staff writer and my work makes me sound slightly more like the grown adult male that i am.

perhaps you’re waiting to buy my forthcoming book on Uber, due out later in 2019, and want to stay tuned here for any updates on release and speaking engagements i may have later in the year. (bless your heart for this.)

or maybe you dont know me at all, and decided to take a leap of faith by subscribing to this newsletter. god help those of you in this category.

whatever the case, welcome to my brain dump. i hope you find as much pleasure in peering into my fast-deteriorating mind as i imagine i will in sharing it with you.

mike, why in god’s name are you doing this?

why do anything? isn’t it a better use of my time than scrolling through twitter and hate-faving bad twetes?

really though, i figure a newsletter is a good place to collect the thoughts that are too long to fit in a tweet, yet arent quite right for expanding upon in a big fancy newspaper article. i also tend to never shutup on twitter, so maybe rather than tweeting all day, collecting all those 280-character misfires and plopping them here is a better way to gather my thinking in a more cohesive way.

i like the idea of having the space to expand upon some of the thoughts and themes i write about for the Times, but that don’t always make it onto the page.

i read a lot of people way smarter than me, so i can probably link to their stuff too and maybe you’ll learn neat things from it.

i love music. expect recommendations and probably some concert flashbacks that trickle out through whatever brain cells i didnt kill in my twenties.

also i have to sell my book when it comes out. i hear newsletters are a good way to do that, but also to keep you abreast of any talks i give, book fairs or events i go to or any other news related to the release of the work. after more than a year of reporting and writing, i am equal parts excited and terrified to show it to you all.

lastly, since i am highly susceptible to peer pressure, and all the kids are getting their own newsletters these days, i gotta hop on the train while i can.

okay, well at least you’re honest. how is this going to work?

for real, i have no clue. its is truly a wonder i can feed and clothe myself, much less start a newsletter.

is it going to cost anything?

i mean, maybe at some point? not right now.

maybe it works out and i build the hottest newsletter west of the mississippi! or maybe i do two posts and then forget all about this ill-fated experiment. but no, no money to begin with.

how frequently will you post?

ill set a realistic goal of once a week, just so i dont immediately disappoint myself. but if i really get into this thing, you may get more than that. be careful what you wish for.

alright, well, i guess lets do this thing.

great. im glad youre here, truly.

ill end with a photo of my face — which might just be the author photo that will appear on my book jacket — just so you dont think i look like the cartoon bear avatar up in the corner.

let us embark on this journey, my friend. we will live by the post and die by the post — but we will do it together.