obviously obvious

Or why the dumbest word in the English language is obvious.
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Plugged In

This week, Plugged In is right in front of you, begging that you can't see it.

Obvious is a weird old concept.

You'd think, by its very definition, we wouldn't even need the word. If something simply is, then surely it's obvious by its nature?

To put it another way, if it's obvious, why are we even mentioning it?

Well, tech companies are here to answer this rhetorical question loudly and shirtless on my roof. 

source-Jul-30-2021-03-09-55-14-PM"NOTHING IS OBVIOUS," the organizations shout.


I began trudging down this path of teenage-level philosophy last week. I had one of those moments where long-term irritation turned elegantly into irrational rage.

Why? Because there's no goddamn warmup mode on the Apple Watch Workout app.

While my anger has subsided, my bafflement has not.

If I was creating an exercise tracking app, one of the first things I'd include a warmup mode. Surely that's obvious

Yet, here we are, six years after launch — and still nothing.

source-Jul-30-2021-03-17-53-95-PMMe, waiting for the launch of warmup mode.

This is hardly the only situation where a company has missed an obvious feature for a long fucking time.

It took EIGHT YEARS for Fitbit — a literal health trackerto monitor periods. Thank the lord that almost no humans menstruate. Would be really embarrassing if, say, about 50% of the world did.

Another example are the Cowboy ebikes. These took four years from launch to include mudguards as standard. My ass got splashed a lot.

And the iPad? Well, that still doesn't have a native calculator app.

I can imagine one person missing these things — but multitudes of them? Teams of designers and marketers and engineers? And none of them thought, "Maybe you should be able to copy folders on Google Docs?"

simpsons"He's about to do something stupid."


Of course, some of these... oversights (?) are straight-up failures and deserve derision.

For example, the only rational explanation for the Fitbit "omission" is no one working there had heard of "women."

The rest of these cases just prove to me once again that obvious is a dumbass word. Obvious to who?

(P.S. We're keen to improve Plugged In and hear what you think about it, so head to the bottom of this email to give us your thoughts!)

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A review you're required to read

The hottest new earbuds around are made by... Nothing?

This London-based company was started by former OnePlus CEO, Carl Pei.

Even more intriguingly, Nothing's founding partner is teenage engineering — a high-end audio company known for its innovative products.

Well, you'll be glad to know that we made a video reviewing these hyped earbuds.

thumbnail (3)

Are these strangely designed headphones good? Bad? Mediocre?

Well, you're gonna have to watch the video to find out.

I'd say sorry about that, but I'm not.

Sponsored by TNW

Hold on one hot minute... is that Tom Cruise?

Oh lord I'm getting all sweaty in excitement about TNW2021 — and you really should be feeling the same.

Why? Because of speakers like Chris Ume. He's the co-founder of Metaphysic.ai, and is widely recognized as the world expert in the emerging field of hyper-real videos.

Yoy may remember him as the creator of the deepfake Tom Cruise on TikTok.

Anyway, you can find out more about the body-tingling TNW2021 right here. Come and hang in Amsterdam.

Here's a cool thing (also, cya)


The other week, one of my friends asked me what my favorite album of 2021 was.

This is not an easy question. Nor is it one I had a single answer for.

But... there were a few albums that immediately came to mind — and one of those was Goat Girl's On All Fours.

Genuinely, this is one of the most impressive evolutions I've seen between records.

Goat Girl's first album took a (reasonably) straightforward indie rock/post-punk route. It was (and is) a fantastic release. The songs are terrific and the whole thing rumbles with energy.

On All Fours is a step above though.

Whether it's the synth-y and swelling 'Sad Cowboy,' or the off-kilter nature of 'The Crack,' Goat Girl sound more at ease, more skilled, and more experimental than before.

Basically, On All Fours is the sound of a band truly hitting their stride.


Tell your enemies all about Plugged In. I'll see the rest of you jabronis later.


Peas & Louvre,


(Find me on Twitter here and on Instagram here).

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From Amsterdam with <3

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