China’s ‘barrage videos’ are chaotic af — and say a lot about loneliness

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Ideas are mysterious things. Sometimes the worst ones smell like solid gold, sometimes the profit-driving powerhouses masquerade as giant turds. Telling the difference, it seems, takes a certain measure of psychotic genius. Where, for example, is the hazy boundary of brilliance that separates the Slinky from, say, Picnic Pants?

Maybe I just have no vision, but if you’d asked me to guess which one of the two was going to sell a few million units, I’m telling you right now, I would have guessed wrong.

“Hey, I know,” said someone in a design meeting once. “How about we let users post live comments as they watch their favorite shows. Then we could scroll those comments across the viewport so they cover the entire

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