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A Preview of Inconspicuous Consumption

For this week’s article over on Substack, I’ve decided to give you a preview of what my Substack will be like after it gets a makeover and returns this summer as Inconspicuous Consumption. I’ve provided several examples of the type of content I’ll be featuring, plus there’s a Q&A section that should address some of the questions you may have.

You can read the article here, and this piece is not paywalled, so it’s available to everyone. I hope you’ll check it out!


Comments (24)

    If those portion cups from Inconspicuous Consumption are like the ketchup cups at restaurants, you can pull apart the sides laterally to create a little plate.

    Congratulations on the new project. I’m looking forward to it. This kind of content is right up my alley. Will the Uni Watch articles at Substack remain archived and available for future reading once the changeover occurs?

    Now I see that the Uni Watch articles will be archived. Somehow I missed it earlier on. Congrats again.

    Congrats on the Athletic piece! Got it on an alert from my app. Will make some time at lunch today to read it!

    Looks good.

    One note: I feel you’re overestimating the ubiquity of the Brannock Device. I can’t recall ever seeing one and I am positive I’ve never used one. I pretty much only wear sneakers and get them at either Dick’s Sporting Goods or at Walmart. I am also younger, so maybe that has something to do with it. But I don’t think those two qualifiers make for that small of a demographic.

    Minor note, the rest all looked great!

    I’m younger too, and I had a similar thought. But I know I definitely used them as a kid. Can’t say I’ve used one in the last twenty years though.

    Generally adults don’t use the Brannock device since their feet should be fully grown. And I’d venture to guess most people know their shoe size (or at least range).

    I too used (or had them used on me by a salesperson) the devices growing up. Once my feet stopped growing, I never “needed” one again.

    They also remain useful when deciding on specialty footwear where fit is extremely important, such as downhill ski boots or hockey skates.

    You ever see the sign by the road that says “stop here to ACTUATE signal”? I was always confused and wondered why it doesn’t say “ACTIVATE”. They’re both very similar in meaning and i never noticed the word actuate outside of the signs pertaining to traffic signals. Feel like that may qualify for the Inconspicuous Consumption theme

    Paul I assume you are long aware of Art Chantry – grumpy graphic design legend. Really feels like a similar ballpark here. Feels like a resource… He’s in the various nooks of social media – talking about things similar to this..

    When I read the post this morning, I thought to myself that a black-and-white line-art version of the Brannock Device would be perfect for IC’s new logo. Then a bit later I read the Athletic profile and saw the photo of Paul’s tattoo. And yes, a black-and-white line-art version of the Brannock Device, with or without the circle, would indeed be perfect. Unless there’s any chance that the current manufacturer of the Brannock Device would assert some kind of IP control over an image of the apparatus.

    On the sample cup, why is Horse * Radish separated by a dot? Makes it look like two different things and I doubt a horse would fit in that cup.

    I hope that he does an Inconspicuous Consumption article about vintage camping lanterns. Those are really hot right now. And aesthetically very delicious.

    As much as Uni-Watch is an integral part of my life, I have come realize that it is Paul, Paul’s view of the world around us and Paul’s exceptionally unique voice that I’m interested in the most. All of these examples are exactly what those of us who “get it” need in our life. Paul, I am so excited for this new adventure!

    Contest? Seinfeld? $10,000 is a lot of money to have riding on the honor system.

    Here’s my own Inconspicuous Observation, regarding the University of Alabama system. There are three institutions:

    1.) The University of Alabama (the official name of the Tuscaloosa campus.)
    2.) The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
    3.) The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

    No consistency whatsoever.

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