A dialogue between Nothing Has Been Done Before and wider spheres of culture, politics, economics, and so forth in regards to newness and innovation. These are stories, arguments, and angles that aren’t referenced in the book. Some are on the nose, others are more loosely connected. The list will be updated as I find new additions. (Contact me to share yours. I’ll be sure to credit you under the link.)

Naturally we begin with…

Popular Music

Mary Timony talks about the new. (Near the end of the interview.)

“Chuck Berry Invented the Idea of Rock and Roll”: early rock ‘n’ roll as newness.

Cosmic Americana.

People are paying for online content now and everything will be okay, essentially.

“Pere Ubu is mainstream rock. Justin Timberlake is weird experimental music. Robbie Williams is avant-garde. Britney Spears is constantly coming up with something new and innovative. Pere Ubu does the same old thing. ‘New’ is a trap and a scam to dupe student-types and other naive people.” – David Thomas of Pere Ubu

Other Art Forms (including intersections with music)

Liz Pelly on new theories of D.I.Y. collective spaces.

“Is Newness Still New?” Visual artists answer that question in The Brooklyn Rail (2012). And an essay published simultaneously, “How Newness Enters the Art World.”

Whistler v. Rothko.


“What Are the Consequences of Our Cultural Obsession with Newness?”–Two thoughtful opinions from Siddhartha Deb and Anna Holmes.


Mark Fisher’s K-punk blog.

A nightmare tour through business-meets-politics innovation hell. “As more homes come online, politicians will be able to host virtual, two-way interactive town halls in voters’ homes and gather real-time feedback on their policies.” Ah yes, and then refuse to meet with a large mob of angry constituents, or experience a “bad connection” with them, and so forth. America’s best minds at work!

Business and Economics

Jill Lepore on disruptive innovation.

On the failures of Juicero: Innovation “requires a lot of risk – something that, myth-making aside, capitalist firms have little appetite for.”

“The surprising link between science fiction and economic history.” Plenty to critique here, but it corresponds with a general sense of pessimism about substantial newness.


On the terrible effects of the media’s obsession with novelty. (Columbia Journalism Review)


“Like all modern managerial philosophies that stake their names on innovation, ‘design thinking’ has not actually been put forward by theorists or implemented by business leadership because its ideas are new.” –Megan Erickson on the intersections of education and business, and the gleam of “innovation.”


“I have never pretended to reveal anything new or to launch novelties onto the culture market. A minute correction of the essential is more important than a hundred new accessories. All that is new is the direction of the current which carries commonplaces along.” – Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life