Daily Nexus writer Ben Moss, having failed to think of anything interesting to write about in his Tuesday column, resigned himself to authoring a thinkpiece on clickbait:

I was mindlessly browsing the internet the other day, as one does, and I came across an article promising to reveal the 21st century’s sexiest career. I must say, I never expected Yahoo! Finance to be so infatuated with “data scientists.”

Yahoo! is refreshingly upfront about the disingenuous nature of their article, admitting that to take it seriously “you have to buy the logic that what makes a career ‘sexy’ is when demand for your skills outstrips supply, allowing you to command a sizable paycheck and options.” This is bullshit, of course, and Ben Moss could have used this quote to segue into a discussion of the sort of soulless careerism that leads people into believing that the best job is the one that pays the most. But this being the Nexus, we instead get something bizarre and completely inane.

The more I think about data science, the more I see its sexiness is obvious to our place in time. Data is no longer boring, as I thought it once was. Just look at UCSB. Here, our friends fight bitterly to study accounting, we’re asked to fill out surveys every time we check our emails and our perm numbers are (as ugly as it sounds to say) crucial to our identity as students.

Nothing turns Ben on more than turning off his roommate’s alarm in order to get a spot in ECON 3B; it’s positively orgasmic. And the second-best part of his day is when he hears that SurveyMonkey cares so much about his opinion that it reaches out to him in person! (This is because nobody else does.)

Next, Ben addresses the question of why he gets so horned up thinking about MySQL tables:

My take on the paradigm shift is a little different. I think it’s about the role data has played in our growing up and the way we use it so extensively now. After all, we’ve all sent off a meaningful email or an emotional text. We’ve all proudly fashioned our Facebook profiles to mean something about who we are. In one way or another, we’ve all had a heart-to-heart in the ones and zeroes of computer programming.

Ben is a living testament to the truth of Marshall McLuhan’s famous dictum that “the medium is the message.” He is unable to separate the content of what he writes from the medium in which he composes it. While researching this column, an anonymous source provided me with one of Ben Moss’ sexts, and you can see for yourself what living in this digital environment has done to Ben’s ideas of romance:

for ( var i=0; i < 5; i++ ) {
  if ( i % 2 === 0 ) {
    alert("I love you");
  else {
    alert("I love you not");

(His deep immersion into digital media has also apparently erased the distinction in his mind between “data” and “the ones and zeroes of computer programming.“)

In the conclusion of his essay, Ben finally recognizes his digital addiction and vows to make a change:

But I do think we need to make a practice of diplomacy, as it may not come as naturally in the digital age. There’s still something intangible and more effective about spoken interaction, especially when something is being negotiated. When emailing, you have to concern yourself with precision in language, exactness in tone and concision in length. Moreover, emails are easy to delete. Negotiating in person can actually save time and grief because arguably the human face is so innately appealing that it’s hard to reject.

Personally, I’m actually trying to include less and less meaning in my emails. I’m trying to make them vague and unclear. The less I send electronically, the less I find myself attracted to data, the less I leave myself open to digital criticism, the less—in fact—I foresee a future in cold, robotic shades.

As if anticipating this very piece, Ben Moss here declares his intention to stop making sense in order to avoid the relentless “digital criticism” that last week led the Nexus to surrender to the Nonsense and become a subsidiary of our media empire, a misbehaving pet that we continue to scold. We look forward to publishing Moss’ next column, which will consist of epic poetry written only with consonants.

As of press time, Ben replied to his mother’s text about his phone bill with “Forever six times have I killed the wurm. Life is death and worse.”