Don’t Mind the Fire is an editorial newsletter written by Rian van der Merwe that chronicles how the internet is constantly changing the way we live and work.

Every Monday I share a mix of carefully curated links and personal commentary to help you cut through the noise and break down what’s happening in internet culture, the new tech economy, and the future of work. You can view the archive to see past issues.



About the name

Why is the newsletter called Don’t Mind the Fire? Because of Phil Collins… This lyric from Take Me Home has always resonated with me really strongly:

There’s a fire that’s been burning right outside my door. I can’t see it but I feel it, and it helps to keep me warm. So I, I don’t mind.

I always have in my mind this image of a person in their home, trying to figure out how to deal with the situation they’re in. They know they’re in danger because there’s a fire outside, but it also helps to keep them warm. So they’re willing to put up with that danger and just hope that the whole thing doesn’t consume them.

That’s what I feel the internet is like in our current cultural moment. We know it can be destructive, but it also has the ability to make us feel warm and not alone in so many wonderful ways. So we stay. And we, we don’t mind.

But also, I just really like Phil Collins 🤷‍♂️


Support the newsletter

The newsletter takes a few hours each week to produce, and I want to continue to give it the time and attention it deserves. To do that, I provide memberships for those who would like to support the ongoing time, energy, and cost of researching, writing, and producing it.

All contributions go directly to covering subscription costs for the tools I use to collect and manage the content and the production of the newsletter. Perhaps most importantly, contributions keep the newsletter independent and free from advertising. Thank you for your support!

Become a member