| (525 words; posted Friday, Oct. 11) Great Minds Think Alike, Part One|
“The name? It means nothing, or practically nothing. We chose it as an empty vessel into which we can pour meaning.”
–“Readme: Welcome to SLATE,” SLATEmagazine, June 24, 1996.“What we were looking for was an empty vessel, a word that really had no meaning that we could then fill with meaning.”
–Nancy Friedman, marketing director of “Slates,” a new line of dress pants from Levi Strauss. Quoted in the New York Times , Oct. 9, 1996.
We are happy to welcome Levi Strauss into our increasingly crowded vessel, but wish to make clear that there is no connection between Slates, the pants, and S LATE, the interactive magazine. When we told Bill Gates that Levi Strauss was slapping our name on a line of trousers, his reaction was eloquent. “Have them killed,” he said. “No, wait, my Dockers are getting a bit tight–order me a few pairs.” We hope “Slate” comes to mean high-quality material in both textiles and, er, text. Tell you what, guys: We’ll cover the head, you cover the lower body. (Or will that get us in trouble with the Justice Department?)