Work has been intense for a bit and will be for a good while longer. So, this week's list is more of a "to-do" list for me.
Just One Thing
Ted Chiang interview (The Ezra Klein Show)
I'm not familiar with sci-fi writer Ted Chiang and I have no idea how this appeared in my podcast app, but I'm glad it did. Fascinating conversation about the ethical implications of AI and how humanity's unhappy history with animals points to a similarly troubling relationship with nascent AI.
Now, I really need to watch Arrival.
Earlier this week, I ran across a terrific bit about the meaning of hope, from the activist historian Howard Zinn:
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
I'm embarrassed to say I've never read anything of Zinn's. A year or two ago, I picked up a battered used copy of A People's History of the United States that unfortunately sits near the bottom of my ever-growing to-read pile. But I've been aware of him peripherally since college, when my then-conservative mind saw him as a subversive anti-American. My view of him now could not be more opposite.
- The World According to Howard Zinn (Mother Jones)
- The documentary based on Zinn's autobiography, You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train, is available on Kanopy.
- The New Exhibition - a showcase of Ukrainian designers, illustrators, animators, and more who are caught up in the Russian invasion.
- Awakening Fueled by Rage (Lion's Roar)
Anger-according-to-Buddhism is a tough thing for me to grapple with. And like so much in my tradition, there are a wide range of views on how to approach it.
- It’s Still Stupidly, Ridiculously Difficult To Buy A ‘Dumb’ TV (Techdirt)
I need to replace our 12-year-old HDTV and I dread trying to dodge all the features in new TVs that I don't want. Like Alexa.
- Why Big Teams Suck (Bob Sutton)
- Drones are setting down roots in wildfire-scarred landscapes (The Verge)
Disclaimer: Drone Seed, profiled in this article, is one of the portfolio companies of my employer, Techstars.
- Bosses Don't Follow Their Own Advice in Returning to the Office (Bloomberg)
- Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States (New England Journal of Medicine)
Spoiler: In 2020, the leading cause of death for people under 20 was guns. Moloch's reign continues.
When Fascism Comes to America
- Why the World Is In A Far Right Frenzy (Eudaimonia and Co)
- Inside the New Right, Where Peter Thiel Is Placing His Biggest Bets (Vanity Fair)
- How V for Vendetta Predicted America’s Descent Into Fascism (Them.Us)