Reading List: Tech Co Censorship, Good And Wholesome People, An Ode To Fancy Fruit.
Darlings! Today’s is a long one, since I went a little overboard on saving up longreads this week and then started re-reading them this morning as I wrote, and now it’s nearly 7 am and I have to shower and you have so much to get through! So get to reading, and I’ll see you on Monday!
Zeynep Tufekci, Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S. (Scientific American) - There’s a lot of stuff being passed around about the Coronavirus outbreak—including valid observations that it sure seems like the current administration is screwing up the crisis response HARD—but this opinion piece in SA prepares us for some of the very real mental and social challenges we will likely face, like staying home for weeks to help prevent the spread of the disease. Now, we aren’t at that point yet, but it IS our civic duty to wash our hands, dabbing when we need to cough, and staying the heck home if you’re feeling sick. Don’t be a martyr; we have magic wifi-enabled teleportals that can dial you in to that meeting.
David Ingram, Chinese censorship or 'work elsewhere': Inside Shutterstock's free-speech rebellion (NBC News) - What happens when the principles of the staff of a Silicon Valley photo sharing company butt up against pressure from the largest and most powerful censoring government on the planet? Suddenly the limits of tech optimism come sharply into focus. As Ingram illustrates, the staff backlash to Shutterstock acquiescing to the Chinese government’s demand to censor images and searches is a just one example of the myriad of debates and conflicts happening right now between tech workers and leadership.
Erin Griffith, As the Start-Up Boom Deflates, Tech Is Humbled (The New York Times) - Building on the theme above, these staff/leadership conflicts will only sharpen when belts are tightened as insane valuations become vaporous memories. As Griffith discusses, the much-prized positivity of our tech industry is waning, and in “an industry known for irrational optimism, skepticism now abounds.”
Helen Rosner, Nothing Compares To Yuzu (The New Yorker) - In addition to loving the headline oh so much, Rosner’s ode to the “knobbly-skinned Japanese fruits” is just joyful and lovely and oh so beautifully crafted. She’s SUCH a damned good writer.
Caity Weaver, A Royal Instagram Mystery (The New York Times) - Haven’t read this one yet, but when Caity Weaver writes about social media and royals and conspiracies and bureaucratic intrigues, I read that stuff so hard after my Saturday morning yoga class.
Evan Lewis, My Brother, My Brother and Me hosts on 500 episodes of good goofs and cool babies (Entertainment Weekly) - Not exactly a long read per se, but I love the McElroys so darned much, and it’s lovely to read their reflections on 500 episodes of “advice.” They are such good and wholesome people, and Justin McElroys tweet after the 2016 election remains one of the more inspiring things I’ve seen on that there Twitter site. Also, reading about how the brothers brought their D&D podcast to graphic novels is also amazing.
I like you all. Keep doing good, and be kind to each other, eh?