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Cronut credit:

Way back in the day…I had a weblog. Weblogs were places where the olds posted thoughts online and shared links to other web pages that often ended in “.html.”

One day in the early aughts, long before hashtags and cronuts, I wrote a post about authenticity and privacy in the digital age. My half-baked argument was that we couldn’t stop the frenzied land grab for personal data, but we did have control — even if tenuous — on the veracity of this newly valuable digital stuff. And isn’t authentic truth a foundation of value?

…Right? (…Right?)

Fast-forward to our current, post-cronut age. Fake profiles and fake user data are so entrenched in internet culture that there are startups offering to fix the problem and startups offering to supply the problem. Elsewhere, authenticity — as modeled through authenticationhas evolved in awkward steps. The username & password method has long been the standard way to authenticate users and provide a personalized experience, but as breach after breach after breach have taught us, it really stinks as an architecture. Not surprisingly, the tech sector has been trying to move away from the username/password approach for some time. …

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A few years ago, my improv teacher had our class stand in a big circle, look each person in the eyes, and say what we liked about each other. Each of us heard at least 14 glowing, positive qualities about ourselves. It was heartwarming, humbling, and painfully awkward.

And it created an instant connection between all of us. As it turns out, building genuine connections is a key quality of good improv — it creates trust between scene players, which fosters creativity, which leads to better scenes.

In a small class setting, it’s easy to imagine how this feedback could lead to insights in individual personality traits. It’s another thing to scale “tell me how you feel about me” feedback from an individual up to an organizational level. …

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Credit: Adam Wyles

When I was a kid, spaghetti for dinner was a big treat. Like Kool-Aid-level-big treat…we just didn’t have it that often.

There was a special bonus of a spaghetti dinner: the meal prep. …


Ariana French

Optimist, traveler, technologist.

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