Dear Jessie,

When I was a young child my favorite aunt, who helped me start a family library, introduced me to cancer and was dead a few months later. Around that time my mother went to the doctor to check up on the baby she was pregnant with, and found out that she had died. She drove home from that visit to find my father kneeling over my baby brother’s body who had died in his sleep that night. When I still had siblings who weren’t yet in kindergarten, my mother got a rare form of cancer and they told…


Are we born the way we are, or do we get to decide? Quantum Physics helps point the way.

I remember well the last days of high school. There was a general sense of apocalypse combined with the hopeful ideal that we will all soon be moving on to a better place. At this similitude of death and rebirth, it seemed like there was a frantic polarity between a desire to move on, and one to grasp everything that you have ever loved and never let go. Then, right at the center of all of this, we created artifacts of…


Humanity has started a long-term relationship with the Internet. We are now vastly more capable as a species. But recent research in psychology suggests that in some ways we weren’t built for this, and will need to learn to some new tricks to survive.

The internet has promised a lot. It has the ability to give voice to the voiceless and provide a conduit for free expression. It’s been billed as the great hero of free speech, and it is precisely for this reason that the Internet continues to be so heavily censored in countries with authoritarian regimes. From the…


We’re heading towards the final fulfillment of the Industrial Revolution.

We take time for granted. Not in the “live like it was your last day on earth” kind of way (though likely in that way too). If you’re wearing a watch, look at it. Does it have a second hand? Why? Just in case you suddenly need to stand in as time keeper for an Olympic sprint? Does it have a minute hand? Almost certainly. Time, seen as such, is a relatively new and novel contribution to humanity. It wasn’t a technical issue. The ancients were no dummies when it…

R. David Dixon Jr.

Stanford researcher exploring technology, society, and the future of work. www.rdaviddixon.com

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