The aughts stuff I couldn’t love enough

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The Crown: Somehow not my favorite show of the 2010s!?

Two weeks from now, it’ll be the 2020s, making this an apt moment to engage in some pre-2020 hindsight. (How’s that? Has that line been used yet in one of these end-of-the-decade retrospectives?) I’ve been combing the fossil record of my iCal and scanning my bookshelves to remember all the things I’ve seen and read since 2010. What works of art really stuck with me from these ten years? What will I still remember when the calendar turns to 2030?

In thinking back on my 2010s favorites-in-culture, the most notable pattern is how disproportionately distributed they’ve been across media. Trying to account for all the TV shows I’ve loved? A nearly endless task. …

Revisiting bright(?) ideas from ten years ago

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Some things never change

The end of the 2010s has many of us thinking back on the decade. What have we accomplished? Eh, mixed bag. How much older do we look? A lot older. Who defined the decade? Meme makers, platform creators, political activists, Barack Obama, you-know-who...

Thanks to the internet’s one-click-away archive of all our past thoughts, offensive jokes, and badly lit photos, I’ve been revisiting the ideas I was blogging about at the turn of the 2010s. …

After a summer slump, the former frontrunner seems to embrace the lane that works best for her: identity politics candidate

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Harris Comes Back (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The most memorable moment of Wednesday night’s Democratic primary debate was a shocking memory lapse.

Joe Biden appeared to forget that Kamala Harris — a couple of spots down from him on stage — existed. During a discussion of the criminalization of marijuana, and the disproportionate impact of the war on drugs on black Americans, Biden claimed to have the support of the only black woman ever elected to the Senate. Though Carol Moseley Braun, elected in 1992, has endorsed the former VP, Harris became the second black woman in the senate after her election in 2016. …

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The arrest of a subway-station churro vendor reveals a deeper problem with New York’s permit economy

After Elsa — a woman selling churros in the Broadway Junction subway station — was stopped by police and handcuffed, New Yorkers’ anger was rightfully directed at Governor Andrew Cuomo, who plans to add 500 additional police offers to the city’s subway system.

Along with Mayor Bill De Blasio, uncharacteristically marching in lockstep with his frenemy in Albany, the Governor has promoted the idea that “the feeling that subways are unsafe is up.”

The secret Silicon Valley doesn’t want you to know

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The Fall 2017 Ignite Class

I was recently privileged to speak to a classroom full of newly minted startup founders, spearheading their projects as part of the Ignite Alpha program at the NYU Entrepreneurship Institute.

Their ideas were incisive and inspiring — ranging from facilitating employment for the formerly incarcerated to driving sustainability by recycling otherwise wasted coffee grounds — and their questions were sharp:

  • When’s the right time to set up legal infrastructure, like incorporation and IP protection?
  • What’s the best way to map out product development—soliciting feedback from prospective customers, building a beta version of your solution, and knowing when you can try to go full scale? …

Notes on the Demise of Pando — and the Startup Era It Chronicled

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Sarah Lacy Interviewing Chris Sacca

Last week, tech news site Pando was sold for an undisclosed amount to an ad tech company. In its prime at the start of this now-closing decade, Pando (né PandoDaily) was the definitive home of tech industry adulation and analysis.

As Josh Benton wrote for Nieman Lab, “I really don’t intend for this to sound mean, but I’d forgotten the opinionated tech news site Pando was still around. Or maybe I do intend to sound mean — it would be fitting for a site that was really good at it.” …

In the fretting over the Democratic field, Harris’s stalled start is the big unanswered question—but analysis of her rhetoric holds a key
Why is the California Senator stuck at 5%?

The Times tells us that unnamed Democratic donors are fretting about the 2020 field. Sure, the primary electorate itself might be excited by its 20-odd choices, but the activists with the deepest pockets—the ones who will have to supplement the eventual nominee’s grassroots “pocket change”—are whisperingly less enthused.

Vice President Biden is showing his age, running a zombie campaign; Senators Warren and Sanders have Medicare for All, alienating to suburban swing voters, tied around their necks. …

What LaLaPaRuZa, the presidential primaries, and the SHSAT all have in common

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An under-the-radar contender who no one thought had a shot until all the competitors stood on one stage and they delivered the best performance.

Suddenly, the unthinkable was thinkable.

No, it’s not Donald Trump calling out low-energy Jeb or little Marco. It’s the story of Naomi Smalls slaying the Adrenaline lip sync during RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4’s LaLaPaRuZa challenge.

Why sitting in the woods can be a less contemplative space than a crowded subway car

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Are you alone if you’re listening to a podcast at Walden Pond?

Many of the ideas I’ve been thinking about lately came together on a recent episode of the Ezra Klein Show featuring Cal Newport, author of the forthcoming book Digital Minimalism.

Klein says Newport is “making a bid to be the Marie Kondo of technology: someone with an actual plan for helping you realize the digital pursuits that do, and don’t, spark joy and bring value to your life.”

It’s an interesting connection—Newport is pushing us to get in touch with what uses of time help us live our values. To me, this echoes completely with my thoughts about the Six C’s. Are we consuming media when we intend to be connecting with others? …

How Sex and the City gave us the joy-sparking theory of life choices

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Over the last few days, I’ve binged Netflix’s new series, Tidying Up, featuring organizational guru Marie Kondo swooping, sprite-like, into moderately cluttered home and helping the families inside create spaces that reflect their ideal selves. It’s Hoarders through the looking glass, taking us into a gentler and far more manageable mess.

Unlike the show’s A&E antecedents, there aren’t compulsive behaviors and darkly scored group therapy sessions in the pursuit of KonMari. There’s upbeat music and brightly colored skirts instead. …


Ryder Kessler

Progressive political strategist and manager • Social impact technology entrepreneur • New Yorker

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