It had to be there—listening to the buzzing discord of a 56k modem firing up in my teenage bedroom, what it took to send exactly one Juno email—that the true potential of the internet first dawned on me.
Before Facebook and Web 2.0, before the dotcom bubble and subsequent crash, before The Cluetrain Manifesto where hyperlinks subvert hierarchy, it was just me: a lonely, anxious teenager trying desperately to reach out and connect with others like me.
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Dear CEOs of America,
Let’s start with a hard truth. We’re living in a dark time.
No matter your party affiliation, it’s hard to ignore the increasing social upheaval and corresponding activism, driven in part by our political moment but undergirded by the bigger trends of globalization, automation, and a historic distrust in our public institutions.
Public life is in crisis. And when public institutions fail, it affects all us, especially the most vulnerable.
So why are so many of you, many with incredible influence over our everyday lives, sitting on the sidelines?
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One of the things I loved about being a history major in college was getting to step back and look at the big picture. The study of history shows you how things — people, communities, religions, leaders, ideas — interact and influence each other. It made me appreciate that everything is connected, but it also showed me that if you pay attention, patterns emerge. “History repeats itself” is a trope that has a certain truth to it.
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