Category: Current Affairs

Frederick Douglass and How Photos Will Shape Our Idea History In the Future



“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

Frederick Douglass wrote these words nearly 150 years ago, but hearing them this week as I watched a production of American Prophet playing at Arena Stage, they felt like a surprisingly relevant reminder to speak out for a more just world. Already being described as getting “the Hamilton treatment,” the show takes an iconic figure from American history and brings the age he lived in to life through songs and selected passages from his own writing.

In addition to his central role in helping architect the freeing of enslaved people, Douglass is remembered for his early support of women’s suffrage long before women were granted the right to vote. For me, the most powerful story in the show explored a moment when he posed for a portrait photo and seemed to understand immediately the gravity of that moment and the important role photographs would take in shaping history and countering stereotypes through real images:

“It is evident that the great cheapness, and universality of pictures must exert a powerful though silent influence, upon the ideas and sentiment of present and future generations.”

When it comes to thinking about how photos may be used to understand history decades from now, technology will play a much bigger part. Here’s one example: a (Read more...)

Five Links for August


This post is by auren from Summation by Auren Hoffman


Every month I try to share the most mind-expanding links to read/watch/listen. If you find these interesting, please do share with your friends. Here are five links worth reading… Beliefs are Fashions by Erik TorenbergPeople don’t choose beliefs based on logical value or merits, but based on how much status they can garner in their […]

The post Five Links for August appeared first on Summation by Auren Hoffman.

Five Links for July


This post is by auren from Summation by Auren Hoffman


Every month I try to share the most mind-expanding links to read/watch/listen. If you find these interesting, please do share with your friends. Here are five links worth reading… The Current ThingWhy is everyone up in arms about something new every month? Due to mimetic desire, social psychology, and social media, the mainstream converges to […]

The post Five Links for July appeared first on Summation by Auren Hoffman.

Five Links for July


This post is by auren from Summation by Auren Hoffman


Every month I try to share the most mind-expanding links to read/watch/listen. If you find these interesting, please do share with your friends. Here are five links worth reading… The Current ThingWhy is everyone up in arms about something new every month? Due to mimetic desire, social psychology, and social media, the mainstream converges to […]

The post Five Links for July appeared first on Summation by Auren Hoffman.

When Success Is Measured In Hate, We All Lose



One thing that right and left wing media personalities have in common: they are both desperate to be hated. Attracting the hate of their ideological opposites has become a sad metric for success. If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing your job. The same mentality has entered into the world of business and entrepreneurship. This ideal of hate-seeking is toxic to our culture, but effective because we are falling for the trick over and over. But who really benefits by keeping us angry all the time?

Magazines Create Empathy That Can Change the World. Here’s How To Save Them.



“The print magazine is an antidote to information overload, a form of media that contains a finite amount of content, releasing readers from the laborious task of deciding what to consume in the limited spaces of time in a day.”

Magazines are my favorite media. I read an ode to the power of the printed word in magazines this week and it reminded me of all the things I love about them. The process of curating this email is a constant battle to avoid overload, and I find that magazines always help. Unlike a lot of online content, the stories and images in magazines are usually professionally produced by real talented editors and creators. The long take they regularly offer is unique and their ability to select and publish stories that are timely without feeling outdated is a constant inspiration for me to try and do the same.

Sadly, many magazines are ceasing operations or moving to an online format only. The good news is, magazine subscriptions remain a steal compared to the cost of other things. So if you’re like some of the people interviewed in the article and have forgotten about the appeal of magazines, maybe now is a good time to restart some of those subscriptions you once had – or find some new ones.

Understanding the Woman-Led Backlash Against the “Lean In” Movement



Nearly ten years ago former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg became the “face of 2010s-era corporate feminism” when she published her book Lean In, which advocated for women to be more assertive and empowered at work. Since then, the book has been simultaneously celebrated as a much-needed manifesto for working women … and a one-dimensional tech industry perspective that failed to acknowledge the many systemic barriers at work that women often face.

Now that Sandberg is stepping down from her role and close to a decade has passed, the moment is inspiring a backlash as some people question whether her insights have moved women in business forward or ultimately held them back. If you are a professional woman working in business right now, what do you think? Do you identify with this idea of “leaning in” as the right way to build your career, or do you feel that this expectation that it is your responsibility to assert yourself underestimates the cultural and institutional barriers that stand in your way? I’d love to know. 

Five Links for June


This post is by auren from Summation by Auren Hoffman


Every month I try to share the most mind-expanding links to read/watch/listen. If you find these interesting, please do share with your friends. Here are five links worth reading… The New Science of Alt IntelligenceThe perceived objective of AI has always been to mimic human behavior. But most researchers today don’t want this. Instead, they’re […]

The post Five Links for June appeared first on Summation by Auren Hoffman.

How This Ends



Back in February of last year, I wrote a blog post with the same title and said this about the asset price bubble we were living in and investing in over the last few years:

The big question is how does this end?

I believe it ends when the Covid 19 pandemic is over and the global economy recovers. Those two things won’t necessarily happen at the same time. There is a wide range of recovery scenarios and nobody really knows how long it will take the global economy to recover from the pandemic.

But at some point, economies will recover, central banks will tighten the money supply, and interest rates will rise. We may see price inflation of consumer goods and labor too, although that is less clear.

When economies recover and interest rates rise, the air will come out of the asset price bubbles that have built up and the go go markets will hit the brakes.

Well now the markets have hit the brakes and the new question is how that ends.

I have been using the early 80s as a bit of a mental model. The late 70s saw oil prices rise and stagflation emerge and while that is not exactly what has happened with COVID and the war in Ukraine, there are some similarities.

In the early 80s, the G7 economies tightened the money supply, raising interest rates dramatically, in an effort to bring inflation under control. You can see the effect in this image:

(Read more...)

Funding Friday: The $2.5mm Match


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


I blogged about the $1k Project For Ukraine a couple of months ago. Since then over 5,000 families in Ukraine have gotten a $1k gift, no strings attached, to help them survive during this crisis. That is $5mm of direct aid to families in Ukraine.

Yesterday, Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack, tweeted that he and Jen Rubio will be matching another $2.5mm of $1k donations over the next 48 hours, starting at mid-day yesterday.

I just supported another five families and with this generous match, that is ten families.

You can join me in supporting a family, or five, or however many you’d like here.



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