Recommentunde - No excuses, America - Week of June 30 2019

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The Recommentunde Newsletter

For the week that began June 30 2019

It’s a simplified newsletter as I spent this vacation week much more on vacation rather than consuming digital content. I write you from Prague where I’ve attended the wedding of some good friends. Berlin was a too-fast 48-hour blur. Both cities remind me that quality public transit can be integrated beautifully into the oldest and gnarliest of infrastructures so shut up, America with your excuses! And happy belated birthday ;)

Now, to the content.

In a brief highlight of some local stories from my travels you discover that Berlin is facing the same housing affordability crunch as other cities around the world, and artists are fighting back. Meanwhile in Prague, the mayor has defied the expectations of compliance with China’s “one China” policy.

You are relieved and a bit disturbed that someone prominent is publicly asking if the Republican Party actually believes in democracy anymore. It’s something I’ve raised with all efforts to make voting harder, and I’m glad to see this threat to small-d democracy named out out.

You have heard lots about tech companies and data and privacy and exploitation, but this detailed criticism of a new email provider Superhuman and how it tracks recipients is among the best you can find. It was so powerful, it led to the CEO changing the company policy within days of its publication! Go, writing!

Because you care about the integrity of our democracy in the most infrastructural sense, you find yourself mildly grateful that Facebook will ban misinformation about 2020 census on its platform and actually try to be part of stabilizing democracy instead of the other way around.

Finally, another TED talk for you. This is from my friend Priya Parker with whom I’ve also worked professionally, much to my benefit. You’ve been in boring office meetings and uninspired gatherings of loved ones. You know there’s got to be a better way to get together with people, but you thought maybe you didn’t have the time or energy to invest in all that. Turns out, you were wrong and there are a few things you can do to turn up your gatherings to 11.

Peace and Love to you.