Week of June 11, 2018

A few things of note from around the Internet this week…

Terror

There's a difference between an effective deterrent and inhumane cruelty:

In other words, the children are separated from their parents in order to send a message to future illegal immigrants. Come here, and we’ll take your kids away. This was not a panicked measure, taken quickly, to avert a crisis. It was months under due consideration, with plenty in the Trump administration balking at the inhumanity of it all. These children are being traumatized to send a message. They are being used as a form of deterrence for others.


Hope

An enlightening profile of perhaps the most powerful women in the world that you've never heard of. Just as Steve Jobs gave us the tools to change the world in the form of MacBooks and iPhones, Laurene Powell Jobs is doing the same in her own way:

“I’m very aware of the fact that we’re all just passing through here,” she adds. “I feel like I’m hitting my stride now. … Change doesn’t happen quickly. It happens slowly, slowly, and then all at once. Sometimes that’s 10 years, sometimes it’s 20 years, and sometimes you don’t live to see it. … It is my goal to effectively deploy resources. If there’s nothing left when I die, that’s just fine.”


Fail

A review of Kanye’s latest album. My review: ⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

A rapper who sought out controversy and attention at the height of his fame might be about to endure the ultimate reckoning: the pain of declining cultural relevance.


Fashion

Ben Brooks on his hunt for the perfect backpack for his daughter:

Now, I know, you probably are rolling your eyes at me at this point. I bought a GORUCK Echo, a $235 MSRP backpack, for my daughter who is about to go into Jr. Kindergarten. But you don’t come here for my rational purchasing decisions, you come to know the best things.


Growth

Khalid Halim on the tension between companies and people:

At the end of the day, the law of startup physics has everyone leaving the building—whether that’s the executives whom the startup outpaces or the founders who need to disconnect to recharge, reinvest and reintegrate new inputs into their vision. All of this happens because humans grow biologically and linearly, and startups are geared to grow exponentially.

However, it doesn’t mean that this tension leads to fissures. With every early employee and executive, have a conversation about their last day on their first day. Make an explicit pact around their growth, the company’s growth, how they must connect, and how one day they won’t. Outline the options you’ll explore at that point. If you’re a founder, recognize why you’re the key to exponential growth at your company, and why that makes your tenure different than everyone else’s stint. You must also get out of the building, both to get inputs to extend the vision of the company and to set an example for your team. Schedule date nights and vacations—and stick to them as fiercely as a launch date. Your company—and people—depend on it.


Change

Danielle Jackson looks at the recent abundance of reporting [that’s four links, not just one] on women of color dying in childbirth and wonders: “Why hasn’t anything changed?”

Villarosa tells us it is the “lived experience” of black women in America that makes pregnancy more daunting for us. The “toxic physiological stress of racism,” she says, in part due to the accumulation of slights throughout a lifetime, wears on the body. The healthcare system is another source of stress. Healthcare providers are most often white and have been known to treat patients of color with contempt, ignore their concerns, and undertreat their pain. Landram’s birth doula, Latona Giwa, also a woman of color, stands in the gap for her, acting as a buffer between the doctors and nurses who speak to Landram brusquely.


Newsletters

Since you’re reading this, you might be interested in a few more newsletters. I find them equal parts indispensable and delightful.

  • Exponential View: Azeem Azhar's wondermissive on technology, the future & society.

  • Roden Explorers: Craig Mod’s letter about writing, photography, books, and travel.

  • Robin Sloan’s newsletter about tinkering with technology: programming, printing, soldering, sewing, and more. Occasionally there are…secrets.


Next week is going to be pretty technology and AI heavy, get ready 💻🧠