Five Reads: Esther Perel Knows Love
What follows is our roundup of five of the most compelling stories discovered over the last few days. Look for this column every week in this space.
Love and Power
After a murderous display of hatred in Mr. Rogers’ actual Pittsburgh neighborhood last week, many people remembered the wise words of Fred Rogers’ mother, who said in times of trouble and terror, “you will always find people who are helping.” And it’s true, whatever may happen, the root of everything lies in building good relationships.
Couples therapist Esther Perel was named the “Speaker of the Event” at SXSW 2018; her keynote from last spring has been viewed nearly 300,000 times on YouTube. In the recent Esquire magazine, she talks with Tyler Coates about the new season of her fascinating podcast “Where Should We Begin?” In addition to Coates’ own relationship issues, they discuss the masculinity paradox, the compulsion to pursue to romance, the vulnerability cycle and how she thinks her podcast works to demystify therapy.
Explore ways to improve your own well-being and work toward the betterment of all as part of the SXSW 2019 Health and Med Tech track.
Rules for a Reason
Speaking of people who may be in need of relationship advice, the husband of Trump sycophant Kellyanne Conway explains why and how Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship through executive order is an unconstitutional non-starter. The op-ed in the Washington Post explains the constitutional precedent that should make such a move impossible while our democracy stands; the fact that it’s co-written by long-time Republican insider George Conway and liberal Neal Katyal, former acting U.S. solicitor general in the Obama administration, also gives hope that all opportunity for bipartisanship is not lost.
More Reasons to Choose Beto
Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke took time to write a piece for Essence magazine, taking on the crisis of maternal mortality for women of color. Sadly, this isn’t an issue likely to grab many headlines in these closing days of a tough campaign, but it’s notable that O’Rourke calls out the fact that Texas has way too mothers and children who suffer due to a lack of decent medical coverage. “The reality is black mothers in the United States remain 243 percent more likely to die due to pregnancy-related or delivery-related complications than white women,” he writes. He lays out an ambitious plan for Texas to go from being the least insured state to leading the way on guaranteed, high-quality, universal health care.
For more on the political impact of the maternal health crisis, check out this story in the Atlantic that digs in to how black mothers are fueling Stacey Abrams campaign for Georgia governor.
After you vote, listen, with hope, to O’Rourke’s 2018 SXSW talk “Can small donor progressives win local elections?”
The Devil Inside
Despite the click bait subhead, “I’m convinced the devil lives in our phones,” Nellie Bowles’ look at Silicon Valley parents’ permissiveness around tech for their families kids offers a thoughtful and nuanced take on the pros and the many cons of children using and overusing screens. In two other features, Bowles addresses the rise in demand for no-screen nannies, and the surprising gap in tech usage among rich and poor schools.
Turning Stories into Revenue
Recode reports on Facebook’s third-quarter earnings call, describing it as “interesting and uncharacteristically transparent” that Mark Zuckerberg “admitted that Facebook has had trouble building a business around some of its core features, like video and private messaging.” The Stories feature, especially in Instagram and WhatsApp, has exploded, as people look for better and more relevant ways to tell stories. Learn more about the state of Facebook as the New York Times explains “How Mark Zuckerberg Became Too Big to Fail.”
All the more reason to check out the Experiential Storytelling track coming to SXSW 2019.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.