Five Reads: The New Hollywood VCs

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.

Speaking of compelling and forward-thinking content, check out the first big programming announcement for SXSW 2019. The next Keynote and Featured Speaker announcement occurs on October 9. Meanwhile, the biggest content announcement of the season (with more than 500 sessions from the SXSW PanelPicker) is scheduled for October 16.

Otherwise, we encourage you to read early and read often!

If you didn’t have several free hours of your life to devote to reading the exhaustive New York Times investigation of Donald Trump’s financial schemes and misdeeds (spoiler alert: he’s guilty!), then here are five slightly shorter stories to think about.

Hollywood Gets Deeper into the Startup Game
The New York Times shared details of Priyanka Chopra’s new portfolio company and her fascination with the online community, something she shares with many celebrities. “Geeks are taking over the world,” Ms. Chopra said. “If they haven’t already.” She just announced her second investment, in the dating and social media app Bumble, the Austin-based dating and social media app founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, who served as a Featured Speaker at SXSW 2018.

Coding Into Unemployment?
In the Atlantic, Brian Merchant asks what might and should happen when smart coders figures out how to program themselves out of a job. In some memorable cases, coders made their jobs completely automated. Is it cheating or just figuring out the best way to use your skills?

Hoop Twitter Dreams
Among major sports, the NBA dominates in social media savvy with 27 million followers on Twitter (the NFL’s account has 24 million) and 31 million on Instagram. 33 NBA players boast more than 2 million followers on IG. But it is too much? In a story for Bleacher Report, Tom Haberstroh explores whether the players frequent posting has tipped over the edge into unhealthy, obsessive territory. One point: LeBron James has more than 42 million followers on IG and he makes it a point to go dark during the playoffs.

Crazy Fake News Law
While Singapore soared up into the public consciousness with the mega-hit “Crazy Rich Asians,” a proposed new law aimed at controlling and penalizing spreaders of fake news in the island country could have major implications for Facebook, Google and Twitter, which have made Singapore their Asian headquarters. For BuzzFeed, Craig Silverman explains why this prospect, expected to become a reality early next year, has free speech and human rights activists, including Kirsten Han and Ping Tjin Thum (pictured above at Oxford), deeply worried.

Remembering Sexual Assault Survivors
The nation continues to grapple with the onslaught of powerful, painful stories of women revealing their own experiences with sexual assault continues. To those who say women should just get over it, or that things that happened decades ago don’t matter (a shocking number of U.S. Senators for example), veteran news anchor Connie Chung makes a wrenching personal admission that she was abused by her doctor (who had delivered her) more than 50 years ago. It’s important to hear these stories.

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.



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Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest


Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.