Five Reads: What’s Wrong With Anon?
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 content, stay tuned to the SXSW website on Monday, September 10 for the first big programming announcement of the 2019 season.
Inmates of the Asylum
It’s the rare week that a single article captures the zeitgeist, but that happened Wednesday with an op-ed in the New York Times written by a nameless White House insider who promised that he or she is covertly doing their best to save the country from utter disaster. It didn’t seem to make anyone feel better — except maybe NYT execs who monitor site traffic. In the Atlantic, David Frum lays out why we should all be even more afraid.
Do Bike Helmets Make You Safer?
Flipping conventional wisdom on its head is essential to innovation. In an Outside piece, Eben Ware does just that…making a compelling case against promoting bike helmets for kids. That may sound as insane as working from the inside to subvert the President’s will, but as he points out, the safest countries for cycling have the lowest rates of helmet use. The article also features this memorable line: “your local transportation department or police precinct foisting a helmet on you is like your restaurant server presenting you with a barf bag along with your food order.”
Is Nike’s decision to put an inactive, culturally-controversial athlete at the center of its newest campaign another example of bold, risk-taking or simply a smart business decision? For the New Yorker, Jelani Kobb explores what it means for the company to made such a strong statement of support for unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Remember Life Without Google?
It was only 20 years ago, on Sept. 4, 1998, that the little search engine that could take over the world was born. The Verge staff has culled the highlights from two decades of the company that they, and many others, call the most responsible for shaping the modern internet and life.
A Life Worth Dying For
Finally, if you’re looking for a little inspiration, read about the all-too-brief life of YouTube star Claire Wineland. The 21-year-old died Sept. 2 from complications of lung transplant surgery. Despite spending a quarter of her life in the hospital fighting cystic fibrosis, she managed to make the most of social media and have a massive, lasting reach. As she said in a TedTalk, “Life isn’t just about being happy.… It’s not about how you feel second to second. It’s about what you’re making of your life and whether you can find a deep pride in who you are and what you’ve given.”
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.