I think a lot about this Jason Isbell interview from a while back, where he talks about what it’s like being a country music singer who writes about politics and topics like racism in the South.Read More
I have this tailor who is like the best tailor in Boston, although this is a heated debate. For years, I had never really used a true tailor, just the ones that work at suit stores, sorry no offense to those guys. But when I got married a few years back, I wanted to get it done right. I had heard once that if you get it tailored right, even a pretty cheap suit can look great. So I bought a light grey suit, nothing fancy, few hundred bucks, but made sure to go to a good tailor so it fit right.Read More
Climate One is a terrific talk show/public forum/podcast focusing on all things climate change, and I had the great opportunity to join some very smart people to discuss philanthropy’s influence on climate action. It felt like we only scratched the surface, but also covered a ton of ground on this important topic.Read More
This is some of the best advice on process that I've come across. So simple, but the copy and write-over step makes it feel like you're always standing on something steady, instead of flopping around on thin ice the way writing usually feels.Read More
The day police confirmed they had recovered the body of Frightened Rabbit singer and songwriter Scott Hutchison, I was celebrating my 40th birthday in the Highlands of Scotland. It felt like a strange coincidence, that here I was, celebrating making it this far in life, while maybe a day before and just on the other side of this foreign island, Hutchison was apparently ending his own. I had made it about four years longer than he did.Read More
At some point, the central activity of online communication shifted from seeking to eliminating.
This is something I realized much later than I would have liked, but is fast becoming my grand unifying principle of networked life. It basically goes, when the internet was a new and wonderful place, it unlocked paths of communication, so its power was in what it could provide that was not previously there, or was only there through very limited avenues.
Today, the central feature of the internet is that everything is there, all the time, provided and consumed by everyone. That overabundance is not only abused for nefarious purposes, it’s simply, logistically unsustainable. There is so much information beaming out at us that if we're not careful we become effectively snow-blind.
So the central task of anyone seeking to consume information online in any kind of useful way is no longer to hunt things down; it’s to constantly eliminate as much as possible. To clear away sticky, screaming tidal waves of trash.Read More
There’s a certain amount of comfort to be taken from living in an American city during the Trump era—that is, if you're not thrilled with where the nation at large has lately been headed. I suspect a lot of people were very encouraged when their cities refused to use local resources for ICE enforcement, or more than 300 mayors said they would remain committed to the Paris Agreement. Mike Bloomberg helped rally those mayors and others, and even agreed to pay $15 million toward UN operating costs when the U.S. withdrew. You sometimes get this sense that just maybe, with the help of some kindly billionaires, cities can rally together and take a crack at a more progressive America.Read More
The response to Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement was swift and encouraging. Hundreds of mayors, at least 10 states, and scores of businesses and universities issued statements or signed pledges to continue progress on climate change, with or without the federal government.
On the philanthropic front, Mike Bloomberg (who also serves as U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change) took a lead role in committing many of these parties to maintaining U.S. climate leadership. Bloomberg Philanthropies also pledged up to $15 million to the U.N. body that oversees implementation of the agreement to cover a portion of the operations costs the U.S. would have paid. Foundations like MacArthur, Hewlett, Rockefeller, McKnight, and Goldman foundations all made statements with varying degrees of disappointment, regret and condemnation.
We should celebrate their actions and draw hope from the fact that so many are willing to defy such a reckless decision by the president and the GOP. But Trump’s decision, and the political landscape that allowed it, reveal a larger problem—the American public is just not all that concerned about climate change. For example, a recent Gallup poll on the "Most Important Problems" facing the country found that environmental issues ranked 15th among non-economic concerns. Other polling has found the same thing, even as Americans report supporting the Paris Agreement. If the mass public doesn't care urgently about climate change, why should we expect our political leaders to care?
Read the full article at Inside Philanthropy.
Bring leading computer scientists together with leading astrophysicists, and exciting stuff happens—complex computer simulations of galaxy formation, algorithms churning through terabytes of data collected by telescope arrays. Same thing goes for biologists, as they work with programmers to bring order to the chaos of neurons firing by the millions.
But get everyone working together under the same roof with extensive time and funding, and unexpected work might take shape. New ideas could form as computer scientists and researchers from a variety of fields hold meetings, chat over lunch, or just run into each other in the hallways.
That’s the kind of research environment the Simons Foundation is trying to cultivate with its latest endeavor, and its most ambitious yet, the Flatiron Institute. What’s more, Jim and Marilyn Simons also decided they wanted that same roof to be their own. More specifically, the foundation made a significant expansion into the building right across the street from its Manhattan offices to accommodate a new research institute fully supported by the foundation.
Read the full article at Inside Philanthropy.