Author Archives: Ethan

Going Solo – On hating and accepting change

I have not been writing much about my divorce on this blog – I’ve kept most of that discussion on Facebook. I thought this post, wrestling not only with the divorce, but unwanted change more generally, might be helpful for … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 2 Comments

Massive National Prison Strike! Maybe. We don’t know. That’s a problem.

Yesterday, prisoners around the US began a strike protesting unpaid, underpaid and forced labor. Maybe. We think. Led by prisoners in Alabama and Texas, incarcerated activists planned a nationwide labor strike yesterday, with prisoners refusing to report for jobs essential … Continue reading

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Supporting Feyisa Lilesa, a remarkable athlete and protester

At the end of the Rio Olympic men’s marathon, silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa did something extraordinary, important and dangerous. As he crossed the finish line, he crossed his wrists in front of his forehead in a gesture that’s halfway between … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Human Rights | Leave a comment

When attention matters: Ethiopia crushes dissent in Oromia

As an advocate for Americans to pay more attention to international news, I often get the question, “Why bother? What can I do?” It’s a good question. Most of the time, there’s very little actionable in international news. Understanding the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Global Voices, Human Rights, Media | 1 Comment

Protected: The village of peace… and of coca leaves

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The worst thing I read this year, and what it taught me… or Can we design sociotechnical systems that don’t suck?

Note: Shane Snow wrote a long and thoughtful email to me about this post. While we agree to disagree on some substantive issues, primarily our thoughts about the future of VR, we also found quite a bit of common ground. … Continue reading

Posted in ideas, Media Lab | 34 Comments

From disastrous decisions to decentralization: a mostly spontaneous talk for Data & Society

My friends at Data and Society ran an excellent conference today in NYC. A speaker dropped out at the last minute and I got asked less than 48 hours ago to give a talk… a very specific talk. Here’s what … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 3 Comments

Life, Only Moderately Messed Up, part 2: Getting Help

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post, “Life, only moderately messed up: understanding (my own) high-functioning depression” that was widely shared and appreciatively received. This is a somewhat overdue update to that post, and intended very much in the … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 6 Comments

Lessons from Letterlocking: a serendipitous academic encounter

Here’s a quick experiment – I’ve been publishing stories on FOLD and replicating the text here on this blog. But FOLD now supports embedding – let’s see how well my blog supports it… Otherwise, please feel free to go read … Continue reading

Posted in Just for fun, Media | 3 Comments

That’s _Professor_ Bozo to you, Pal

Something odd about teaching at a university – everyone wants to call you Professor, or Doctor. I am always flattered by the upgrade, but I sometimes feel a little miffed. There’s lots of people who teach at universities who haven’t … Continue reading

Posted in Personal | 13 Comments