Author Archives: Ethan

Making space for sadness

I hadn’t found space yet to cry this week. As the election results came in, I was out bowling with my students, and as they got more despondent, I told them ways Clinton might still win. When I woke to … Continue reading

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What happens when mistrust wins – my speech at the Colombian national journalism prize

I spent yesterday in Bogota, Colombia, as the invited guest of the Premio Nacional de Periodismo Simón Bolívar, offering a speech on the future of civics and the future of journalism. It’s a wonderful event – roughly 1100 people came … Continue reading

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This crazy election: Denial of Service attacks on Democracy

Reading Facebook before bed last night, amidst the Halloween costumes and candy haul photos, I saw this headline: “How to choose between the most corrupt, least popular candidates of all time”. Given that I’m researching a book on mistrust and … Continue reading

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Dumpsterfire 2016: What To Do When You Have No Idea What To Do

After the last presidential debate, I wrote on Twitter that the whole experience had left me wanting to take a shower… in sulfuric acid. Looking for an anger beyond fear, anger and despair, I made four donations – to a … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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 | 37 Comments