American fiction writing is over-indexed for straight white male voices, considering our rapidly diversifying country. A consequence of this has been painful examples of white authors doing a crummy job conveying the voice and experience of non-white characters.
This has been no better demonstrated than in Young Adult fiction. The deserved backlash has gone to a logical extreme: should white authors write non-white characters at all?
If you believe like me that there, indeed, will continue to be white authors and that we do not want all stories told by white authors to be exclusively populated by white characters, then the more productive question is how can white authors effectively and ethically write non-white characters?
Continue reading White authors writing non-white characters
This isn’t like much of what I share here, but, then, this year isn’t like any we’ve experienced. From pandemic to other major personal life changes, I’ve been exercising less. It’s a challenge I’ve had before.
I’ve been thinking about that, as I’ve tried to maintain other habits. It’s something we all might ask: how can I live a longer, healthier life?
Five years after the initial round of findings from a longitudinal study called 90+, I saw an update on a new, detailed review on what we know about living longer and healthier. I thought I’d share a few of the simple takeaways, if only for my own uses.
Continue reading How to live into your 90s
The journey to get to professionally-verified information includes social, economic and political coursework. To share this journey, historian Andrew Pettegree focused in his 2014 book The Invention of the News heavily on the European development.
It is dense and comprehensive, at least in the continental sense. It’s been on my list for a year or so, and I finally dug into it, with pages of notes. Find reviews of the book in the Times and Guardian, and consider buying the book yourself. The book’s focus is between the years of 1400 to 1800, and it’s clearly written by a historian, rather than a contemporary media studies approach—I prefer this more dispassionate and distant view of the origins of an industry.
Knowing that printing had earlier roots in China, the book is decidedly Eurocentric. Still I would strongly recommend it to anyone as interested as I am in the foundation of media, news and journalism. Pettegree’s stance is that the industry of professionalizing information-gathering was a European concept, which is his focus. This was one of several books on early journalism foundations I’ve read in the last year.
Find my notes below.
Continue reading Notes on ‘The Invention of News’ by Andrew Pettegree
Geographically-focused acts of journalism are powerful. Professionals are increasingly rare because the business model that supported most of them has been supplanted. No one is doing the hard work of combating that. Let’s change it.
Following my journalism thinking essay, I’ve been looking to develop a more general-interest way to deliver the message. On Oct. 16, I gave my first try, at Ignite Philly, a local, volunteer-run outpost of a global confederation of big-idea events. (I spoke there in 2011 and 2013)
Find my notes and slides below, and I’ll add the video here when it’s eventually posted.
Continue reading Journalism Thinking: a lightning talk at Ignite Philly
I was proud to be included in a new web series from the Uncommon Individual Foundation.
It highlights the work Technical.ly has done and my role in that work. Watch it below.
Continue reading Watch this kind video profile of me from the Uncommon Individual Foundation
Be more explicit with your team when you’re offering an opinion, a recommendation or stating a direct ask. Otherwise, a teammate might not know whether you’re sharing an idea or a demand.
It’s something I’m still learning and something I shared when I was interviewed on a podcast called ‘The Blind Entrepreneur.”
Host Johnathan Grzybowski helpfully has fuller show notes on the site here, where you can watch the episode. Find it below too.
Continue reading Watch my interview on ‘The Blind Entrepreneur’ podcast
Technology isn’t an industry. It’s an approach.
That was something I offered in an episode of this NBC 10 series called “Growing Greater Philadelphia” on the region’s economic development. I also noted that the city is no longer suffering a brain drain problem — it’s more about mid-career professionals. Watch a clip below or the whole episode here, and other pieces in the series.
Continue reading Growing Greater Philadelphia: I was on this NBC 10 documentary series
Joe is a friendly Filipino private car driver who has lived and worked in Doha, the capital and dominant city of tiny Persian Gulf country Qatar, for the last decade. He forces a laugh and answers “maybe” to any question I ask him that seems to make him uncomfortable.
Last month, I was in Qatar to mentor at a hackathon organized by Aljazeera, the global news organization based in Doha. Leading up to and during my time there, I did a lot of reading about the Gulf. I had a couple dozen conversations with people who live there, like Joe, and I did a fair amount of exploring parts of Doha, or at least as much as I could considering I spent most of my short few days there inside a convention center.
I found the country so interesting (and complicated) that I wanted to share nearly everything I learned about the Arab desert nation state. Find that below.
Continue reading Qatar: everything I learned while visiting the wealthiest country in the world
This commencement address from “Always Sunny” actor Charlie Day gets really good, including: “I’ve always had this half-baked philosophy that having a Plan B can muddy up your Plan A.”
Fail in the place where you would want to fail.
To set up a Philadelphia City Council hearing on tech business that Technical.ly Philly organized with Councilman David Oh for Philly Tech Week, I gave a short testimony to committee.
Watch the full 90-minute hearing, including mine below. The goal was to better familiarize council with tech business. We organized something similar in Baltimore.
Continue reading My testimony to Philadelphia City Council on tech business growth