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Net neutrality protest at the White House, Nov. 6, 2014 Credit: Joseph Gruber.

When I joined Uber, the organization I was part of was over 25% women. By the time I was trying to transfer to another eng organization, this number had dropped down to less than 6%.... Things were beginning to get even more comically absurd with each passing day.

Susan Fowler reflects back on a very strange year as an Uber engineer.
↩︎ Susan J. Fowler

A new novel's available today online from Walt Whitman. You probably don't need to read it immediately.

Walt Whitman's Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, an early, unpublished novel that's been "lost" for 165 years, is available online and in book form.

From the New York Times's assessment: “This is Whitman’s take on the city mystery novel, a popular genre of the day that pitted the ‘upper 10 thousand’—what we would call the 1 percent—against the lower million,” said David S. Reynolds, a Whitman expert at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Whitman probably wouldn't have been excited to see it unearthed. “My serious wish,” he wrote in 1882, “were to have all those crude and boyish pieces quietly dropp’d in oblivion.” Pretty wonderful, though, is this ad Whitman took out anonymously in the Times back in 1852:

“A RICH REVELATION,” the ad began, teasing a rollicking story touching on “the Manners and Morals of Boarding Houses, some Scenes from Church History, Operations in Wall-st.,” and “graphic Sketches of Men and Women” (presented, fear not, with “explanations necessary to properly understand what it is all about”).


An interesting Q&A with photographer John Feely, who traveled through Mongolia in 2014 and came back with "The Outsider."

I flew into a town in Western Mongolia with no plan thereafter. After a few days I met someone who spoke English and they organized for me to go 200km out of town and stay with a family. I had plans of travelling on horseback from there down the valley but after three days my horse got injured so I returned back to the family I was staying with. As was often the case, what seemed like a setback became something beyond what I had planned. The next day I ended up migrating across the country with the family’s grandfather, his grandson and all of their animals, while the rest of the family moved their possessions. We ended up in their summer resting place and set up there for the summer.

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Craigslist, the cockroach of the internet, is impossible to kill

Furniture marketplace startups, discussion boards, and rideshare sites haven't dislodged crusty, resilient Craigslist from its top spot. Its secret? Transparency.


For your Monday evening wanderlust, photos by Paul Colangelo of Canada's Sacred Headwaters

It was me, 250 sheep, a pack of 16 wolves, and roaming grizzlies. The mountain is an open plateau, so you can see for miles—they can all see each other for miles, and they know one is trying to kill the other, but a kind of equilibrium is struck where they learn their buffer zones and continue going about their day as long as that buffer isn’t breached. So there’s this eerie dynamic where predator and prey are within sight of each other, one just waiting for an opportunity.

Even historians can't pinpoint "the height of the Cold War."

"The height of the Cold War" is a commonly invoked phrase, even if no one seems to know the dates they're talking about.

Historians agree it probably references the years leading up to and including the Cuban Missile Crisis (late 50s/early 60s), but also "the late 1940s and early ’50s, when the US faced off against the Soviets and the Chinese over Berlin and the Korean War."

In light of the constantly breaking news about our White House/Kremlin mashup, maybe it's a phrase to avoid.


From a favorite series, "Under the Dock," meet "one of the most fearsome predators on the British Columbia coast," the sunflower sea star.

Universal basic income represents economic security while falling short of the economic democracy that follows from distributed ownership structures. 

As long as automation is steered by capital and not by workers' interests, universal basic income (UBI) will only be a bandage on a growing wound.
↩︎ The Next System

Republicans make a deceptive promise in Obamacare replacement pitch. California might deliver the real thing.

The Republican plan proposes "universal access to healthcare" the same way we have "universal access to yachts"—an empty promise that boils down to anyone can buy it, if they have the money.

Republicans propose to pay for their Obamacare replacement by capping the tax exclusion employers can claim. Meanwhile, California introduced a bill to instate single-payer healthcare for all. 

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