Nobody on the road Nobody on the beach I feel it in the air The summer's out of reach The Boys of Summer, Don Henley.
Summer officially starts for me in the last week of June — together with my True Ventures colleagues, we head to the beach just across the bridge for our annual retreat of self-reflection, assessment, and planning for a better tomorrow. And then comes the July 4th weekend. We follow that up with work from home — wherever you make a home. These days at home all we do is work. And not so strangely it doesn’t feel like there is a summer. Another win for what is clearly a crazy 2020.
And for that reason, I am hoping to tune out for the next 72 hours. My plan is to finish at least two books that are sitting on my bedside, unfinished — The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova, who I just interviewed on my podcast. Have a listen.
The other one is a mystery book by Martin Walker, a writer whose tales of a provincial policeman in the South of France are like a nice glass of chilled wine. I will be downloading some new tunes from Bandcamp, one of my favorite online stores. It is the antithesis of streaming, and that’s why even others find it so wonderful.
I need the distractions — for the last 72 hours, I have dealt with the agony of being overseas as both my parents tested positive for COVID-19. It was difficult for me to write much this week on the blog. I wrote about even though the network has made distance and time fungible, it can’t take away The Pain of Distance. On a more positive note, I thought Microsoft’s decision to shut down the retail stores was a good sign of a company that is hell-bent on staying focused on its core strengths.
I don’t know about you, but I need to take a deep breath and relax. I think a lot of people need to do that. Maybe it is because we have too much time on our hands, or just that it is the sign of times, the conversations in the technology industry are becoming increasingly uncivil, where debates are taking on a demonic tenor. We need to exhale and just read. So for this weekend, instead of one long piece, here are some of my favorite long reads that you can enjoy while lounging and going nowhere.
Have a great weekend everyone!
The Promise and Peril of Virtual Health Care: The topic of telemedicine gets “The New Yorker” treatment and it is worth every minute of your time. Put me in the camp of those who believe that software, sensors, and algorithmic progress is going to help us fight the messy future of healthcare in the future.
The Software-Defined Power Grid: It is clear that we need to rethink our antiquated and hardware-first power grid and energy systems. A combination of data, machine learning, and other new approaches could lead to a better future and a software-defined power grid.
Why Sleep deprivation kills: Whether it is animals or humans, sleep is vital for us to function properly. This is such a great article that explores the topic of sleep deprivation. I have struggled with sleep patterns, so can speak from personal experience that since getting a CPAP machine, things are remarkably better.
Spies, Lies, and Stonewalling: What It’s Like to Report on Facebook – Readers of my blog and this newsletter know that I am not a fan of Facebook and its dirty tactics. It is one of the reasons why I was never allowed to get close to Mark Zuckerberg by its public relations team. Anyway, I enjoyed this in-depth piece on the misinformation apparatus at Facebook. Media companies are no match for Fakecrook.
Inside Nextdoor’s Karen Problems: Technology has unintended consequences because it can’t seem to fathom the shittiness of human beings.
Hitchhiker, hero, celebrity, killer: The strange journey of the man called Kai. He was on Jimmy Kimmel’s show? Damn!
The Pirates of the highways. Probably one of the scariest and unlikeliest pieces you are going to read this weekend.
Botched Job: The world’s most wanted war criminal was captured in France last month. Now, former American officials break their silence about how their own mission went awry. Vanity Fair at its finest.
The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble. This was quite a golden oldie.
Remember, The Selfie Culture ruins the great outdoors. So if you are out there, be respectful of the land, the planet, and each other.
This is a reprint of my weekly newsletter for the July 4th weekend. If you are interested, sign up for the newsletter.