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Working at the intersection of technology, media, and democracy.
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I wish I'd bought Slack stock

I've been telling people for years how valuable Slack is, but I didn't own a single share. Alas.

Congratulations to everyone who gained from this acquisition. Slack is a great company that does things the right way: a revenue-based business that grew by providing genuine social value to the companies it served. And its twenty seven billion dollar sale price shows how much value there is to be gained from facilitating communities.

 

Reading, watching, playing, using: November 2020

This is my monthly roundup of the tech and media I consumed and found interesting. Here's my list for November.

Books

Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson. A sobering, intelligent take on America's unspoken caste system, comparing it to similar systems around the world. For me, the history of how the Nazis looked to America's treatment of its Black population was particularly shocking.

Streaming

The Undoing. You know, I was skeptical, but it worked out well. It's somewhere between absolutely trash TV and a gripping thriller. And I like creepy Hugh Grant way more than I like apparently-charming Hugh Grant.

The Flight Attendant. Fresh off The Big Bang Theory, which I consider to be easily the worst television show ever made, Kaley Cuoco redeems herself in this pulpy, funny, unsettling thriller. It reminded me a bit of Run. Definitely a guilty pleasure watch - but that's kind of what I needed.

Save Yourselves! I felt personally attacked. But this hipsters-are-oblivious-of-an-alien-invasion movie is more of a roast than a takedown, and is absolutely hilarious. Recommended.

Notable Articles

Business

Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit Challenging Visa’s Planned Acquisition of Plaid. “Visa’s con­cerns about Plaid un­der­pinned its de­ci­sion to buy the com­pany and pay a large rev­enue mul­ti­ple for it, the law­suit al­leges. The gov­ern­ment said Visa’s CEO de­scribed the deal as an “in­sur­ance pol­icy” to neu­tral­ize a threat to the com­pa­ny’s debit busi­ness. The law­suit quoted an­other ex­ec­u­tive who in 2019 com­pared Plaid to an is­land “vol­cano” whose cur­rent ca­pa­bil­i­ties are just “the tip show­ing above the wa­ter” and warned that “[w]hat lies be­neath, though, is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity—one that threat­ens Visa.””

Unexpected & Inevitable. “The investor hears it and at first they don’t believe you. “Nah,” they say, as they start to argue with you whether that’s the way the world really works. Then, after a beat or two, they go, “wait, you’re right.” And after another moment, they think “fuck, that’s the only way it can be.”” I agree with Eric: this is what investors are looking for. You have an insight about the world that most people don’t, and you’re uniquely equipped to capitalize on it.

Spotify to acquire Megaphone. Megaphone is the network formerly known as Panoply. Spotify seems to be single-handedly creating value in the podcast market right now, but Apple has been quietly making acquisitions - like to keep its own ecosystem competitive.

Apple’s Shifting Differentiation. I found this exploration of Apple’s chip strategy to be really interesting. “Instead the future is web apps, with all of the performance hurdles they entail, which is why, from Apple’s perspective, the A-series is arriving just in time. Figma in Electron may destroy your battery, but that destruction will take twice as long, if not more, with an A-series chip inside!”

Women-owned businesses are struggling. Stimulus could help.. "Women and people of color were shut out of much of the initial rounds of stimulus because the program was set up to work through commercial banks. Those who didn’t have an existing relationship with a commercial bank found it harder to access the funds. And because the money ran out quickly, it left many without a lifeline."

The Double Standard of Female CEOs Moving Fast and Breaking Things. “We hold our female CEOs to impossible standards while not holding their male counterparts to high enough ones.”

The privacy fight is heading to the office. “I don't think Americans believe in privacy universally. And it's not a constitutional right. It's like, we have a right to free speech, we have a right to bear arms, we don't have a right to privacy in our federal constitution.”

Google Pay relaunch transforms it into a full-fledged financial service. Of note: “Google has co-branded banking accounts coming up in 2021. The new service, called Plex, essentially allows banks to partner with Google and use Google Pay as their own direct banking app.”

How Venture Capitalists Are Deforming Capitalism. "Even the worst-run startup can beat competitors if investors prop it up. The V.C. firm Benchmark helped enable WeWork to make one wild mistake after another—hoping that its gamble would pay off before disaster struck." VCs are upset about this article, but honestly, to me, it rings true.

Secret Amazon Reports Expose Company Spying on Labor, Environmental Groups. "Dozens of leaked documents from Amazon’s Global Security Operations Center reveal the company’s reliance on Pinkerton operatives to spy on warehouse workers and the extensive monitoring of labor unions, environmental activists, and other social movements." Gross.

Hulu raises Live TV price to $65, matching YouTube TV’s latest price hike. Here’s what I can’t fathom: why people tolerate cable TV at all. Every time I dive into it, I regret it. It’s a morass of shitty ads and low-quality programs that shout at you.

Unilever NZ’s 1-year trial of a 4-day week. I'm very into this.

Culture

The Shape of a Story. A beautiful exploration of narrative plot, Moomins, allegory, and the purpose of story in navigating real-world challenges.

Zillow Surfing Is the Escape We All Need Right Now. Is it? Or is it another form of doomscrolling, searching for places we could never afford in aspiration of an unreachable life we were told we could have? Hey, I'm just asking questions here.

As ‘Doonesbury’ turns 50, Garry Trudeau picks his 10 defining strips. Doonesbury is by far the best syndicated cartoon strip. I'm a lifetime fan. I met Trudeau once, at the Edinburgh Book Festival; we talked about Asterix. Lovely man.

Who’s in the Crossword? I loved this: a data-driven exploration of representation in crossword clues, with insight into how they’re produced.

Media

Confusion at BBC as boss says staff can attend Pride marches after all. “He told staff on Friday morning they would still be allowed to attend LGBT Pride marches, providing they remained celebratory and individuals were not seen to be taking a stand on any “politicised or contested issues”.” This is a ridiculous stance.

Google funds mouthpiece of Rwandan regime. “The worst case scenario for the NGO representative, however, is that „Google is signalling that it is funding repression and supports the muzzling of free speech, the closing of political space in Rwanda and attacks on political opponents and human rights defenders.“”

Travel influencers are being paid to whitewash authoritarian regimes. “Uncritically spreading political propaganda is unethical under all circumstances and especially in the form of branded content, where the lines are very blurry, and the audience might therefore not recognize it as such.”

How a crop of startups are trying to make for-profit local news work. "Evan Smith, the CEO of the Texas Tribune, said that when launching the local politics driven news site more than a decade ago, “We decided that for-profit was a non starter and that the market had failed.”"

News publishers dial up the marketing heat on their subscription products. Subscriptions are far better than advertising as a support mechanism. And news sustainability is deeply important.

Yes, Product Thinking Can Save Journalism. Six Reasons Why News Media Need Product Thinkers. "Knight Lab’s series on product thinking in media started with a question: “Journalism Has Been Disrupted. Can Product Thinking Save It?” After more than 25 years in digital publishing -- and as the editor for the series -- I think the answer is “Yes.”"

Politics

How a C.I.A. Coverup Targeted a Whistle-blower. “The C.I.A. has corrupted F.B.I. agents to violate basic rules as to how the Department of Justice does criminal prosecutions.”

Uber and Lyft had an edge in the Prop 22 fight: their apps. “In the weeks leading up to Election Day, the companies used their respective apps to bombard riders and drivers with messages urging them to vote for Prop 22, the ballot measure.” Let’s please make this illegal.

Evidence suggests several state Senate candidates were plants funded by dark money. Just one of a litany of dirty tricks used in this election.

I Lived Through A Stupid Coup. America Is Having One Now. “Ha ha ha, they lede, who’s going to tell him? Bitch, who’s going to tell you? An illegitimate leader has got all the guns and 40% of your population is down to use them. And y’all got jokes.”

We Need Election Results Everyone Can Believe In. Here’s How.. Smart suggestions for improving trust in our elections (undercutting the kind of FUD we’ve seen this month).

Trump races to weaken environmental and worker protections before January 20. Actively ghoulish.

Society

Why is Covid-19 is killing more men than women in middle age? Scientists are looking for answers not only in underlying health risks but also in biological and external factors. “Over­all, how­ever, men make up about 54% of U.S. deaths, and a sig­nif­i­cantly higher por­tion in mid­dle age. The death-cer­tifi­cate data through late Oc­to­ber show men make up nearly 66% of more than 42,000 Covid-19 deaths oc­cur­ring among peo­ple be­tween their mid-30s and mid-60s.”

Americans, Stop Being Ashamed of Weakness. "Too often in America, we are ashamed of being weak, vulnerable, dependent. We tend to hide our shame. We stay away. We isolate ourselves, rather than show our weakness."

Kamala Harris will be the first HBCU grad in the White House. “It’s not just about her being a Black woman. It’s about her being more than that, the intersectionality of who she is.”

Living With a QAnon Family as the Prophecy Crashes Down. “They’re treating it like there’s going to be an apocalypse — no matter who wins.”

Florida passes $15 minimum wage, a hike that could narrow the gender pay gap. Two important facts here: if a higher minimum wage can be passed in Florida, it can be passed just about anywhere. And it will disproportionately help women and people of color.

The new normal: Women and LGBTQ+ people are buying guns in 2020. “Although there is no official demographic breakdown of gun sales by race or gender, interviews with the gun community — new owners, sales people, analysts and activists — reveal a mounting anxiety among women and LGBTQ+ people, particularly those of color. And some are choosing to arm themselves for the first time.”

Why is life expectancy in the US lower than in other rich countries?. “The short summary of what I will discuss below is that Americans suffer higher death rates from smoking, obesity, homicides, opioid overdoses, suicides, road accidents, and infant deaths. In addition to this, deeper poverty and less access to healthcare mean Americans at lower incomes die at a younger age than poor people in other rich countries.”

Performative philanthropy and the cost of silence. "Days after joining the Criminal Justice Reform department, I was warned by a senior member of the team that I should avoid pushing for grantmaking strategies that centered racial equity, as Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan did not believe race was relevant to the issue of mass incarceration. I was told that previous attempts to educate the couple on this matter had contributed to a former employee being terminated."

Less screen time and more sleep critical for preventing depression. "A cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of data from the UK Biobank, involving almost 85,000 people, has found that lifestyle factors such as less screen time, adequate sleep, a better-quality diet, and physical activity strongly impact depression." Also, water is wet.

Federal government to execute first woman since 1953. It was a heinous crime, but the death penalty is a disgusting, brutal practice that is not befitting of a supposed democracy.

A dinner party killed my Dad. Please stay safe this Thanksgiving.

AMA: Racism is a threat to public health. “The AMA recognizes that racism negatively impacts and exacerbates health inequities among historically marginalized communities. Without systemic and structural-level change, health inequities will continue to exist, and the overall health of the nation will suffer.”

Period poverty: Scotland first in world to make period products free. I miss living in a progressive nation.

Technology

I became an unwanted woman in tech.“There is something innately different now about my words. They’ve not changed, but their context has entirely shifted. It’s as though I walk around now with a badge that invites dismissal and disrespect. That badge is called womanhood.”

Roam: My New Favorite Software Product. I have a Roam account but I haven’t made it work for me yet. Articles like this make me want to try harder to get on the bandwagon.

A new way to plug a human brain into a computer: Via veins. Do not want. (But future iterations might be more interesting / palatable.)

DHS Buying Cellphone Geolocation Data To Track People. "The Department of Homeland Security is purchasing consumer cellphone data that allows authorities to track immigrants trying to cross the southern border, which privacy advocates say could lead to a vast “surveillance partnership” between the government and private corporations." Hands up if you're surprised.

User Stories Not Wireframes. "User stories provide the context of what a wireframe is for. When you give user stories to a developer, you greatly increase the chances they will be thoughtful about the product and features they are implementing. When they understand the bigger picture — who is this for, what are they trying to accomplish and why are they trying to accomplish it — they can take ownership over the project."

Product Hunt requirements document. A wonderfully concise example of what a good requirements document can look like.

HP ends its customers' lives. There's a reason why the free software movement started with printer drivers. It's mind-boggling to me how HP can continue to be so antagonistic to their customers. (Inkjet printers are the worst deal in technology.)

What using AT&T’s 768kbps DSL is like in 2020—yes, it’s awful. A reminder that if you’re serving all of America, you can’t assume a high-quality broadband connection.

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro. I’m waiting for version 2, but this is super cool.

Your Computer Isn't Yours. "This means that Apple knows when you’re at home. When you’re at work. What apps you open there, and how often. They know when you open Premiere over at a friend’s house on their Wi-Fi, and they know when you open Tor Browser in a hotel on a trip to another city."

Parler, Backed by Mercer Family, Makes Play for Conservatives Mad at Facebook, Twitter. Bleuch.

How Discord (somewhat accidentally) invented the future of the internet. I’m not a gamer, so I was late to Discord. But it does feel like part of the future of online communities.

The iOS COVID-19 app ecosystem has become a privacy minefield. “It's hard to justify why a lot of these apps would need your constant location, your microphone, your photo library.” Relatively few of these apps use the comparatively privacy-protecting APIs developed by Apple and Google.

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps. “A Muslim prayer app with over 98 million downloads is one of the apps connected to a wide-ranging supply chain that sends ordinary people's personal data to brokers, contractors, and the military.” This is spectacularly not okay.

We Need Mandatory Enduser APIs for Social and Search Systems. This is an older piece (from 2018) but it still holds up, and I agree with it completely.

As internet forums die off, finding community can be harder than ever. It feels like this problem has been solved lots of times over on the internet - but it's both a huge problem and a real opportunity for the right startup.

How a young, queer Asian-American businesswoman is rethinking user safety at Twitter. “Su's goals sit at the heart of what could become a very different Twitter one day, if — and it remains a very big conditional — the company is serious about the changes it's been signaling over the last year.” Fingers crossed.

Rock-star programmer: Rivers Cuomo finds meaning in coding. The only time "rock star programmer" is an acceptable phrase.

The Secrets of Monkey Island's Source Code. A deep look into assets and code behind my favorite game of all time.

‘Tokenized’: Inside Black Workers’ Struggles at Coinbase. “One Black employee said her manager suggested in front of colleagues that she was dealing drugs and carrying a gun, trading on racist stereotypes. Another said a co-worker at a recruiting meeting broadly described Black employees as less capable. Still another said managers spoke down to her and her Black colleagues, adding that they were passed over for promotions in favor of less experienced white employees.”

Building your own website is cool again, and it's changing the whole internet. All hail the indieweb. I’m here for it.

 

The real founder mindset

I remember the day I realized who I wanted to be very clearly. I was sat in the Matter San Francisco garage, watching a panel of entrepreneurs from previous cohorts give advice to the current set of six startups who were about to graduate from the program. As I listened to the advice from the sidelines, as a member of the Matter team rather than a founder, an overwhelming sadness began to take hold.

It shouldn't have: Matter was a dream job that allowed me to support a particular kind of mission-driven startup founder. I loved every minute of it. But at my core, there was a part of me that missed building. Through supporting these 75 companies, I understood the mistakes I'd made more deeply, and knew I could do better next time.

I also knew myself better than I had the two times I'd been a co-founder. The truth is, I have a problem with authority: I hate being told what to do, and I'm not interested in perpetuating existing hierarchies. Starting my own businesses has been a way to create a working environment that's mine and mine alone, in a way that being an employee or a contractor never could be. I get to set the culture; I get to set the mission. It's a very individualist way of looking at work, but I'm not sure I can be different. Establishing a protective bubble that allows me to think in the way I need to has been important. It's a double-edged sword: external accountability also turns out to be important, and is harder to come by when you work for yourself.

I didn't go out and become a founder again. Instead, I've found a way to give myself creative space by working on side projects, which are never businesses and sometimes have nothing to do with technology at all. That doesn't mean I won't eventually start something new, but it takes the emotional pressure off a little. I get to work on something that's entirely mine, on my own time, with nobody telling me I should do it a different way, and without the pressure of it having to raise money or be self-sustaining. I've found it to be a very good balance, and it often helps my day job work.

Ultimately, the reasons I felt misgivings during the Matter panel were tied up in my identity. I am a founder: I make things using effort and creativity. That's not a million miles away from being an artist. But it's very different to being someone who has spent a long time going deep on a single career path serving other peoples' businesses. That might be where I am, but it's not how I see myself, and it doesn't cut to the core of the work I do. I've learned I'd rather earn half as much money to have twice as much freedom.

I've found it useful to bring that attitude to work. I'm in service of a mission that I've bought into, but take a critical eye to the vision and strategy. Is it the right thing for the people I want to help? Is it meaningful to work on? Is it intellectually honest? Going in and treating the company as if it was my startup to shape by definition means I'm unlikely to go with the flow, for better or worse.

I suspect most founders are the same.

 

Deals from the Matterverse

As many of you know, I spent a couple of years as west coast Director of Investments at Matter, an early-stage startup accelerator supporting entrepreneurs with the potential to create a more informed, inclusive, and empathetic society. Before I worked there, I went through the program as the co-founder of Known. It's a community I still care deeply about and keep in touch with as much as I can.

It's the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and I thought I would round up some of the deals being offered by some of these companies. These aren't affiliate links, nobody asked me to write this, and I don't gain anything from promoting them, although I do have a small amount of carry in Matter's second fund.

Creative Action Network is offering 21% off and free shipping on orders of $50 or more. They work with independent artists to create campaigns for great causes like EarthJustice, the Dream Corps and Sunrise Movement. I have a bunch of their stuff. Read more.

Aconite's beautiful iOS HoloVista game is on sale for $2.99. NME called it an intoxicating journey to another world. Star, Nadya, and their team have created an incredible experience unlike anything I've played before. Check it out.

Motherly is running a Black Friday sale in its store. Motherly is a lifestyle brand for modern women who choose to be parents. Its store contains some lovely, comforting items for parents of both babies and children, including 20% off a SNOO sleeper.

Also:

It's not on sale, but KweliTV is a low price every month. It's a streaming service for global black stories that have not received the distribution they deserved, available for your smart TV platform of choice. I'm a subscriber and you should be too.

 

Empathy > Metrics; Relationships > Personas

Build great things by understanding people really well and serving their needs deeply, not treating them as anonymous numbers on a spreadsheet and turning knobs to see what moves the needle in the way you want.

That's it. That's the post.

 

TODO

I was awake in the early hours of the morning, staring at nothing, my heart racing. It was a bit like The Queen's Gambit, except instead of a chessboard on the ceiling, there was a kanban board, with a huge backlog of things I knew I'd failed to do.

This morning, I got up, turned my ceiling kanban board into a real one in Notion, and got to work. The world feels more manageable in the cold light of day. I'm making progress.

I'm not sure how to deal with the things that don't quite fit on a task list. You can't drag life from column to column or build it into a database. You've got to live it. Or at least, that's what I've always thought.

I'm more of an intuitive thinker than a planner. I always have been. I go off-recipe when I cook; I meander when I travel; I play with my code. Sometimes it works out and I discover things I never would have encountered otherwise; sometimes it doesn't, and I find myself in a mess of my own making. But I've started to write scripts for the hard stuff, and to my horror, it really helps.

I was stressed out about having to give difficult feedback to a colleague, but I wrote out what I was going to say ahead of time in detail, and it turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be. I had to spend a day cold calling customers - an introvert's worst nightmare - but having my script in front of me meant my numbers were startlingly high.

Perhaps the most important thing is that writing the script is a way to cut through the fear. Getting something down in writing works: it's a step in the right direction. Then comes editing, and iteration. Which is far better than staring at the ceiling at 3am beating yourself up for being behind.

 

Unlearning disruption

I want to unlearn the definition of "disruption".

Disruption in the Clayton Christensen sense is all about removing an incumbent business from its perch by reaching an audience it has overlooked and growing from there. It's about building a business by out-competing another business. As far as business goes, it's good strategy, but it doesn't do much to change the status quo. You may have out-innovated someone else's company, but the rules of business remain in place.

The thing is, the rules of business aren't working. The systems we have in place depend on outrageous inequality and are enforced by police who gun down people in the street with relative impunity. They incentivize keeping millions of people homeless so that others can grow wealthier. They enforce a widening divide between people who are inside the system and people who are locked out in such a way that the only way to beat the system for your own well-being is to perpetuate it.

Originally, the web was a movement. It's hard to remember now, but allowing everyone to publish was a major social change; giving everyone a voice was a new idea that many people argued (and continue to argue) against. Previously, publishing was a privilege that was bestowed by a circle of predominantly white men. Now, any old riff-raff (or to put it another way, anyone regardless of whether or not they had received permission) could stick up a website and be read by millions. It was a revolution.

It was that revolution - not the ability to make money or the opportunity to create new businesses - that made me fall in love with the web.

Of course, what came next was hardly revolutionary. The existing gatekeepers fell, and were replaced with yet more gatekeepers, who used the global nature of the web to become bigger and more powerful than their predecessors. The excitement of empowering communities all over the world gave way to a wave of people who were excited about building bigger companies and generating more wealth than ever before. The incumbent structures were disrupted in favor of yet more of the same old business.

I want to return to that revolutionary spirit and reclaim the web's radical core.

That doesn't mean I want to turn back the clock. The web movement was, itself, predominantly white and male. As a direct outcome, it tended to overlook the abuse and systemic oppression overwhelmingly experienced by women, communities of color, and LGBTQIA+ communities. As a whole, it was Euro-centric and dismissive of the global south. It's not revolutionary if the same old faces are in charge: the only way the movement can succeed is through radical inclusion. Leadership must be open to people of all backgrounds and contexts; ownership of the process, as well as its outcomes, must be truly democratic.

But we badly need to get back to the business of disrupting global capitalism itself, in order to create something that truly works for everyone. To do so, we must be informed by the past, but ready to build something genuinely new. In the same way that allowing everyone to publish radically changed the cultural landscape forever, we need to change nothing less than who is allowed to be an owner of the processes that run the world. The flow of money; the flow of political power; the flow of permission. Speech was just the first step.

This North Star of real, radical change is the definition of disruption I want to be governed by. I want to help create a more democratic, more equal world, where authority is devolved to all of us. It's not about getting rich. It's about sharing power.

 

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

 

Where's my flying car?

The question is a trope of the modern age. We were promised flying cars half a century ago; where are they?

Every so often someone even tries to answer that question. Passenger drones, manned quadcopters, and even jetpacks have tried to bring this 1950s vision of the future to life.

The truth is, they're all doomed to fail. Flying cars are the modern equivalent of a faster horse. They're not what we really want. It's not the right question.

Go deeper. Ask why we want flying cars. To get there faster? Avoid traffic? Have a greater sense of freedom? Feel like we're living in the future?

If we find those questions and solve for them, we're likely to arrive at more interesting solutions. Less commuting; more geographic diversity; new kinds of mass transit; ideas we haven't conceived of yet.

It's a far more interesting, and more fruitful, way to look at the world. The science fiction of the past can give us hints about how we might solve these deeper needs, but they don't absolve us of having to discover them.

 

Winning

When she was twelve years old, my aunt escaped from the concentration camp where her mother and siblings were interned. She swam through the sewers, found food, and returned. My grandmother collected snails and cooked them out of sight of the Japanese guards. Around them, people were tortured and killed on a daily basis.

On paper, the Allies won the war. For my family, it continued to rage.

To this day, trauma has rippled from generation to generation. That simple act of ripping my aunts from their lives mid-education has led to cycles of poverty and misery that continue to this day. Some of my family, like my father, were able to break the cycle. Some were not. The recent history of my family runs the gamut from stability to crime and heroin addiction. At every end of the spectrum, a culture of anxiety - you've got to be safe; get an education because they can't take that away from you - underpinned every choice.

Joe Biden has won the Presidency. The cruelest policies of the Trump administration will likely come to an end; we will need to be vigilant and apply pressure so that the long tail of cruelty is replaced by a dogma of inclusion and care.

For some families, the effects of the Trump administration will be felt not just for years, but for generations. Family separation, willful mismanagement of the pandemic, and sanctioned police brutality have created centers of trauma that are difficult to escape from. These are Trump's victims. For them, regardless of the result of this election, Trump won.

They will need help to escape the cycle. We owe it to them because we did this to them. Regardless of their nationality or context, they are our responsibility.

The real work begins now. It starts by setting things right. And then we start to build the society we actually want.

 

And here we are

We all know this, but today is life or death for a great many people. The stakes are sky high. I don’t know what will happen afterwards, but I do know I’ve been waiting for today for four very long years.

And I have hope.

If you're an American, you've been bombarded by messages urging you to vote. Over a hundred million people have already taken advantage of early and distance voting. If you're reading this and you have the right to vote in this election, you probably have. I have too.

So I'm not going to tell you to vote. It's too late for that.

My father is a concentration camp survivor. I remember my grandmother's nightmares. I see the generational ripples of trauma in my family that continue to this day. Trump's rhetoric of nationalist division has already created those ripples for an untold number of families. The caravans of armed supporters, the racist police brutality, the Blue Lives Matter flag as a fascist symbol - all of these things will grow into something worse if left unchecked. There is no way to support Trump in 2020 and not be a fascist. There is no way for Trump to win and not further transform America into a fascist country.

This is what's at stake. All we can do now is cross our fingers and see what happens.