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Humanist technologist. Equality and adventures.

I co-founded Elgg and Known, worked on Medium and Latakoo, and now invest in innovative media startups to support a stronger democracy at Matter.

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ben@benwerd.com

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"Rock ain’t nothing but a white version of rhythm and blues, motherfucker." This is such an amazing interview. http://www.vulture.com/2018/02/quincy-jones-in-conversation.html

 

"Facebook has created a centrally designed internet. It’s a lamer, shittier looking internet." How Facebook is killing comedy: http://splitsider.com/2018/02/how-facebook-is-killing-comedy/

 

My friend Hugh Hancock suddenly passed away this week. He was instrumental in inventing Machinima. Here he is on Charlie Stross’s blog announcing his film Death Knight Love Story, starring Brian Blessed and Joanna Lumley. http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2014/01/introducing-death-knight-love-.html

 

The Prototype Fund is looking for 25 open source projects to fund with up to €47,500. You need to be resident in Germany, but honestly, this sounds great. https://prototypefund.de/en/

 

Founder conflict: “it is OK to talk about it, put it on the table, and deal with it.” http://avc.com/2018/01/the-co-founder-relationship/

 

Could stagnant wages be because we - and particularly non-coastal workers - have a smaller total number of employers to choose from? https://slate.com/business/2018/01/a-new-theory-for-why-americans-cant-get-a-raise.html

 

Very sad to hear that Jon Oberlander died. He was responsible for a lot of important change in Edinburgh informatics and beyond - and more importantly, was a kind, thoughtful man. https://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/obituary-jon-reid-oberlander-academic-professor-of-epistemi...

 

America’s attitude to immigration right now is disgusting. https://theoutline.com/post/2893/immigrants-are-being-abused-by-ice-in-us-detention-centers

 

The letter from a Birmingham jail is an important piece to reflect on today, in a world where many still hold the law to be more important than justice. http://okra.stanford.edu/transcription/document_images/undecided/630416-019.pdf

 
 

Yes! I would VERY much like to see Chelsea in government. (Suboptimal description from the WaPo, though.) https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/chelsea-manning-files-to-run-for-us-senate-in-maryl...

 

This. All of this. I'm so glad I got to go to university for free. https://medium.com/the-nib/where-college-is-free-f6c33b851b07

 

I'd missed this: AngelList's $35M fund to back founders who want to be angel investors. Founders have 15% carry and can write checks directly (not a given). https://blog.angel.co/introducing-spearhead-an-accelerator-for-angel-investors-and-35m-to-back-them-...

 

It’s really gratifying to see this piece from Roger McNamee, Managing Director of Elevation Partners, and an early investor in Facebook. I couldn’t agree with him more. https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january-february-march-2018/how-to-fix-facebook-before-it-fix...

 

“In other words, an informed public is a necessary condition of democracy, but not a sufficient one.” https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/fighting-fake-news-is-not-the-solution

 

In 2012, new to the Bay Area, I wrote a short novel about the weird world I found myself in. What if the secret sauce was something more terrible than you could ever imagine? It feels more relevant than ever, so here it is publicly for the first time.

https://medium.com/@benwerd/herebe-569324066e9f

 

I wrote a piece about the decisions I'd make if I founded a startup again.

Knowing what I know now, from the founders I work with, my background in startups, and what I’ve learned from working at a values-based accelerator: if I was to do it all again, what choices would I make?

I'm hopeful it will be useful for anyone who's just embarking on this journey.

https://medium.com/@benwerd/founding-a-startup-just-one-more-time-37f7a4b9b22e

 
 

Those CPU exploits can be used by malicious web content to read private information, too. Mozilla and other browser vendors are working on a fix. https://blog.mozilla.org/security/2018/01/03/mitigations-landing-new-class-timing-attack/

 
 

As states go, California is a pretty great one. I really like most of these changes. http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-new-2018-laws/

 

Instead of posting New Year's resolutions, I've written a list of . What are yours? https://medium.com/@benwerd/my-2018liberations-2f581b8adc0c

 

HAHAHHAHA BURRRRRN 2017

That is all.

 

Happy New Year to all my friends who made it to 2018 already! You’re the advance guard. How does it look?

 
 
 

Idea I’ve been talking about today: what if everyone with the ability could contribute to a central account, with a regular amount that made sense to them, that could then be withdrawn from using a special neighborhood ATM and card by low income and homeless people?

 

The only way to prevent mass surveillance and censorship - and therefore ensure that democracy can continue to function - is to make it systemically impossible.

 

Should academics get involved in social justice issues, even if their research helped uncover the problem in the first place? (Spoiler alert: of course they should.) http://flintwaterstudy.org/2016/10/engineers-shall-hold-paramount-the-safety-health-and-welfare-of-t...

 

This is a super-interesting spreadsheet of tech’s “notable” (here, sizeable) exits in 2017.
http://blog.semilshah.com/2017/12/29/an-imperfect-glance-at-techs-notable-exits-in-2017/