— Eli Langer (@EliLanger) March 27, 2014
Lost in the maelstrom of sadness, confusion and malaise that marks our annual observance of September 11th was a Medium post by Udacity's new Director of Mobile Engineering, one Oliver Cameron.
Here's the opening paragraph of Cameron's post, "The Story of Building an Education Startup".
Most revolutionary companies aren’t born with the intent to change the world, yet there I was trying to do exactly that. I was on the verge of starting my third company, and I wanted to do something truly special. I listed all of the industries I thought I could have an impact in, and quickly became fixated on education. It’s a market that [...]
Something is going on with the Internet, and, once again, it's fun, but maybe not that fun. There's a rash of actually quite cool new "products"—services, websites, "apps" (sigh)—and they have a lot in common. From our pals at Branch to things like Medium and Svbtle (oh that name) and on back to Pinterest, and then forward to a few other projects in development, well… there's a visual language going on, for one thing, and it's like John Herrman writes: It's an internet where every blog is Daring Fireball, where every post looks like Instapaper, where every discussion is led by its rightful leaders, and where [...]
I am prepared to offer an extremely valuable free service. Why would I do this crazy thing? Just to make the world better. And, more selfishly, to save myself from being bombarded by nightmarish tabs.
For free and for nothing, I will speed-read your Medium draft and warn you of any dangers it might present. Yes! I will be like "HEY THIS PART IS RACIST" and "NO 'MISANDRY' ISN'T A REAL THING" and also maybe "LOL you have no idea what you're talking about here." And then you will be happier, I will be happier, and the Internet will be happier. (Yeah. Mostly these tips are for men. Most of [...]
For some reason—perhaps it my tendency toward speaking with a degree of authority which belies the low level of expertise I actually possess, perhaps it is related to the fact that there are only three or four topics about which I have any actual interest but those are the things that I am inclined to bang on about with an incessant repetition and a consistent rotation that helps to create an illusion of breadth which is widely at odds with the actuality of my vacuity, maybe it is just the fact that if you don't die for long enough people get the almost always incorrect impression that you know [...]
"There’s a whole class of human communication that happens through decorational lights. New York City does a lot of this. They light up the tree in Rockefeller center. That moment when it goes from dark to gleaming, that’s a big moment for humans. There’s a lot of ceremony involved. What is actually being communicated, then? What is the difference between the dark tree and the light tree? They light up the Empire State Building most nights in specific colors. And of course fireworks. On July 4 you go on the roof (our building, any building) and in the distance are the great fireworks displays, shot from barges in the river. [...]