It’s been a little quiet around here the last few weeks—and for good reason.
Since last Fall, I’ve been working with the team at Duolingo and leading production on their annual conference, Duocon.
Our original plan to fill a warehouse in Brooklyn full of speakers, performers, and attendees … suddenly fell out of vogue earlier this year.
Instead, next Saturday, September 26th, we’ll be live-streaming a completely reimagined version of Duocon. We’ll be hosting presentations from the Duolingo team—sharing a peak behind the scenes at Duolingo as well as announcing product updates and new features.
Postal and transit services have the same problem. We want them to attract high usage and we want them to go everywhere, but those goals imply opposite kinds of service. Pursuing either goal will cause outcomes that look like failure when judged by the other goal’s measures of success. It’s like we’re telling our taxi driver to turn right and left at the same time. When they can’t do that, we just yell louder and call them incompetent. Is that taking us where we want to go?
A project of producer Ryan Olson, Gayngs members have included Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Doomtree’s P.O.S and Dessa, Har Mar Superstar, and members of Megafaun, Digitata, and The Rosebuds. Although I’ve never been especially enamored with any of the member’s individual output, Gayngs’ 2010 album Relayted is easily one of my favorite records. Here’s hoping this reemergence means more new material is on the horizon.
The USPS is often confused as a private business that the government operates publicly—which is often the basis for debating its privatization—but it’s actually much, much more complicated than that. The post office should be thought of more as a public utility that manages the delivery of information and, increasingly, commerce. And it’s enshrined in law that it has to do so affordably and equitably to every citizen and resident of the United States.
The course, co-founded in 1991 by everyone’s favorite bespectacled cycling enthusiast (and Oregon Congressman) Earl Blumenauer, has been offered free of charge to any Portland resident interested in learning more about the region’s transportation and planning policy.
I took the course last year and absolutely loved it. Admittedly, so much of what made it great was everyone getting together after class, and getting to nerd out with a bunch of other amateur city planners. I really hope this year’s class can find a way to carry on that tradition.