Citizen Future

An issue about the future – with citizens, without Putin, with hope, without sex (#412)

Sometimes, after selecting all recommendations and writing the newsletter, I realise that there's a common thread that I hadn't seen before. This is one of these times. This turned out to be an issue about the future. A future with people as citizens. A future without Putin. A future without sex. A future with more poorly managed pandemics. And: Ways to be hopeful about the future. Let's dive in.

1. Citizen future: Why we need a new story of self and society

It's one of the defining themes of our times: More and more people losing trust in institutions. However, maybe we should talk more about the flip side of the coin: Are institutions trusting people enough? That's the core premise of this essay. It calls for a change in perspective: «Those in positions of power need to see that people are neither Subjects nor Consumers. We are Citizens.»

Citizen future: Why we need a new story of self and society
Are you a ‘subject’, a ‘consumer’… or a ‘citizen’? Authors Jon Alexander and Ariane Conrad argue we need a new narrative for citzenship.

2. Putin’s Nukes (with Julia Ioffe)

Please don't be fooled by the overblown title. Sure, any informed discussion of Russia will include the question of nuclear weapons, but that's not why this conversation is interesting. Julia Ioffe offers a lot of useful context beyond the war, on how Russia and Putin got themselves to where they are, and what's next.

Putin’s Nukes (with Julia Ioffe) - CAFE
Julia Ioffe is the Washington Correspondent at Puck. Born in Russia, she is among the most informed voices on Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine invasion. She and Preet discuss the U.S. role in the war, Putin’s recent threat to use nuclear weapons, and the unusual political impact of a Russian pop star.…

3. ​​No Sex for You

The metaverse, as imagined by the prudish norms of big tech, will be a world without sex («where adulthood is merely a matter of conference rooms»). An insightful, but most of all: supremely entertaining read.

No Sex for You | Lyta Gold
In the metaverse nobody’s getting any ass—or even seeing anything ass-adjacent.