First, a quick hello: I'm Jessica, one of Reboot's cofounders. I've been working behind the scenes as an editor for reviews, essays, and interviews, and as of threeish weeks ago, I'm also putting the newsletter together each week. (You know who to blame if we're late landing in your inbox.)
Reboot was founded in April 2020, shortly after the start of the pandemic — which, at this point, feels like a lifetime ago. In other words, though 2021 was Reboot's first full calendar year in existence, I almost can't remember a time when I wasn't editing something Reboot-related. I'm pretty proud of all we've done this year, and for 2021's second-to-last newsletter, I wanted to give a quick highlights reel.
Not counting Kernel magazine (more on that in a second!), we've published 40 original pieces of content this year. If you haven't read it yet, I'd recommend starting with Jasmine's manifesto for Reboot: the progressive case for techno-optimism.
Now, a brief tour of the Reboot mission through some of our 2021 pieces:
First, we're interested in understanding how things work, whether it's open-source communities, the adtech bubble, or what AI "alignment" really means. That means we care about history, of Black computing, of digital utopianism, of ethereum. We think speculative and science fiction can be a powerful tool for thinking about the present, whether it's a warning or a beacon of hope. We're interested in art, in placing technological developments in context with the artistic communities they "disrupt," but also in how digital art can shape us as individuals. Still, we can't ignore the tech industry itself, and how we should think about public policy both nationally and locally.
We care about learning from one another, through interviews, of course, but also through essays drawing from personal experience in healthtech, public interest tech, and venture. Perhaps most importantly, we hope to encourage reflections on individual choices and positionality, whether it's about a gentrifying city or building a values-aligned career.
Kernel Magazine (it's not too late to get your copy!)
We made a print magazine, and it's here, and it's real!
Jasmine Wang 🦋 @j_asminewangFeeling all sorts of feelings introducing Kernel to the world! Kernel has truly been a collective labour of love, and I'm honoured to steward this work alongside so many other wonderful people. A thread on what magazine is about & how it came to be🌿https://t.co/yDtFIhETPi
In addition to Jasmine's manifesto, we've shared two pieces from the magazine so far — a critical essay on the internet's naive post-racial dream, and a short piece of speculative fiction about a dream researcher. You can see the titles of all fourteen pieces here.
If you haven't had a chance to buy it yet, we're still accepting orders — you can do so by subscribing directly to our newsletter on the annual plan. (We process shipments for new subscribers once a month.) Subscribers also get access to closed community events, such as recent conversations with Yancey Strickler and Karen Hao.
This magazine was truly a labor of love. Special shoutouts to Editor-In-Chief Jasmine Wang, Managing Editor Emily Liu, Creative Director Saffron Huang, and Digital Director Jessica Zhou (find the list of all 24 contributors here).
An ask for you
The final major project of 2021 was the inaugural Reboot Fellowship — you'll be hearing more about that next week. Until then, if you've read this far, we'd love to get your feedback on the newsletter (we'll be randomly selecting two respondents to win a book or copy of Kernel). The 2-minute form is here.
Thanks as always for your support — we can’t overstate how much it means to us.
Jessica & Reboot team