⚡️ Meet the Team: Jake Gaughan
"Reading is good! And you look cool doing it!"
Over the next few months, we’ll get to know Reboot’s core leadership team, covering what brought them to and continues to excite them about our work.
What do you work on with Reboot?
I work on events at Reboot. This primarily entails organizing the Zoom discussions and book talks that we host with incredible authors, academics, researchers, and journalists. At times it’s been difficult managing an endless mess of links and emails, but it is always an absolute blast getting to chat with great individuals doing great work. I also love reading new books—especially before they come out—and reading drafts of the reviews for those new books! Which is great because I get to do that too!
I cannot stress enough how much these events have informed my own thinking on a wide range of topics. The cold emails, scheduling, coordinating, and occasional headaches always pay off when I get to feel like I’m playing a tiny role in helping someone learn something new.
How did you get involved in Reboot? Where was your life at?
Like many others, I originally got involved with Reboot due to a combination of the pandemic and a disillusionment with Silicon Valley. During the winter of 2020, I was stuck at home, trying to think about why things were bad and what my personal culpability was as someone entering the tech industry. I also knew that a lot of my peers didn’t share these reservations.
Lucas was a mutual on Twitter and we were chatting about these issues, looking for a space online that would take them seriously. Like magic—or, more accurately, the Brown CS department—he found Reboot and I started going to some of the Zoom events. I deeply enjoyed having a welcoming discursive space in those Zooms and in the Discord. As the events still do, those early conversations informed a lot of my own thoughts about what my role in the world currently is and what it should be!
What’s been your favorite thing about being part of this community?
The people. I have met so many brilliant, generous, thoughtful, and kind people through Reboot. I’ve made lifelong friends and have had the privilege to see the growth of others. Simply put, Reboot has let me have some great meals, experiences, and conversations! What more can you ask for!
Not to be too sappy, but if you can find it, true community with others is one of the nicer things about being alive. In many different ways, I have found a community through Reboot. I have no idea if Sartre actually said this or if it’s just from Twitter, but the flip side of ‘hell is other people’ is ‘heaven is each other!’
What’s something you want to see Reboot do?
I would love to see Reboot catalyze the political animation of tech workers.
What are you always recommending to people?
Not to be insufferable, but Frances Ha. Or, if I’m feeling less insufferable but more annoying, any Christopher Nolan movie. Or, if I’m feeling European, La Haine. Or, if I’m feeling the same level of insufferable as my first answer but also a bit international, Chungking Express. (also the new Sofie Royer album)
Tell us about something you’re trying to learn right now.
I’m trying to learn how to sew by hand. For whatever reason, I’m enamored with the idea of being someone who can mend their own clothes. I have a cheap little sewing kit and have already gone to town trying to cuff a pair of Dickies. This skill is very much a work in progress (the Dickies look so, so bad) but it’s fun to be learning something new!
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
I would be the embodiment of one of those big library posters with Shaq or Yo Yo Ma on it and advise: Read more books! Something! Anything! Reading is fun! It doesn’t have to be serious! Or it can be! Make time for doing it outside of school! Read for yourself! Read and discuss for fun! Read! Read! Read! Reading is good! And you look cool doing it!
Give us some microdoses!
I Hope I Never Recover From This: I don’t think any short synopsis I provide will do this Substack post justice. It’s about why the current obsession with space is meaningless.
Babe wake up, the Zoomers are discovering the 2015 NY Mag profile on the Rap Genius founders.
They should let her be Prime Minister again if she promises to post like this: