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The patient has been diagnosed

September 3 · Issue #4 · View online
The Discourse
This is the final issue of The Discourse.
When I first began writing this newsletter in 2017, it felt like another era. At the time, the media and tech environment had changed suddenly and the discourse was not keeping pace.
After Brexit and the 2016 election, many of us were forced to come to grips with realizing our techno-optimism was misplaced. Many Americans were shocked into realizing they had been living in some kind of bubble. 
In 2017, these were all renewed concepts, and I started The Discourse to offer a means of exploring and analyzing what was happening at a slower, more thoughtful pace. But as we close out 2019, all of these ideas are now on the verge of being over-analyzed. 
The backlash against our tech companies has been fierce, and increasingly overblown. Very real structural problems are now blamed on the new boogeyman of tech companies. Our governments and our citizens are abdicating responsibility and pointing to the machines. Liberal/conservative and rural/urban divides have been explored time and time again. We know the ways in which we are divided. And some of the most extreme Americans are now using the above issues to argue in bad faith. 
The patient has been diagnosed and I am personally exhausted about discussing and thinking about it. There are daily newsletters, cable news shows, and blogs dedicated to misinformation and the way we talk to one another. In my core, I believe that talking about us being divided only exacerbates the issue. We need to use new language and take new action. We need a new American identity.
A mass newsletter isn’t right for the problems of 2020. I believe that a renewing of American solidarity starts locally and with a renewal of personal values.
That’s why I’m turning my attention to Pilcrow House, my attempt to facilitate conversations and new friendships here in my hometown of Philadelphia. If you’d like to keep track of what I’m working on, sign up for my personal newsletter here. Or you can get an update on the next Pilcrow House events here (there are four planned for the rest of 2019!). And, of course, you can follow me on Twitter. All Discourse issues will forever be available here.
I thank all of you who have been along for this. I thank you for being curious and thoughtful and I hope you bring that into your day-to-day life. Regularly discussing the issues with all of you has been my favorite part of all of this. It’s been a privilege to have some space in your crowded inbox <3
Discourse Poster
There are 15 Discourse posers remaining and then they will be all gone forever! The poster contains the “14 rules for staying sane online”, and is the perfect thing to hang in your home or workplace office.

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South Philadelphia, PA, USA