Monday, September 06, 2021

Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui

Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui is a contemplative and interesting book that's noted to be an exploration of the world of swimming. The point is made that we must learn to live with water, it’s required for us to survive, and is all around us. Also, swimming can be a way to healing, health, and a community. 

Tsui details stories including someone's survival off the coast of Iceland, spending six hours in 28 degree Fahrenheit water and swimming three and a half miles to safety. Also, swimming in outdoor water is heavily written of, with likely health benefits from cold water swimming, and someone doing it is part of the elements. The Dolphin Club and South End Rowing Club in San Francisco are noted for their swimmers who go into the Bay, including one who swam 30 miles from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge, 17 hours through shark-infested waters.

It's also covered that people enjoy swimming more than many other forms of exercise and that swim lessons are an equalizer between people. No matter how powerful someone is, if they don’t know how to swim, they're the same as others from a lower stature or different culture. Additionally, swim teams can be a great combination of singular determination and being part of a collective. 

A couple of other things that stand out from the book are Japanese swimming martial arts, or Nihon eiho, and samurai swimmers from hundreds of year ago. Also, when you swim, you’re a part of a collective, and swimming in a body of water is a way of forging a connection with it, and with others who have swam there. 

Amazon Unbound by Brad Stone

Amazon Unbound by Brad Stone is subtitled Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire and follows up on The Everything Store by Stone from 2013. In Amazon Unbound, it notes that at the end of 2010, Amazon had 33,700 employees and a market capitalization of $80B, with the net worth for Bezos at $15.9B. Amazon as of early Sept 2021 has roughly 1,300,000 employees and a market cap around $1.6T, with Bezos' net worth some $200B. Amazon Unbound details this exponential growth, with below the chapters and primary topics...

Chapter one – on the building of the Echo

Chapter two – on early efforts to create Amazon grocery retail stores

Chapter three – on Amazon in India

Chapter four – on AWS and Amazon stock doubling in 2015 after previously hiding its profitability to keep competitors out

Chapter five – on Bezos and his ownership of the Washington Post, purchased in 2013 for $250M

Chapter six – on efforts in Hollywood and Prime video

Chapter seven – on the Amazon flywheel leading to growth, counterfeit goods, and unhappy merchants

Chapter eight – on efforts in grocery and the 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods

Chapter nine – on logistics and supply chain

Chapter ten – on selling ads in Amazon site search results

Chapter eleven – on Bezos' Blue Origin space startup, founded in 2000

Chapter twelve – on the relationship with and impact of Amazon on Seattle and other cities with its HQ2 bakeoff

Chapter thirteen – on the breakup of Bezos’ marriage, including extortion and potential Saudi hacking 

Chapter fourteen – on government investigation into potential monopolistic and anti-trust behavior by Amazon

Chapter fifteen – on the pandemic, including the Amazon firing of whistleblowers around worker safety

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Radical Candor by Kim Scott is a solid book with the subtitle Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. Scott notes that at the heart of being a good boss is having good relationships, ones built on radical candor. From this, a boss can provide guidance to produce better results and help employees achieve. 

It’s detailed that the role of a boss is to listen to their employees and to care personally about what they have to say. A boss should start by asking for feedback and criticism, not by giving it out, and understand what motivates each person. In 1:1 meetings, employees should set the agenda and a boss should be a partner, not an absentee manager or a micromanager, and from this, trust gets built.

Along with this foundation of trust, a boss should tell people clearly and directly when their work isn’t good enough. It’s not mean, it’s clear, and it should be provided in the moment and be about the actions, not the person. Also, everyone can be exceptional at something, it’s the role of the boss to help them find that thing. Scott as well details what she calls the get stuff done wheel: listen, clarify, debate, decide, persuade, execute, learn, listen again…

Listen – give the quiet ones a voice, create a culture of listening

Clarify – if someone doesn’t understand, the fault may be with the person making an unclear argument 

Debate – focus on ideas and not egos, create an obligation to dissent, be clear about when the debate will end

Decide – the decider should get facts, not opinions

Persuade – focus on the listener’s emotions, demonstrate your credibility, and show your work

Execute – don’t waste people’s time

Learn – be willing to course-correct

There’s a number of solid things by Scott in the book, both for a boss and for an employee of a boss.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Premonition by Michael Lewis

The Premonition by Michael Lewis is subtitled A Pandemic Story and covers some of the major players in U.S. pandemic response (or lack thereof) at a county, state, and federal (particularly the CDC) level. 

Lewis notes in the introduction that the United States has a bit more than 4% of the world’s population and as of Spring 2021, had a bit more than 20% of its COVID-19 deaths. In February 2021, The Lancet published a piece noted that if the COVID-19 death rate in the U.S. had tracked at the average of the other G7 nations, 180,000 of the then 450,000 dead would still be alive.

The book covers how decentralized the federal government is and yes, it got worse under Trump, but it wasn’t great to begin with. It’s remarkable how ineffectual the CDC is written of as being, and how many county health officers assume that the CDC will provide guidance and leadership. The CDC mentality was described as focused on taking no action they could be blamed for later. Lewis notes what a loss it is that many brilliant and capable people leave government work to be more well treated and respected in the private sector. 

It's covered how President George W. Bush in 2005 read the John Barry book The Great Influenza and demanded that a pandemic plan be created. Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher were two people involved in the creation of the plan and what they wrote was that lives could be saved by taking measures before vaccines available. Additionally, a scientist named Bob Glass figured out along with his high-school-aged daughter how infectious disease transmission could be limited. One of the things that they espoused was school closings, especially giving how tightly confined kids were in school. 

Charity Dean is a former chief health officer for Santa Barbara County, and in that role, was struck by the power she had to combat communicable diseases and relentlessly tracked down potentially cataclysmic public health crises. California was noted as unusual with control held at the county health officer level, for most other states, it was the state health officer or governor. As we went in the pandemic, Dean was second in charge at the California Department of Public Health, with the person in charge for the state, Karen Smith, having no experience in communicable diseases and a see no evil, hear no evil approach. She in late February had a call with the 58 county health officers in California and said they on their own, same as Trump said to the states.

Hatchett, Mecher, Dean, Lisa Koonin and a handful of other people, some 5-10 in total, were in contact by early 2020 and all felt that a pandemic was coming, despite the statements from the CDC and White House. It’s described as being like the Mann Gulch fire, burning out of control, but people don’t realize it yet. From their calls and emails emerged actions cherry picked from by the actual government.

Lewis throughout the book writes of the things that should have been done that simply weren’t, and how we should have learned so that we prepared for a virus with the same level of communicability, but a greater potency and fatality rate.

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits by James Clear is a solid book with the subtitle An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones. It’s a fast read with lots of tangible steps to take and systems in it. 

Clear starts with the attention-grabbing story of getting hit square in the face with a baseball bat in high school, almost losing his life. He writes about the habits he started to build while in college, with habits defined as a routine or behavior that is performed regularly—and in many cases, automatically. Small habits that accumulate can make a big difference, working on the same principle as compound interest. Also, your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits, often without huge changes until eventually leading to exponential results. Goals are the results you want to achieve, and systems the more important processes that lead to those results. 

The book details how behavior change is about outcomes, processes, and identity, with the most impactful identity, being someone who does something or does things a certain way. For instance, “I’m not a smoker” rather than “I want to quit smoking.” Your habits are how you embody your identity. As you do something, you become that thing and the best way to change who you are is to change what you do. Clear notes that people should first decide the type of person they want to be, then prove it to themselves with small wins. Habits can change your beliefs about yourself and are mental shortcuts learned from experience. Clear notes that to build better habits, one should make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying:

1. Make it obvious - The first step is to simply notice what your habits are. From there you can take actions. You can make a specific plan of steps to take that are to become a habit, and the more specific, the better. Make the habits you want right in front of you to implement. For instance, if you want to eat healthy, buy fruit and put it out on the table for you to grab from. 

2. Make it attractive - You can pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do. For instance, if you do ten 10 burpees, you can check your social media. A good way to build better habits is to join a group where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. 

3. Make it easy - Habits aren’t hard to form, they simply come from reps. You can set yourself up for success at forming habits by priming your environment so the habit easy to do. Remove the friction associated with good behaviors, increase the friction associated with bad behaviors. It’s ok to reduce your habits at first, to make them small. For instance, reading at night can begin with “read for two minutes.” Just show up, don’t worry about what happens next as in doing so repeatedly, your identity becomes that of someone who shows up. 

4. Make it satisfying - It’s good to create rewards for good behavior. For instance, using toothpaste that leaves your mouth feeling good. The brushing is what’s important, but the taste is what’s satisfying. A habit tracker is a simple way to feel good about what you’re doing. A good way to think about falling short on doing something is the law of two, it’s ok to miss something once, you don’t want to miss it twice. Don’t be too hard on yourself. 

Towards the end, Clear notes that the goldilocks rule states that people experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right at the edge of their current abilities. The greatest threat to success is not failure, but boredom. Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated, but you have to work through boredom. It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference. Habits + deliberate practice = mastery.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is an engrossing novel that felt like it could be a nonfiction account. 

Hannah tells the story of Elsa Wolcott, who in 1920s Central Texas was pregnant and cast out by her parents, joining with what would turn out to be a abandoning husband and father in Rafe Martinelli and his saint-like parents Tony and Rose. 

By 1934, the Martinelli family farm was barely producing crops as drought and dust storms ravaged the land and created enormous poverty, along with health problems for Elsa's son Anthony. She takes he and his sister Loreda to California in search of a better life and is met there by the continued Great Depression and xenophobia against migrants from the Dust Bowl. The story that Hannah tells set in the San Joaquin Valley continues to be a captivating one as Elsa fights to keep her children sheltered and fed in a harsh and unforgiving environment stacked against migrant workers not in a position of power. 

It's an excellent book that provides a story that seems taken straight from history and shows one woman's fight for her family and the importance of caring about one another in the face of hardships. The tale that Hannah eloquently writes is of a time and events that should be remembered and she notes her website containing a suggested reading list about the Dust Bowl years and migrant experience in California.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Dip by Seth Godin

The Dip by Seth Godin is a short and solid book about the decisions we make to either stick with things or quit them. He makes the point that single-minded determination and a never say die attitude not always a good thing, it often is better to move on from something and focus energies elsewhere.

The idea of the dip as Godin describes it is the hard period of something, the long slog between starting and mastery. Almost everything has a dip. It’s supposed to be there and is in effect a barrier to entry that creates value. Also, Godin points out that many professions have superstars and then a bunch of also-rans. Second or third place isn't a terribly successful place to be. The goal really should be to be the best at something, even if it a small area, not to muddle your way to an ok level of competence. Pushing through the dip is a good thing, what you don't want to do is quit in the middle of the dip, when it's hard, but still worth it to succeed. 

It's noted that along with dips, there's also cul-de-sacs, spots where no matter how hard you try, things won't get better. Those are the dead ends that should be abandoned. Godin also points out that coping is a lousy alternative to quitting. All coping does is waste your time and misdirect your energy. If the best you can do is cope, you're better off walking away. Highlighted is that winners quit fast and often, and then beat the right dip for the right reasons. Quitting the things you don't care much about, are mediocre at, or aren’t going anywhere (a cul-de-sac) frees you up to push through the dips on the things that do matter. When you are ready to quit something, go for broke, be willing to ask for what you want, and willing to walk away. Going into new situations lets you reinvent yourself; you've left behind those who have branded or pigeonholed you.

The right idea isn't "never quit," the right idea is "never quit something worthwhile just because it's hard at that moment." Don't quit your strategies, quit your tactics, and remember that a particular job is tactic, not strategy. Getting through the dip is never quitting the big idea. "Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other." 

How Lucky by Will Leitch

How Lucky by Will Leitch feels full of contradictions, with those combining together into a really good novel. 

It's about someone with SMA, or spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that typically has symptoms appear in early childhood and eventually leaves a person confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak. They're mentally sharp, but with a body that didn't sign up for the ride. It's described in the book as akin to Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS, but with it coming much earlier in life and having a much longer deterioration period. Also, SMA is a progressive disease, once a body part fails, that function is gone, and that's the way it's going to remain. 

Along with being about someone who has a debilitating disease, the book also is a nice story, one about someone living their life, the people who love them and they love in turn. The best people in the main character's life are those who don't feel sorry for him, but treat him like the real person he is.

Leitch set the book in his town of Athens, Georgia and noted writing it after his friends had a child with SMA. The story is a lot of  things, it's a mystery about an abduction, funny, and heartwarming, with the main character narrating "I have helped people, and I have people who have helped me."

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Madhouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton

 Madhouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton is a solid work of nonfiction about the expedition of the Belgica, which sailed in August 1897 from Belgium for Antarctica, attempting to reach the magnetic south pole. 

The ship was under the command of Adrien de Gerlache, from a distinguished Belgian family and in his early 30s when the expedition began. It was funded in part by a national subscription campaign, with some 2,500 Belgians contributing donations, and de Gerlache would have liked to have the ship have an entirely Belgian crew, but to fill the roughly twenty spots had to enlist many non-Belgians, including American Dr. Frederick Cook and Norwegian Roald Amundsen. de Gerlache was neither a good manager of the crew nor particularly good decision-maker, with many of his choices driven less by prudence and more by concern about how his Belgian benefactors and the press would look upon him in the future.

 A man was lost overboard on the way from South America to Antarctica and de Gerlache had assured those who signed up for the expedition that they would not winter in Antarctica. However, once they at the continent in early 1898, he made the choice to sail into the ice rather than abandon the quest to be the first to the magnetic south pole. de Gerlache knew that they would get stuck in the ice of the Bellingshausen Sea for the winter but concealed his intent from the crew. The sun went down in mid-May for close to seventy days of 24-hour darkness. de Gerlache during the Antarctic winter spent much of his time sequestered in his cabin with horrible headaches and one of the men had a weak heart and died during the arctic winter. The men started to suffer from scurvy, with their conditions then improving for those who would eat seal or penguin meat, but de Gerlache largely refused, sticking with the canned goods that he planned for and his backers paid for.

Crew members Cook and Amundsen became close during the expedition and were the two most hearty polar explorers, with each of them leading future expeditions and especially Amundsen becoming well-known for his accomplishments. As the crew moved into the Antarctic summer of October and November, one of the sailors began have his mental state deteriorate rapidly and it noted in the book that the second Christmas aboard the ship was a grim affair, with it becoming apparent that many of the men would not survive a second Antarctic winter and the food stores were being rapidly depleted. A plan was hatched to cut trenches in front of the ship, trying to create a waterway for the Belgica. Initial progress that was made was lost at the end of January when the ice pack shifted, but then on March 14, 1899 they broke out of the ice.

Upon their return to civilization, one man had lost his sanity while stuck in the ice and was committed to an asylum and another died after growing sick during the expedition. It would take de Gerlache a year to regain his health after the trip and Amundsen and Cook both embarked on other expeditions not long after the Begica’s return. Amundsen became an acclaimed polar explorer and Cook was as well for a time, until his exploits, specifically a claimed journey to the geographic north pole was called into question. Cook’s membership to the New York Explorer’s Club, of which he was president, was revoked and then then became an oil speculator and was convicted of fraud and sent to prison. Overall, it’s an interesting book with tales of danger, bravery, and horrific decisions. 

Saturday, July 03, 2021

A Knock at Midnight by Brittany Barnett

A Knock at Midnight by Brittany Barnett is a great book subtitled A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom. It’s a memoir about her growing up in central Texas, having a mother who went to jail for a drug offense, then becoming a lawyer advocating for the release of people serving life sentences without parole for drug offenses. 

Barnett grew up first in the small Texas towns of Fulbright and Bogata and was ten when she found her mother’s crack pipe in the house. She along with her sister Jazz went to live with their father and grandparents in nearby Campbell and it was difficult having a mother who was an on again, off again addict. Barnett when she started high school moved to Commerce to live with her other grandparents and get away from her mother’s addiction. She in college studied accounting, receiving a bachelors and then masters degree, with her mom unable to attend the graduation as she was in jail, sentenced to 8 years in prison for repeatedly failing drug tests while on probation for an arrest 6 years prior. Barnett notes how in her county growing up, blacks were 34 times more likely to be charged for marijuana possession than whites.

Barnett was a first-year law student at SMU, taking a class on the intersection of race and law, when she came across the case of Sharanda Jones, someone who had served ten years of a life sentence for a first-time drug offense. The environment under which Jones arrested was one with drug laws focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation, which is what sent Barnett’s mother to jail, and one with a racial bias. There was a sentencing disparity of 100 to 1 between crack and cocaine and prosecutors had enormous latitude to charge people with conspiracy to distribute drugs, a charge that required no physical evidence to prove. Additionally, mandatory minimum sentences were attached to many cases, effectively taking sentencing out of the hands of judges or juries. Prosecutors would also frequency focus on flipping defendants, even having higher-level dealers testify against lower-level dealers, and stacking charges or adding on 851 enhancements, bringing into sentencing past transgressions, no matter how small. 

When Jones was sent to prison on a conspiracy to distribute charge, she had been a low-level mover of drugs, was no longer involved, and entrapped by a friend looking to be an informant and get a lesser sentence. Jones was told by prosecutors she as well could get a lesser sentence if she flipped on her Dallas police officer friend, someone not involved at all with drugs. Jones didn’t testify against anyone else and after her lawyer told her she would likely go free, and worst case would have a five-year sentence; she was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, going to prison when her daughter eight years old. 

While still in law school, Barnett began advocating for Jones, and continued to do this pro bono work as she became a corporate lawyer in a large firm. She in the book details the dehumanizing conditions for inmates, including visitors having to ask for people by their prison number rather than name. While Barnett trying to get Jones released, mandatory sentencing guidelines were ruled unconstitutional, but not retroactively. Barnett then felt that the best path to release was clemency, something that could be granted by the President and noted in the book as being described by a fellow lawyer as “where justice meets mercy.” Barnett mentions a 2015 Washington Post story by Sam Horwitz on Jones and others serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, even though they would have received lesser sentences under current guidelines, and Jones was pardoned by President Obama, with release in 2016. Also noted in the book are others that Barnett would help get clemency, including Donel Clark, Alice Johnson, Corey Jacobs, and Chris Young  (with the judge that sentenced him, Kevin Sharp, having left his seat because he felt mandatory minimum sentences were wrong).

It’s a remarkable story from Barnett about a grave injustice. Also interesting was both how strong the writing in the book is (it seems many lawyers are often good writers) and how Barnett before she left corporate law combined her accounting degree and the tangible skill it gave her with the tangible skill from her law degree.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Freedom by Sebastian Junger

Freedom by Sebastian Junger is a short book with interesting ruminations on his roughly year-long walk up the East Coast of the U.S. He and several friends, including a conflict photographer and two Afghan War vets, walked around 400 miles, illegally traveling along on rail lines, many through small towns that were dying away, and the book covers well this time of him simply walking, moving forward with self-reliance.

Junger previously wrote Tribe, War, Fire, A Death in Belmont, and The Perfect Storm, with all of them good books and Freedom being particularly like the first three with it examining the history of something and Junger's thoughts on it. There's a lot about the people of America and government in it and the book covers how it important to remember what happened in the past. Junger writes that "the idea that we can enjoy the benefits of society while owing nothing in return is literally infantile. Only children owe nothing." It's a good book, with other quotes from it...

"In a deeply-free society, not only would leaders be barred from exploiting their position, they would also be expected to make the same sacrifices and accept the same punishments as everyone else." 

"An insurgency or political movement with leaders who refuse to suffer the same consequences as everyone else is probably doomed. Unfair hierarchies destroy motivation, and motivation is the one thing that underdogs must have more of than everyone else." 

"If democratic power-sharing is a potent form of freedom, accepting an election loss may be the ultimate demonstration of how free you want to be. History is littered with fascist leaders who have rigged elections and tortured or killed critics, but their regimes are remarkable short-lived, especially considering the obsession these men usually have with holding power. Many wind up dead or in prison, and almost none leave behind stable regimes."

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is a novel from the writer of The Martian, and while I thought his latest was better than his book Artemis, it wasn't near the level of his bestselling and adapted into a hit movie first book.

Weir has a large amount of science writing in Project Hail Mary and I'm assuming that it was thought out well and as such deserves credit, but I would have liked to have seen events on Earth covered more thoroughly. Overall the novel struck me as just a fine read, neither terrible nor great.



Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Hero Code by William McRaven

The Hero Code by William McRaven is a solid and short book with the subtitle Lessons Learned From Lives Well Lived. McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral who wrote the excellent books Make Your Bed and Sea Stories and his latest has ten short life lessons with brief stories of people who personified each.

1. Courage - something that comes in all different forms of actions that confront fears: could be fighting enemies in battle, bullies in life, or demons within

2. Humility - the story of McRaven meeting Charlie Duke, who described himself as "an Air Force pilot," without noting he walked on the moon, one of only 12 who have 

3. Sacrifice - the story of Marine Ralph Johnson who in 1968 saved lives jumping on a grenade in Vietnam, and in 2018 had a Navy destroyer named after him

4. Integrity - mention of McRaven as a young lieutenant being told the importance of never lying or misrepresenting the truth, if caught doing that, trust will be forever lost

5. Compassion - the story of Gary Sinise, who played Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, his support of wounded soldiers, and how even small acts of kindness create a society

6. Perseverance - the story of Dr. Jim Allison and his long battle to have a method of fighting cancer brought to market, saving thousands of lives, as well as Navy SEALs persevering through "one evolution at a time"

7. Duty - the story of Senator John McCain, someone who could have been released early from his Prisoner of War camp in Vietnam based on his four-star admiral father, but chose to stay with his fellow captives

8. Hope - the idea that tomorrow will be a better day, something that both is a way to look at things and an idea that we can work to impart to others

9. Humor - something that bonds us together, it's important to try to have a life filled with laughter, both for ourselves and to give to others 

10. Forgiveness - the Gandhi quote of "the weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong" and stories from Afghanistan with how forgiving is letting go of one's burden and Charleston, South Carolina with how pardoning the unpardonable makes one not an accomplice to hatred and the victor, not the victim

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Weiner

 Uncanny Valley by Anna Weiner is a memoir by a technology writer for The New Yorker who in her mid-twenties left a job in book publishing for one in tech, moving first to a New York-based startup and then one in San Francisco. It's an interesting look at a culture she portrays as centered around work and the ideas of growth, disruption, and scale along with absolutism, self-aggrandizing, and pseudo-intellectualism.

Weiner was 25 in 2013 when she left a role as an assistant at a small literary agency in Manhattan to take a 3-month trial job at an e-reader startup working with the three founders and an engineer. She then took a customer support job in San Francisco at a data analytics tech startup, where she employee number 20, and the 4th woman. 

She describes in the book how the job, and overall culture of tech in San Francisco, was all about confidence and a never-ending focus on work. People didn't really have outside lives, but they liked to talk about outside lives, how their work would change the world and how that work was about and created a philosophy of life, one with lots of "opportunities," "revenue," and "strategy." Everything was wrapped in the language of business. If you could spew philosophy wrapped in business, the ideas of stoicism, people as operations systems, or war analogies tied to company growth, all the better.

People claimed they craved authenticity, but it’s described by Weiner as craving an authenticity and community about them. The mantra was work and good faith, believing in the rightness of their own actions, with the phrase the CEO used being “Down for the Cause.” He was also noted as talking about things like "wanting more women in leadership roles," rather than actually putting them in leadership roles. Weiner also had male colleagues described to her as "strategic" and that she someone who "loved their customers." Also, when the data analytics company released a new feature about user website engagement, it was named Addiction.

Weiner then left to do support at a different company, a 200-employee open-source startup tech company with channels where people shared information online. Part of her new role was content moderator, with she and her team as the arbiters of what was acceptable on the platform, and four of them overseeing content from nine million users. People were in enormous positions of power, but everything was "trust the system." Weiner also notes that her high-paying job existed for, and on, the internet and left the open-source startup in 2018.