Unputdownable Manga, Woebot & More!

The latest update!

Hello to all!

I posted my first subscriber only post for my newsletter: Measure, Hölderlin and Tehching Hsieu. Thanks to all my subscribers! Having subscribers encourages me to do more thinking and writing, to clarify my thoughts and think deeply about things I’ve read or experienced.

We also released the second episode of Should This Exist? about a A.I. powered app called Woebot, which seeks to be your therapist. Depression has reached epic proportions, mostly due to technology. Should we be using technology to solve a problem technology itself has created?

Most recent posts on Caterina.net

Thwarting the Supermajority. My friend Tim Wu wrote a piece for the New York Times about how, though the media portrays the country as being polarized, the opposite is true––and that’s the real scandal.

Mark Hollis, R.I.P. Please have a listen to his song The Rainbow, which I linked to in the post.

Should This Exist? Woebot To accompany the latest episode of my podcast about technology’s effect on humanity, some thinking around the current epidemic of anxiety and its possible cures.

NYT review of Mama’s Last Hug I’d only been peripherally aware of Frans de Waal’s work with animals, but this review made me go out and order all his books. A book about animals emotions and how little of them we recognize or understand.

It ceased to hurt me A friend’s post on Twitter compelled me to find this lovely poem by Emily Dickinson.

Books I’m reading

Hymns and Fragments by Friedrich Hölderlin. This is where I found the poem I’d been looking for In Lovely Blue. I’ve read a lot of Nietzsche and Heidegger, Rilke and Celan, and yet hadn’t read any Hölderlin. So glad I began.

Mammon and the Black Goddess by Robert Graves. I recently reread The White Goddess, and was happy to see he was writing about the Black Goddess too! Excited to read Nine Hundred Iron Chariots, which the inside flap promises me speaks in praise of “magic over science”.

Oishinbo by Tetsu Kariya. I found this at the thrift store and who knew the best selling manga of all time was about cooking? “Tension sizzles as the volatile and oft-misunderstood Yamaoka is pitted against his famous bulldozer of a father, Kaibara. Each "course" in this menu features an in-depth exploration of an aspect of Japanese culture and cuisine, from the intricacies of chopstick making and use to the importance of holistic cooking to the integrity of a dish.” Gripping? Yes!

Hasta luego!


STE launch + Getting Started


Thanks for signing up to the newsletter! This is the very first one! You’re getting this if you signed up for either the free or the paid version, and paid subscribers will be receiving longer pieces, book excerpts and essays on the general theme of living in the Technic, preserving our humanity, and living in hope.

Big week!

We launched Should This Exist, which hit #1 tech podcast in the world the Saturday after launch! It’s now #32 podcast worldwide in all categories, which, if you realize This American Life is at #21 and Fresh Air is at #49, is amazing, wow, fantastic. Thanks everyone for listening, tweeting, and spreading the word.

I’ve been on a interview binge, in support of the podcast. I appeared on Tim Ferriss’s podcast, where I made a ton of poetry recommendations, as well as reciting a childhood poem (I recited a different poem on Alex Blumberg’s show last fall–this is becoming a habit.) I was also on Y Combinator’s podcast, where I discussed trying to get kicked out of 8th Grade Geology by doing too much homework, and mostly succeeded. Also talked on TWiT TV, doing a lightning round of Should this Exist questions, which comes out this week as a podcast. And keep an eye out for more podcast appearances on NPR’s Marketplace Tech and This Week in Startups.

I was interviewed for a Wired article about the artisanal internet (which we should call the Heirloom Internet?) and talked to Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company about STE.

So much talking! I look forward to getting back to writing.

Most recent posts on Caterina.net

Should this Exist: Halo Neuroscience One of the biggest issues that came up when talking about Halo Sport for the podcast was whether or not it would create greater inequality, or if it could level the playing field.

Thoreau the Technophile Turns out the author of Walden Pond was entranced by technology too!

Books I’m reading

As you probably know, I prefer long form to short form writing for about 1000 reasons.

Breathing: Chaos and Poetry by Franco Bifo Berardi. Though my eyes glaze over when I read the sections on Leibniz, there are many insights into the uses of poetry to leapfrog us out of our current techno-dystopia.

Le voyageur de la Toussaint by Georges Simenon. I’ve been trying to get my French up to a working level, so I’m reading French policiers.

Til next time!


The Caterina.net Newsletter

We live in the Technic, but long for a life of depth and meaning. Where is our culture going, how can we live in harmony with the music of the world, and how shall we save our souls? These are the topics broadly explored in this newsletter.

Please support the newsletter! This is not a money-making endeavor. All proceeds will be donated to causes I support, which include non-profits such as the Sundance InstituteMcSweeneys, the Rare Cancer Research Foundation, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. And if you can’t afford to subscribe, email us and we can hook you up with a free subscription.

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