We talk all the time about Moving Fast and Ruthlessly Prioritizing, but not often enough about how they compliment each other.

In tech, we like to set 50/50 goals. We create ambitious, impactful plans; but too often that quickly turns into a litany of p1/2/3s where quantity is the mark of a quality roadmap.

Moving Fast isn’t shoddily putting out a ton of work product — it’s getting the important thing done earlier. Prioritizing requires the sacrifice of the many for the impactful. You have to feel a bit uncomfortable to let go of decent ideas and bet on you…


There were plenty of explicit moments last year that so cleanly cut to the core of who we are. It seems trivial trying to recap them given the sheer number. There was loss, grief, unrest, anxiety and division like I’ve never seen before.

I’ve been trying to turn the page to January, to 2021, a new year. For some reason, I felt that if I just mentally marked the occasion I could easily move on. Unsurprisingly, I’ve found it easier said than done. Despite triumphs, new hopes and milestones, it feels as if the year that was…


In Second Treatise on Civil Government, John Locke establishes many of the principles that undergird modern democracy. This seminal work of political philosophy portrays government as a civil contract between citizens and authorities. The legitimacy of institutions is derived from their ability to provide for the people they serve; absent this tradeoff, individuals reserve the right to overthrow the ruling authorities. In fact, America’s Founding Fathers borrowed heavily from Locke’s philosophy as they wrought their more perfect union.

The events of the last several weeks have thrown this theory into sharp relief. I live in Austin, Texas. For nearly a…


Our society, the internet and Big Tech’s responsibilities

Big Tech’s shortcomings are a cornerstone of today’s media coverage. However, the meta-conversation too often lumps the behemoths together. It focuses on the character of individual companies instead of the problems they collectively embody. Their size and influence uncovers issues that must be addressed systemically, not as shortcomings of any one company. Societal ills such as misinformation, hate speech and conspiracy theories are symptoms. The unprecedented concentration of power in the hands of tech firms is the illness.

I have not the depth nor expertise to opine on the privacy and competition dimensions of the current technology landscape. I do…


We always have been, and we may always be.

America I love you, but you’re freaking me out.

America is defined by contradiction. This country put a man on the moon, produced the civil rights movement and fought for freedom in consecutive world wars. This country also enslaved black men and women for generations, interned Japanese Americans in WWII and detained immigrant children in cages. Ours is a constant struggle between what we are and what we could be. We aspire with great hope to be the shining city on a hill—it is because of that hope that failure hurts so deeply.

Our national duality was on full display this week in alternating brilliance and horror. Tuesday, the…


After four long years, we’re finally here

It hit me last night. I have remained an observer and prognosticator throughout this election cycle, but the weight of the moment finally set in. I’m apprehensive and anxious about the election, not because of a tight race, but because the alternative is terrifying to imagine. Even after four years of this waking American nightmare, I simply refuse to imagine that it could happen again. Sure, the rational side of my brain knows that anything is possible. But, the hopeful voice in my head — living through this pandemic — has dismissed that possibility because it was too stressful to…


It’s July 4th, 2020. Any other year I would be brimming with patriotism and a sort of unbridled American righteousness. I acknowledge my country’s flaws, but on this holiday I am usually quite content to look past them into an idealist future where pros have remedied cons with ease. But this year it feels different — I see America clearly. Sure, the physical effects of quarantine and sickness have dampened the festivities, but more than that I feel an undercurrent of unrest wherein celebration has been replaced by widespread angst.

America has been on a slow march towards chaos the…


Reclaiming your voice amidst the storm

Neurosis can be a fickle mistress, with manifestations that vary in their helpfulness and annoyance. In my experience at a large tech firm — one that prides itself on speed, alacrity and a supreme abundance of information — I’ve noticed that my desire to be up-to-date and thorough often cuts against my productivity and peace of mind. Some easily sidestep this deluge, but I find it difficult to resist the pull of invasive notification systems and dopamine triggers. More than occasionally I feel anxious, scatterbrained and generally ineffective as I try to balance many competing priorities. …


The events of this week have been difficult to stomach, as both an American and a human. But therein lies the point — these aren’t singular events, disturbing as though they may be. For broad swathes of our country this is a lived experience, day after day, for more than 400 years on this continent. Racism and inequality are systemic, deeply rooted and offensive to humanity. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are not outliers; they are the expected externalities from a broken, malicious society.

Our obsession with the ‘progress’ narrative belies the uncomfortable truth…

T.H. Linamen

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