Here’s what I’ve been reading recently…

Exploring the urban experience and Jane Jacobs’ legacy: very thoughtful.

The Statue of Liberty wears a very particular color of green. Great longread.

More on the Wells Fargo fiasco, from the inside. An employee describes how a toxic culture led to customer-hostile actions.

The experience of being a top food critic: see in how Pete Wells’ reviews of Per Se, David Chang, and Guy Fieri affected the restaurant, or not.

Read Martin Buber, not the polls, says David Brooks. Great piece about empathy. See also this piece by Chris Arnade about empathy in a divided political moment.

Village Voice on the Link wifi kiosks sprouting up all over New York. Buzzfeed covered it as well. But then in September, the New York Times reported that Wi-Fi Kiosks Were to Aid New Yorkers. An Unsavory Side Has Spurred a Retreat.

Profile of Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard in the New Yorker, well worth reading. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to “create good” for employees, customers, and the environment while still making money.

“When technology becomes idolatry it ceases to be life-enhancing and becomes soul-destroying.” This is a nice segue to several reads, below, on the tech idolatry in today’s Silicon Valley.

The internet as an engine of liberation is an innocent fraud.

How Elizabeth Holmes’s House of Cards Came Tumbling Down, and the followup How I Got to the Bottom of the Theranos Mess. Nick Bilton’s summary of Silicon Valley is outstanding: “In Silicon Valley, every company has an origin story—a fable, often slightly embellished, that humanizes its mission for the purpose of winning over investors, the press, and, if it ever gets to that point, customers, too…” Read the rest of it.

One entrepreneur’s experience navigating Silicon Valley, an (edited) excerpt of the book Chaos Monkeys.

New Yorker profiles YCombinator: fascinating look at the highest levels of Silicon Valley startup culture. (Compare with Peter Thiel’s recent speech in which he declared “skepticism that Silicon Valley is building a better world for all”).

This is your life in Silicon Valley.

Imagine if we could design the ads shown to us.

On “centaur warfare,” with robot-enabled soldiers: one key idea here is that humans will be present.. “use the tactical ingenuity of the computer to improve the strategic ingenuity of the human.”

In this “top 10 smart alternatives to TED Talks,” I’m happy to see that my Gel conference is listed as #7. (All our videos from this year’s event are posted here.)

My list of “techie to-do lists” and why I’m horribly biased to think that my own product, Good Todo, is superior.

• Speaking of which, Robert Sharp writes: “Not a day goes by when I don’t wish that everyone had read Mark Hurst’s Bit Literacy.” (Here’s the Kindle version of Bit Literacy.)