Are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) signaling the rise of a new internet? What opportunities will the new internet afford us? If we are waving goodbye to Web-2.0 (and even if we aren’t) here are some lessons from the previous 20 years of networked computers, which have delivered profound teachings on value and currency.

Social currency is the most influential medium of exchange to reach critical mass in the 21st century. It is reputation at scale. Folks who grew up in households that encouraged regular haircuts, ironed shirts, and firm handshakes with eye contact are familiar with reputation (and how surface-level it…

“The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.” — George Orwell.

NFTs, an advent of blockchain technology, have erupted from a tiny corner of the internet into a cultural phenomenon worthy of a skit on Saturday Night Live. This article does not explain blockchain technology nor NFTs. …

As two of the most famous elderly men in the world stood on stage last night demeaning and insulting one another for 90 minutes, the 2020 US presidential election season moved into its stretch run. The next five weeks will feature some of the most extreme, polarizing, and enraged comments we have heard since the fall of 2016.

But why is it that Republicans and Democrats (in living rooms around the country and in elected offices in Washington D.C.) seem to make no advancement in their moral understanding of one another? Surprisingly, there is an answer to this question. …

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

A couple of weeks ago a friend texted our group chat: “Guys, I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to learn about politics.”

His message garnered swift feedback. A few handclaps. A Joe Biden meme.

Later in the morning, though, I asked myself, “Where is he going to start?”

I sent him a video detailing some basic economic principles, but a few days later I realized an even better starting point: The United States Budget.

Barring for a moment that a pandemic has inverted the global economy, let’s — for the purpose of understanding the US budget — turn…

Photo by Josh Wilburne on Unsplash

Several years ago my sister and I were walking the streets of Manhattan on a Friday evening in the early summer. Taxis swarmed each block with horns and screeching brake pads. Like a choreographed dance, a cycle of opening and closing doors produced and received fashionably clad men and women. During those moments, a running joke was born. We surmised that if I were a taxi driver on a busy night in the city, I would somehow struggle to find riders. The hypothetical narrative ended with me driving block-by-block beeping at pedestrians even though none of them were seeking a…

Photo by Nirmal Rajendharkumar on Unsplash

The 21st century American CEO has ascended to one of the most influential positions in our culture.

He is:

  1. An eloquent speaker.
  2. A group leader.
  3. Skilled in the art of purposeful dialogue.
  4. Motivated by an underlying goal greater than himself.

The successful CEO — whether head of a 10-person company or a 1,000-person company — is both a believer and a visionary.

A Believer
He believes in his company’s mission and the greater purpose of that mission. He knows that execution drives profit, yet sees beyond the end of the quarter and the end of the year. …

By Kyle Kesses

Today I cleaned the downstairs of the house in advance of Christmas Eve guests. In the process I thought about my grandmother and then wrote a story about her.

An hour later, my parents showed up and re-cleaned some of the same areas I’d just worked on, unintentionally exposing flaws in the work I had done. I thanked them internally because it reminds me that completing tasks is a good start but it’s not a good enough finish. Quality work is a more important ethic than hard work.

My grandmother grew up during the Great Depression…

The Founding Fathers of Climate Change

By Kyle Kesses

A few weeks ago I covered an event in New York City called “Climate Emergency.” Bill McKibben was the featured speaker. It turns out that his 1989 book “The End of Nature” was one of the first public-facing documents to detail the existence and perils of climate change. Since the event I’ve begun a research journey to understand more about this topic, when it first arrived in our collective consciousness, and how it is influencing our societies.

At the core of the climate change study are two facts: 1) The earth…

By Kyle Kesses

The other day I began reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin. 230 years have passed since Franklin died, yet, incredibly, we can still relate to his values, life practices, and community development tactics.

When Franklin was born in Boston in the early 1700s, the city’s population was about 7,000, so we can begin to imagine its limited access to information. Because his older brother owned and operated a Boston-based newspaper and print shop called The New-England Courant, Franklin was a young teenager when he discovered his passion for literacy. Thanks as well to his brother’s shop…

By Kyle Kesses

Sometimes moments of clarity arrive quick and strong. They are fleeting moments in which useful concepts seem extraordinarily simple and purposeful. I write down the realization, yet when I retrieve it a later time, it often comes back lacking that clarity and purpose. Good news is, these moments of clarity have been arriving more and more frequently these days.

Here are some that have recurred:

  1. We work to make money. We save that money, accumulate wealth, and gradually buy assets that grow and expand our buying power. To varying extents, as Americans, this is the game we…

Kyle Kesses

Writer, video-maker, and voice artist. Wrote and voiced an Emmy-winning documentary series for the New York Yankees. Literate in virtual reality production.

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