2017-12-17 2 min read


Hey everyone - I’m Drew Austin, taking over for Spencer this week. I write about cities and technology in my weekly newsletter, Kneeling Bus; occasionally at greater length on my blog, Kneeling Bus; and today, here. I'm based in NYC and am currently taking a sabbatical after five years on Uber's operations team.

I frequently compare cities to the internet, especially in their recent evolution. Cities have always functioned as the physical engines of human culture and civilization, while a digital layer has emerged more recently, on top of all the others, that intensifies many of the forces already at work in urban settings and often competes with them. Someday sooner than we think, if we haven’t already, we might forget that the two were ever distinct.

As software continues to eat the world (to quote Marc Andreessen), we must refrain from the naive hope that code alone will fix every chronic urban problem, even though it has fixed many quite well. Anyone who rides the New York subway or pays for housing in San Francisco knows that those systems have issues that would benefit from better “hardware” more than just better software (and sometimes the software makes things worse). So let’s work on the hardware too, wherever we find it.



Enclosure of the Internet.

Artificial Intelligence.


Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared.

Love, Drew.

p.s. - If you liked this installment (or even if you didn't) and want to chat further, send me a note. I'd love to grab coffee.
p.p.s - Whenever possible, we work to encourage inclusivity. Here's how.

Spencer Wright
Spencer Wright
Spencer Wright is the (mostly accidental) founder of Scope of Work, which he started writing (as The Prepared) in 2013. Today he serves as its editor-in-chief and chief dilettante.
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