A reflection and homage to The Billion User Table by @jonstokes of 1729.

The COVID pandemic has forced us all indoors and online. We work, learn, live and play in virtual spaces and digital communities. We spend time with friends via screens and explore fictional worlds on dynamic new meta-worlds. Video games have become so much more than play, with players hanging in v-lobbies and pumping billions into the latest skins and avatar mods. Crypto-backed digital artworks — such as BEEPLE’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days — has given rise to a blossoming and mainstreaming of digital assets. We are…

Q1 2021 (In Two Acts)

Photo by Kamesh Vedula on Unsplash

Act I

If you (like me) are wondering WTF is going on right now, and have been asking yourself why things feel so deeply strange with regards to information and communication, here’s an extended quarterly riff (along with a few musings on Clubhouse; the latest social rage to go as viral as #Covid).

Don’t worry, I’ll tayk on NFTs in Q2.

The Evolution of Logos

Crazy to think that somewhere on earth a hundred thousand years ago, words emerged and started flowing from the mouths of naked apes. Our ancient ancestors did indeed create language — lowercase logos. And while we still had to eat and…

I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?

I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.


A Steward’s Guide & 2020 Postmortem

Well then…what a year! As we collectively pump the breaks and bring 2020 to a close (or perhaps say good riddance), it’s safe to say this past year was in one sense predictable and in another utterly unfathomable. Since being announced at the World Economic Forum in January, the Internet of Education (IoE)— a global network and vision to connect all humans on earth to education and economic opportunity — has been codified into a global meme and movement. Simultaneously, a novel virus swept the earth, destabilizing much of the institutional and social fabric of our species. …

A Troubling Tribute to the Punks & Poets of Academia

I imagine most will see a man in a red dress with blue hair and immediately bypass the above video, but for those willing to invest 20 minutes of their time, this performance is an important backdrop for what follows. See lyrics here.

Photo by George Kourounis on Unsplash

Build or Brace

It was just a few years ago that I assumed nothing more than a Masked Panic, but it’s clear now that the decline of higher education is inseparable from the crippling political discourse within and around it. As many have pointed out (from Weinstein to Weiss; Galloway to Haidt), this phenomenon is far from recent or…

Stage 4: Slope of Sanity & Stability

Well here we are nearing the end of 2020 and I think it’s fair to say a few ears have perked up to the idea that distributed systems might just offer something useful to society. The American Council on Education (ACE) and the Department of Education Office of Educational Technology (OET) have recently closed submissions for the Blockchain Innovation Challenge, and the range/quality of submissions (given what I was exposed to) was truly astounding. The commitment, both in vision and resources, across a burgeoning network of institutions and agencies has been nothing short of inspiring amid the most challenging of…

Photo by Dan Schiumarini on Unsplash


What follows is a quarterly email that typically only goes to my small but rowdy subscriber list (feel free to join here), but I thought it an important enough message to pipe it out through the infinite intertubes. Enjoy!

Hope everyone is doing well during this back, but not really back, but sort of back to school season.

Just sharing a quick quarterly take in the hopes of countering some of the quackery and polarization we’re all living through these days. On the eve of a rather frightening and momentous election, let’s not forget which side we’re really on…

A Short Story About Agency & the Future of Data

June 1, 2020 | Taylor Kendal

Photo by Rafał Rudol on Unsplash

The average person checks their phone 150 times per day…in the US alone, that’s about 45 billion data points being provided, BY YOU, FOR FREE, to a small handful of companies (and by extension, advertisers) every day. This is asymmetric warfare at scale; the stakes of which we’ve yet to fully comprehend.

Even if each data point (each like, swipe, or retweet) were only worth $.01, that’s still $450 million worth of data we as Americans willingly part with every single day. …

How Digital Trust will Change the World

We Have Liftoff

May 5, 2020 marked the official launch of the Trust Over IP Foundation, a new Linux Foundation project aimed at:

defining a complete architecture for Internet-scale digital trust that combines both cryptographic trust at the machine layer and human trust at the business, legal, and social layers.

And while this launch may only mark the beginning of the work to be done, it represents a significant moment of maturity for many of the big ideas and imaginative models related to digital trust that have been evolving within groups like IIW and ID2020 for years, even decades.

So what is it…

A Community & Collective Call to Action

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

What will we choose to build? Who will we choose to become? As we all do our best to find comfort amid endless uncertainty, many of us are left with existential questions of purpose and what could have been. And while I feel incredibly fortunate having unlocked answers to many of these questions mere months prior to the coronavirus apex, I know there are others far less fortunate.

Paths to Purpose

In 2020, Learning Economy became much more than my next chapter and latest employer. It became a reason to wake up energized and smiling; a glowing light among emergent difficulty and darkness…

Taylor Kendal

Edu • Web3 • Culture • Travel • Identity → #BUIDL a rational mental map one neural node at a time. // Systems thinker; work in progress; thoughts derivative.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store