Shower thoughts 🚿
20 Years after 9/11, surveillance has become a way of life.
Two decades after 9/11, many simple acts that were once taken for granted now seem unfathomable: strolling with loved ones to the gate of their flight, meandering through a corporate plaza, using streets near government buildings. Our metropolises’ commons are now enclosed with steel and surveillance. Amid the perpetual pandemic of the past year and a half, cities have become even more walled off. With each new barrier erected, more of the city’s defining feature erodes: the freedom to move and wander. It’s harder to get lost amid constant tracking. It’s also harder to freely gather when the public spaces between home and work are stripped away. Known as third places, they are the connective tissue that stitches together the fabric of modern communities: the public park where teens can skateboard next to grandparents playing chess, the library where children can learn to read and unhoused individuals can find a digital lifeline. When third places vanish, as they have since the attacks, communities can falter.
It’s like “Big Brother” (the TV show), but for young tech founders: What could possibly go wrong?
The people here are young and friendly and full of hope. And why shouldn’t they be? For one month, they get to live in a mansion in Beverly Hills (Zillow estimate: $12.9 million). This mansion is the home of Launch House, which is both an incubator for startup founders and a social club of more than 500 20- and 30-somethings, many of whom are into crypto. There are two ways to join Launch House: One is to pay the $1,000 annual membership fee, which grants you perks like entrance to the group Discord channel, access to work at the mansion or the New York City location, and invitations to events — an NFT brunch, say, or a boat party during Miami Tech Month. The other is to pay $3,000 to join a month-long “cohort,” in which you and around two dozen other young tech founders live and work together at the mansion.