Welcome to Public Sphere

A newsletter for people interested in technology, disinformation, politics, and global democracy.

Hello friends and colleagues! I am starting Public Sphere, a weekly newsletter on global democracy. I will be doing analysis and reporting on politics, global affairs, technology, and disinformation.

I am starting this newsletter for three reasons.

First, I'm hopeful that after four years of one story dominating news coverage, there is more room to focus on different trends in the news. A goal in this newsletter is to explore some of these trends in more consistent ways beyond the original event. The coup in Myanmar or the crackdown on Russian protesters illustrates that there are tons of news events that happen outside the United States that gain coverage for a week but then leave the public consciousness. 

Second, a goal of this newsletter is to draw connections between the United States and the world. For example, the Capitol assault on Jan. 6 resembled insurrections in Moscow in 1993 or Eastern Ukraine in 2014. 

Third, I do not think social media is adequate as a thinking platform, and I am concerned about some of the dynamics. Twitter rewards being provocative, but simultaneously many people are quick to assume the worst about others, and this is not conducive to thoughtful dialogue. Some topics get magnified -- like the latest personnel issue at the New York Times -- at the expense of our attention and focus. The 280-character length of tweets is too short for analysis and reporting.

This newsletter will come out on Monday mornings — starting tomorrow — and for now it is free. I hope you like it and tell friends about it!

And if you want off, please feel free to unsubscribe. (I welcome feedback and comments at lukegjohnson@gmail.com)