Currently in the Inkwell


Finding Dr. Who:  John Hood and Andrew Lewin

On May 11th, a new Dr. Who series will launch featuring Ncuti Gatwa as the Doctor and Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, his latest companion. The WELL is hosting a discussion of the series that anyone online can read, as well as an internal “Whovians” conference for WELL members. Follow the public conversation as we talk about all things Who – past, present and future.

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If  you have a comment or question, send via email to inkwell at

To read all previous Inkwell interviews, go Here.


Recently in the Inkwell


Susannah Fox: Rebel Health, beginning April 18,  2024                                                    

Health and technology strategist Susannah Fox joins Inkwell to discuss her new book, Rebel Health: A Field Guide to the Patient-Led Revolution in Medical Care.  The book describes the emerging patient-led healthcare revolution leveraging Internet and other technologies and communities of patients with similar conditions.

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Don Armstrong: The Life and Writings of Ralph J. Gleason,  March 13 – April 6,  2024          

Author Don Armstrong discusses his book, The Life and Writings of Ralph J. Gleason, which tells Gleason’s story as the son of a horseplayer who became America’s leading pop music critic, founding editor of Rolling Stone magazine, and cofounder of the Monterey Jazz Festival. A pioneering jazz and rock critic, he helped the San Francisco Chronicle transition into the rock era.​

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The State of the News,  January 30 – February 12, 2024    with veteran journalists and journalism educators John Schwartz and Paula Span.

A former longtime reporter for The Washington Post, since 2009 Paula Span has been writing the “New Old Age” column for The New York Times. The essays she wrote for another Times column, “Generation Grandparent,” have been adapted into an audio book titled “The Bubbe Diaries” in 2021, and is now working on a book about octogenarians. Paula is a longtime adjunct faculty member of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

John Schwartz recently traded in his 30+-year reporting career for being a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also associate director of U.T.’s Global Sustainability Leadership Institute. John covered science, technology and climate for 21 years at The New York Times, following stints as a business reporter/senior business editor for Newsweek Magazine and a science reporter for The Washington Post. His books include “Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality,” and “This Is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order.”

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The State of the World 2024,  January 1 – 16

Once again Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky discuss the State of the World, along with other contributors from within the WELL community. It’s 2024, confusion and chaos reign – can we make sense of it?

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Previously in the Inkwell:

December 5 – 18, 2023,  A History of the Transgender Internet

Inkwell welcomes author and scholar Avery Dame-Griff. We’ll be discussing his book, _The Two Revolutions: A History of the Transgender Internet_. Through extensive archival research and media archeology,  Dame-Griff reconstructs the manifold digital networks of transgender activists, cross-dressing computer hobbyists, and others interested in gender nonconformity who incited the second revolution of the title: the ascendance of “transgender” as an umbrella identity in the mid-1990s.

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November 7 – 21, 2023,  The Fediverse and the Indieweb

Inkwell hosts a panel of experts explaining and discussing the Fediverse and the IndieWeb (independent web) movement. The two are related in that they both present decentralized alternatives to centralized corporate platforms such as Facebook, wherein a corporation takes ownership of user data and presentation.

As Cory Doctorow says, corporate platforms like Facebook and X have business models that are based on holding users hostage and leveraging their attention and their data for profit. IndieWeb and the Fediverse present an alternative that allows users and independent administrators independence: ownership of their own data and more control over how it’s shared. These approaches don’t exploit the value of user attention.

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October 15 – November 4, 2023,    Ben Shapiro – The Drum Also Waltzes, 

Inkwell welcomes Ben Shapiro, a documentary maker working in film and television,radio and podcasts. He’s worked in radio for over 30 years, and has
worked as a documentary cinematographer, producer, and director. His films have screened at SXSW, Lincoln Center, MOMA, as a panelist at the Sundance Film Festival, and in international theatrical release and broadcast. He co-directed his latest film, “Max Roach – The Drum Also Waltzes,” with Sam Pollard.

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October 9 – 24, 2023, Tales From The Golden Road,

Inkwell welcomes Gary Lambert and David Gans, cohosts of TALES FROM THE GOLDEN ROAD (, a weekly talk show on SiriusXM’s Grateful Dead Channel. Both are musicians and fans of the Grateful Dead who have made lives for themselves doing what they love most. Since 2008 they have served as cohosts of TALES FROM THE GOLDEN ROAD; and over the last three years they cohosted DEAD AIR, a series of interviews broadcast on between sets of Dead & Company shows. They join Inkwell on the WELL to discuss their experiences as musicians who are megafans of the Grateful Dead experience.

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September 19 – October 2, 2023

Author W. James Au discusses his new book,  _Making a Metaverse That Matters: From Snow Crash & Second Life to A Virtual World Worth Fighting For_. In the book he writes with authority about the history of the metaverse concept and the reality vs the hype re: virtual worlds. He’s also written about digital culture, especially the metaverse, for many years. He’s been a freelance reporter, a metaverse consultant, a game developer, and a screenwriter.  He was also a white-suited avatar named “Hamlet Au,” the first embedded journalist in a virtual world, Second Life, beginning in 2003.

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Visit the rest of the topics: g inkwell.vue

The books and commentary we’ve spotlighted over the years run the gamut from timely political commentary, to noteworthy blogs, to gardening and cooking books, to parenting issues, to the social implications of new technologies. We’ve delved into the evolution of online culture and communications technologies, and we’ve explored improvisational and collaborative branches of music history. Who can say what we’ll talk about next?

Previous Discussions

The State of the World 2023

The State of the World 2022
The State of the World 2021     

The State of the World 2020
The State of the World 2019
The State of the World 2018
Virginia Eubanks: Automating Inequality
Roger McNamee: Brain Hacking For Dummies
Ellen Ullman: Life in Code
Julie Rehmeyer: Through the Shadowlands

Hosted by: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl), Emily Gertz (emilyg), and David Gans (tnf)                         Host emerita: Julie Sherman <julieswn>