[The Listserve] Talking to Strangers

David Karger

I'm a professor at MIT; I study how people share information online and am optimistic about better communication helping to create a better world. But paradoxically, as ever more novel communication technologies are emerging, there are serious breakdow...

[The Listserve] Get on with it and have an adventure.

Alex Michaelson

These days, life changes faster than people could possibly imagine. Think back to the start of 2011. between then and now, were you expecting half of what happened? A quarter? I certainly didn't. In that time, I've moved out of home, lost a loved one...

[The Listserve] In praise of big fish in small ponds

Keith Kahn-Harris

Dear The Listserve people   I doubt you'll recognise my name.   I'm not famous. I'll never be famous.   But I have always aspired to be 'someone', a person who made some kind of small but significant contribution to 'something' . As it happened, I...

[The Listserve] Every Vote Counts

David Filip

I think people these days, for the most part, have been tricked into believing that their vote doesn’t count. But it does – your voice counts. You need to make sure that you pay attention to what affects you directly. If you don’t vote, you’re giving up...

[The Listserve] Win win

Frank Mul

If every person who’s convinced that there’s a glorious and eternal afterlife would take a voluntary shortcut right now, many global problems that humanity is facing would be a lot easier to solve. Frank Mul frankmul@tele2.nl Amsterdam, The Netherl...

[The Listserve] A recommendation, a funny story and some advice.

Dan Plane

Hello World, 1. If you’re unfamiliar with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, please look him up. You will learn you are not only a part of the Universe, but ARE the Universe. 2. A friend recently told me this was his favourite story. I spent my 20s workin...

[The Listserve] we are a product of our own insecurities


Don’t worry, this won’t be one of those love yourself emails…although you should be doing that already. I would like introduce myself as Mr. Realist. I am not particularly religious, I just believe in things I see. I believe in capitalism and have en...

[The Listserve] TCZA

Mylissa Fitzsimmons

Today is the perfect day to eat ice cream for breakfast. Gather your family for a dance party in the kitchen. Take a road trip to the mountains for a picnic. Sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs while you air guitar naked in front of the mir...

[The Listserve] There Once Was A Man From Nantucket...

Paul Matthews

This year is the bicentenary of Edward Lear's birth. He was an author and artist, responsible for The Owl And The Pussycat and the popularisation of limericks. His nonsense inspired me to become the person that I am, so in honour of that wonderfully sil...

[The Listserve] A Few of My Favorite Things


1) Travel! I've visited London, Rome, Nairobi, BVI, Bahamas, Jamaica (7x), Tahiti, Mexico, The Yucatan Peninsula, Cayman Islands, and Paris. Living like locals, making friends & pen pals. 2) Photography! I love to photograph people, architecture, pl...

[The Listserve]

Jon Joel

Hello Everyone! Somewhere, in this crowd of 20 000 people, is someone who believes I can be an important asset to them.  I am just finishing my second year as a Nanotechnology Engineering student at the University of Waterloo, and I am looking for...

[The Listserve] Alive

Jeremy Apthorp

A close friend of mine this week had a heart attack. He's 21. By a miracle, someone was close by who administered CPR, and he's undergone cold therapy, and there appears to be no neurological damage. He's awake and lucid, though he doesn't remembe...

[The Listserve] Insight

Adam Ahlgren

When I first signed up for The Listserve some time ago I was full of skepticism, hopes and delusion. Then the projects started and I started to receive email after email; Beautiful words forming advice, tips and precautions that everyone really should t...

[The Listserve] It's okay


I thought long and hard, perhaps just long, about what to write. And of course I procrastinated to the point where I almost wondered if I'd missed my window to write to the list. You sign up, and you know intellectually that someday you'll have to write...

[The Listserve] Winner!

Shawn Van Every

Upon receiving the notification that I am the winner, I was immediately struck with, "oh no, what am I going to say or do?!?" Having squandered 47.75 of the hours I was given to come up with something, I am hoping that in 15 minutes I have left, I ca...

[The Listserve] Life is good

Gary Bennett

Let me tell you about one of the best days of my life. It was the day I received news that my visa to live permanently in Australia had been granted. When I opened the letter and read it I burst out crying. I am an Englishman and now an Australian, ...

[The Listserve] From a Student

Tim Krins

When I received the email telling me I could write a letter to 20,000 people, I smiled. The timing was hilarious. The last four days have been the most amazing in my life... but that is a different story (you can ask me about it via email if you like)....

[The Listserve] Cooking your country's cuisine

Jesse Friedman

My wife and I are cooking one meal from every United Nations member country,* in alphabetical order, as a dinner party and fundraiser. We call it United Noshes, and we document every meal and recipe on our blog. In just under a year, as I write this,...

[The Listserve] Something to do

Jake H.

Hello Listserve! I'm writing this from my hotel room in Auckland, New Zealand. First trip out of Australia and I'm loving it! Last night we dropped in to The Shakespeare for a quick beer on the walk home. Wow, What a pub! They brew their own bee...

[The Listserve] Just Do It

Phil Crumm

That idea you have? Stop putting it off. Will it be difficult? Probably. Will you want to give up? Absolutely. But don’t. You have to persevere. What about failure? Learn from it. Try again. Be smarter this time. Make new mistakes. There’s a story I ...

[The Listserve] Meta and Human Problem Solving

Dead Letter

On 10/4/2004, I had an epiphany. I taught problem solving as a high school math teacher. After the vision, I moved to Portland to get a PhD in systems science, and in two years when I finish my dissertation, I'll be traveling the country to foment a (r)...

[The Listserve] Don't be afraid


Today I wanted to tell you to have the courage of doing what you really love even if you are afraid, just do it! After 4 years of studying Medicine, just because my family told me to do it, I quit and decided to study Industrial Design. It was the caree...

[The Listserve] Open Science for a Better World

Tim McKnew

I have always tried to make the world a little better whenever faced with a decision. Now that my wife and I are waiting for a baby, I am even more motivated to do so. Here is something I want to do to make the world a lot better. Let's improve science ...

[The Listserve] [Cat] Food For Thought

Carlos Anicama

Hey everyone, Like many others, I didn't expect to be selected this early, so here's something I learned from Bruce and Sophie. Who are they, you ask? Well, they're my cats. And before you file me under "Crazy Cat Guy" I want to share a couple things...

[The Listserve] Gratitude

Xie Liju

Hi there! I'm a 22 year old Singaporean and I'm an undergraduate student studying in Perth. I signed up for Listserve for the exciting prospect of reading and learning new and beautiful things from everyone in this community. And now that it's my...

[The Listserve] Just Some Reflections


Dear Readers, The collective consciousness of society would browbeat one into thinking that most others are inferior and inherently competing for something like honor or recognition. It's a good thing that isn't true. This listserve, like the r...

[The Listserve] Often, That Problem is Mine

Cathleen Rittereiser

My favorite English professor taught me to write like Hemingway. Few words and active verbs make perfect sentences. Senior year, I had to write an essay, one conveying a sense of time and place, in the style of Joan Didion. Inspired by my respect f...

[The Listserve] Things

Emma Birdsong

1. Get a cat. 2. Never ever believe that your dreams aren't possible. 3. But don't assume you'll achieve them without working hard. 4. You are special. 5. Go ahead, say you don't like it. See how soon you start to like it after that. (My relationshi...

[The Listserve] Random beauty


Google translate is great, and I use it extensively while learning Spanish. But there's only so much it can do. There are some words of a language which remain untranslatable. Here are some of my favourites: Duende (Spanish)- On a translator, it'll s...

[The Listserve] Ganhei na loteria, e agora??

Mariana Gazulha

foi exatamente isso que eu pensei quando recebi o email avisando que eu tinha sido selecionada, o que eu vou escrever? depois de um tempo pensando, resolvi começar escrevendo sobre o tempo, não tem melhor tópico pra começar uma conversa com quem não con...