Image via Praveen Seshadri, “The maze is in the mouse

What We’re Reading: Are you an upstander or a bystander?

A few Medium stories you may have missed this week

Medium Staff
The Medium Blog
Published in
4 min readFeb 24, 2023


When good — or bad — things happen at work, do you participate or do you lurk? As workplace expert and bestselling author Kim Scott writes, the upstanders among us have the power to command better outcomes. But only if we speak up. “Upstanders are essential to a culture of radical respect,” says Scott, who has written two books about bias in the workplace. “Not only do they help the targets of bias, prejudice, and bullying feel less alone and less gaslighted; they also provide clear feedback to the person who caused harm in a way that minimizes defensiveness and maximizes the odds that the offender will make amends.”

Upstanding has ramifications outside of work too. As we observe the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we’re taking a look at the year that went and the year to come. We’ve gathered some of those stories using our newly updated List feature; from here on out, once you save a list you will be notified when a list curator updates their offerings. (New to this? Learn more about lists here.)

We also invite you to participate — in the spirit of upstanding — in how Medium works. You can comment on a draft of our new distribution standards, which explain the process behind how and why your stories are pushed to more readers. We also invite you to take a deeper look at your stats. See anything new? Have you just been Boosted? If so, you can learn more about our new program designed to help your stories garner more reads.

Lurking certainly has its place in the world, but so does speaking up. That said, should you decide to “speak up” on Medium and make a cool list, leave a response to let us know! We’d love to read, share, and save it.

Thanks for being here,
Adrienne Gibbs
Director of Creator Growth @ Medium

Here’s what we’re reading this week…

Light At the End of a Dark (Literally Dark) Winter” by Anton Kutselyk, Medium curator and writer living in Kyiv, Ukraine

We have lived through a very dark year, but that doesn’t mean that we’re used to it, that we can continue to tolerate it or that we don’t have aspirations for better.

The maze is in the mouse” by Praveen Seshadri, cofounder of AppSheet (acquired by Google Cloud)

Within Google, there is a collective delusion that the company is exceptional. And as is the case in all such delusions, the deluded ones are just mortals standing on the shoulders of the truly exceptional people who went before them and created an environment of wild success.

Software Accessibility for Users with Attention Deficit Disorder” by Eva Katharina Wolf, product designer

While many people might not see the connection between software accessibility and neurodiversity, I can tell you: there are things we, as UX Designers, can do to make the life for neurodivergent people, like myself, a lot easier.

Eva Katharina Wolf’s suggested redesigns to Apple Mail

No, ASAP Rocky And Jonathan Majors Are Not Being Emasculated” by Whitney Alese, writer and podcaster

“Emasculate” is one of those words I wish more folks simply hadn’t learned. Case in point, it’s overuse in recent conversations surrounding magazine covers; specifically the covers of British Vogue, featuring Rihanna, ASAP Rocky, and their son, and Ebony Magazine, featuring Jonathan Majors.

The Strange Fate of the Business Phone Call” by Clive Thompson, author of ‘Coders’ and New York Times contributor

Workplace phone calls used to have rigid, unforgiving specs. The internet made them weirder.

Teach Your Kids to Program But Don’t Teach Them To Be Programmers” by Mark A. Herschberg, professor at MIT

Software engineering is a great job to have — today. We can see the future by looking to the past and recognizing that a good option today may not be tomorrow.

Policy Lessons From The Population Pyramid” by Daniel McIntosh, PhD., professor and international studies expert

Demography is destiny, and one either accepts it, celebrates it, or suffers the consequences. I celebrate it.

The global population pyramid with projections to 2100, Max Roser (Wikimedia Commons) via Daniel McIntosh

Why Black People Celebrate Mardi Gras The Way We Do” by Allison Wiltz, Oprah Daily writer and Editor in Chief of Cultured

After attending two Mardi Gras balls this carnival season, I realized that not many people outside of New Orleans understand the history of the carnival season or the social significance of such events for Black people. From the outside looking in, Mardi Gras is just a big egalitarian party where people can eat and drink freely and catch some good throws like beads, shoes, purses, and coconuts. Over a million people visit New Orleans each year for Fat Tuesday. But for locals, the season means so much more. Allow me to explain.

What are you reading this week? Let us know in the responses.