What We’re Reading: Medium Day is officially one week away. You ready?

Medium Staff
Published in
4 min readAug 5, 2023


Hi everybody,

What a week it’s been for news and cultural analysis. From a special report about extreme heat and health to essays documenting the impact of the man who brought Pee-wee Herman to life to a UX-informed take on Twitter becoming X, the Medium community has served up scores of important pieces in recent days.

This level of detail and attention you all are giving to your writing this week makes me even more excited for Medium Day — our August 12 online conference where the community will discuss the hows, whys, and how-tos of the stories you read and write every day. (Did you register yet? Hope so!)

There are hundreds of sessions, and dozens have already caught my eye. There’s one hosted by writers who turned their posts into books. Another session shows how to write about trauma without re-traumatizing yourself. And some just seem fun and have chuckle-worthy titles, like this one: “Roz Warren Tells You Why Your Title Sucks, Why Your Introduction is Too Damn Long, and Why You Need to Shape and Structure Your Work.”

The schedule is easy to find and sort through, and my coworker Brittany Jezouit offers this advice as you create your schedule: “Think of this less like a traditional conference and more like a music festival. You can pick and choose your lineup based on what you’re most interested in, jump to different sessions, and choose your own adventure.”

Word nerds unite. Send me a link to your best stories or prose for this week, and see you at Medium Day. Let us know in the responses which Medium Day sessions you’re looking forward to.

Thanks for reading and thanks for writing.

Adrienne Gibbs
Director of Creator Growth @ Medium

Your Weekend Reads

To Get Rid of Hazing, Clarify Acceptable Behavior While Also Redefining Loyalty” by Catherine Sanderson, Author & Psychology Professor at Amherst College, in The Conversation

Psychologists call this condition pluralistic ignorance: A majority of people privately believe one thing but incorrectly assume that most others feel differently. Pluralistic ignorance explains why most college students feel there’s too much alcohol use on their campus but believe other students are perfectly comfortable with the amount of drinking. It explains why most college men privately find sexually aggressive behavior offensive but wrongly believe that others endorse it, and why many athletes may privately disagree with hazing but believe that their peers support it.

The Push and Pull of Building Products” by Nir Zicherman, VP of Audiobooks at Spotify and Co-Founder of Anchor, in Entrepreneur’s Handbook

People commonly believe that if a product is able to showcase value to some, it will showcase value to all and organically grow. But this is a fallacy. The needs of your potential customers are different than the wants of your existing customers. “Value” means different things to different people.

Featured in “The Push and Pull of Building Products” by Nir Zicherman

Henrietta Lacks, Subjectivity, & The Medical Exploitation of Black Women” by Quintessa Williams, writer

The HeLa, an immortalized cell line, is the oldest and most commonly used cell line in scientific studies. The extensive use of the cell line has informed what can be durable or prolific in researching vaccinations and viruses such as polio, oropouche, and cancer. The cell line is also useful in developing better techniques for staining and counting chromosomes.

Black Woman Health Assessment via white medical lens by Brian Stauffer | Photo Courtesy of The Oprah Daily, featured in “Henrietta Lacks, Subjectivity, & The Medical Exploitation of Black Women” by Quintessa Williams

Trump’s Third Indictment” by Keith, retired lawyer

In what is becoming “deja vu all over again” (and expect more) former President Donald Trump was indicted, again, yesterday under four different statutes. Notably, three of the four statutes are for conspiracy. Let’s start with those statutes.

Why Half of Humanity Lives in This Circle” by Tomas Pueyo, engineer, data analyst, and Silicon Valley executive

The collision with the continental crust of the Indo-Australian plate creates a massive mountain range, which then stops the winds, gathers their water, and distributes it in many different rivers, each of which spawned a civilization.

Where the Eurasian plates collides with oceanic crust, the oceans go below the Eurasian plate, creating arcs of volcanoes with hyperfertile soil that spawn more civilizations.

By Alasdair Rae, featured in “Why Half of Humanity Lives in This Circle” by Tomas Pueyo

What have you been reading this week? Which Medium Day sessions have caught your eye? Let us know in the responses!

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What We’re Reading” is a weekly roundup of insightful stories and perspectives from across Medium. Browse previous editions here.