We’re Damir Marusic and Shadi Hamid. We live in Washington DC and have been friends for a while. One of us works at a magazine, another thinks in a tank. In 2019, we started a podcast. In 2020, we decided to take what we’ve learned and try a different medium: a newsletter, but a deliberately odd one.
The idea behind the podcast is to try to do what we might do on Twitter—throw out ideas in the hope of getting considered push-back—but in real-time and verbally. Like we do on Twitter, we talk politics, ideas, culture, and current events. It’s “agonistic” but civil. It’s been a mentally refreshing project for both of us.
Increasingly frustrated with the toxicity of social media, we applied the same idea from the podcast back into a written medium. The result has been a series of debates and short sketches of essays ("first drafts"). So far, so good.
These efforts used to exist in two or three places on the internet. We have decided to unify them here at this website. Sign up to get notified whenever we publish something new. And if you like what you're getting, consider supporting our work.