Cautiously Optimistic

Welcome to the personal blog of David Sasaki where I test out new ideas, practice my writing, and participate in the frequently chaotic conversation that is the social web. I still believe in blogging, I still love to receive comments, and a meaningful discussion will still make my day.

About My Work

Best Of

I’ve been writing here for over a decade now. In hindsight, only a handful of those posts are still worth reading. Find them  — and many more  — on the archives page.

Still Worth Reading


Every craftsman works toward fluency with his tools. Here’s a collection of tools that go into making this website.

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Latest Posts

Why Media? Part II: Journalism As a Service

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are two of the wealthiest individuals on the planet, and they have each pledged to give away the majority of their fortunes to alleviate poverty. Here’s a lesser known commonality: they both worked as paperboys.

Why Media? Part I: Broccoli Milkshakes

What’s important is not always interesting and what’s interesting is not always important. How do we turn the broccoli of news into mouth-watering milkshakes so that it can compete for our fragmented attention that is naturally drawn to dramatic series like House of Cards, or the latest updates about sports, technology and celebrity gossip?

Optimism and Abundance

When I worked at Open Society Foundations, we had a focus on defending rights, which derived from a worldview that assumes there are large institutions (mostly corporations and governments) that encroach upon our individual freedoms and our ability to live a...

The Clean Slate

There is an allure to the clean slate, to starting over and re-inventing oneself. Forming new habits and routines that nudge us to become a more idealized version of ourself. I have been in Seattle for a week now, and this is the question I am asking myself: Who am I...

To Live With Meaning and Without Indecision

I get the feeling that a lot of us, privileged Americans, as we enter our early 30s, have to find a way to put away childish things and confront stuff about spirituality and values. David Foster Wallace Somewhere in the digital ether I’m sure an NSA surveillance...

On Moving to Seattle and the Gates Foundation

After nearly four years of living in Mexico City and working on issues related to open government, first at Open Society Foundations and then at Omidyar Network, Iris and I are in the process of moving to Seattle where I have taken a job with the Gates Foundation to...


I speak frequently about the social implications of technology and new media, especially as they relate to governance, journalism, and human rights. Please be in touch via the contact page if you would like me to speak at an event.
Past and Present Talks


The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

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