⚡️ Meet the Team: Lucas Gelfond
"It articulated a way forward, beyond just being stuck in angst."
Over the next few months, we’ll get to know Reboot’s core leadership team, covering what brought them to and continues to excite them about our work. Feel free to reach out to Lucas directly to learn more about Reboot or any of the topics mentioned.
Lucas Gelfond (he/him) is a writer and software engineer from Los Angeles and is one of the co-directors of the Reboot Student Fellowship. By day, he works on engineering and writer partnerships at Substack, a subscription publishing platform. His writing has appeared in VICE, Logic, Kernel,, and writes (irregular) interview series, . Check out his Twitter and personal website.
What do you work on with Reboot?
I’m in my second year of co-running the Reboot Student Fellowship. I’ve also done a bunch of other Reboot stuff at various points, like partnerships and community work with Ivan (long live the weekly #org-building meeting), along with writing for the newsletter and Kernel and editing two pieces (’s piece Take Back the Future! and Chris Painter’s Unstoppable Mechanisms) in Kernel’s first volume.
How did you get involved in Reboot? Where was your life at?
I followed Jessica on Twitter when I saw she’d done research with my intro CS professor Seny Kamara, that he presented in a talk called Crypto for the People. This was mid-COVID, and I was on leave from school and simultaneously re-engaging with tech and moving left politically, which felt particularly in tension. I picked up Wendy Liu’s Abolish Silicon Valley on my Kindle, and messaged Jessica midway through to see if she’d read it—Reboot had hosted Wendy a few months before, I was late! I think I was particularly drawn to Reboot because it articulated a way forward, beyond just being stuck in angst.
What’s been your favorite thing about being part of this community?
I think people really put theory to practice—there’s certainly lots of folks (myself included!) working in industry, but a ton of people work with tech in less traditional ways, like in organizing or policy contexts (among many others!). There’s a ton of ways of approaching tech I’d never thought of (or heard of) that Reboot exposed me to.
On a lighter note, people in Reboot are cool! It’s great obviously to chat with people about tech stuff, but I consider a ton of Reboot folks good friends, and people I go to to chat about music or books or just regular stuff that’s of interest. It’s an incredibly supportive community and it’s been a phenomenal place to meet people who are interested in thinking through issues around tech and society in novel ways.
What’s something you want to see Reboot do?
I’m really excited about the prospect of Reboot hosting more events that bring people from different spheres—i.e. academics in dialogue with activists and founders—together to get really interesting POVs on this stuff.
Share something you’ve written/created/built/made recently!
I wrote this piece for Kernel over the summer! I also post interviews on my Substackthat you should subscribe to!
What are you always recommending to people?
I just finished Lizzy Goodman’s Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011, and it was really incredible—a super thorough oral history of the scene that formed around The Strokes/Interpol/Yeah Yeah Yeahs/LCD Soundsystem type crowd that really gets to the heart of what made it so interesting.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
I am 21 but: trust yourself, take more risks, and say no more often!
Give us some microdoses!
I saw a ton of tributes to Mike Davis on Twitter, but didn’t know much about his work until reading this phenomenal profile about him in Lingua Franca, one of my favorite old little magazines. It’s an entertaining read and great crystallization of his legacy both on the contemporary left and (my hometown of!) Los Angeles.
The Outside Magazine profile about a guy who has devoted his live to skipping stones.
- , my current favorite Substack, a mix of Caleb Crain’s writing and stunning photos of birds.
Stereolab’s Dots and Loops heavily withstands the test of time.
To learn more about Reboot, freelance journalism, indie rock, or anything else in this Q&A, you can reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.