Hey people. It is Lauren Goode here, replacing Steven Levy – whom I last heard about was foiling in Lake Tahoe while researching his next book, not yet announced. I write from my perch in Silicon Valley, amid the smoke from the devastating fires in northern California. We are also in the midst of a loaded gubernatorial recall election here, and are waiting to see what reopening schools means for this crucial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. What is that? Sorry, my editor tells me that I’m supposed to keep the terrible stuff for the “End Times” section of this newsletter. Don’t worry: despite all of this, surely someone in Silicon Valley is building the next big tech company.