Scrutiny


Dropping Out and Cashing In: The Rise of DAOHQ

Lucas Chu and Emmet Halm, Harvard drop-outs and founders of crypto startup DAOHQ, see themselves as part of a new vanguard of anti-institutional entrepreneurs. But have they really distanced themselves from the institutions they critique?


Volume XXXIII, Issue XVII

Dear Reader, Embarrassingly, the number of late issues this semester is high enough that using an excuse as a conceit for my closeout emails is becoming a trope. Instead, I’ve chosen a fresh, guilt-free conceit inspired by the ~crypic~ theme of this issue’s scrut. That’s right: I’ve hidden a secret message in this editor's note. Happy searching. Issue XVII is anchored by a much anticipated scrut by diligent duo TMB and ITM, entitled “Dropping Out and Cashing In: The Rise of DAOHQ.” It chronicles thE story of another duo, Lucas Chu and Emmet Halm, who dropped out of Harvard to found their startup, DAOHQ, which raised $1.3 million in its pre-seed round and counts Mark Cuban among its investors. Lucas and Emmet see themselves as part of a new vanguard of particularly anti-institutional entrepreneurs — but our writers take a critical look at just how far they, and other elite college-adjacent entrepreneurs like them, have really distanced themselves from the institutions they critique. It’s a deeply-reported, Fascinating look into a hugely lucrative subculture — and as billions of dollars pour into the so-called creation of Web3, pointing out its contradictIons couldn’t have higher stakes. SWF talks to Gregory Nagy, who’s been teaching “The Ancient Greek Hero” for nearLy half a century, about Greek mythology and his literal and figurative Achilles heels. MEE and THK find out the wholeSome truth behind those “Need a Friend?” posters. AI and URR talk to psychologist Dr. Deirdre Barrett about the weirdness of dreams, and what she makes of it. YAK and JQY discover the secret to happIness with HKS professor Arthur Brooks. SND and EAG talk to a few undergraduates who are having an unconventional Harvard experience — they’re Married! KG and SM keep the Halloween spirit Flowing (even though it’s Christmas season now, obviously) by speaking to the elusive Adams witches. NDC and CJK cover Project No One Leaves, a coalition of HLS students working with local rEsidents on housing-related issues. CDM and MEW get the scoop behind the newly unVeiled portrait in Adams D-hall: an oil painting of Japanese-American Fred Komatsu, painted by alum William Shen. ACO and RR take us down to Harvard’s little-known Recycling and Surplus Center, where the University’s trash gets a secOnd chance. And BYC turns his signature closeup Lens on campus icon Remy the cat in a gorgeous photo essay accompanied by reported captions by SSL. A trio of stellar retrospections this week: NKB and MTB explore the brief, wondrous tenure of Harvard’s VarSity Mandolin Club. SCC takes a deep dive into how disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes nabbed a spot on HMS’s Board of Fellows. And HD brings to life the rise and fall of The Rag, the radical feminIst magazine you’ve never heard of. AMW and JKW deliver our only levity this week: an iMagined ghost story set in the scariest place of all: the Cabot D-hall. Finally, for this issue’s endpaper, AEP brings us a nuanced reflection on her relationship with Mormonism, and the difficulty of being caught between Family and conviction. As always, plenty of people to thank. To MH, SS, and SCS for glossy designing on top of everything else you do. To JH for podcasting prowess. To SWF for meticulous proofing and for bringing Kong to boost morale. To JGG for somehow proofing our stories before bedtime. To Daylight Savings Time, for the free hour. And to SSL for many, many preschmoozes, and for productive reflection as we prepare to pass the torch. Love, MVE & SSL


Crypto Scrut Cover

Lucas and Emmet's startup, DAOHQ, raised over $1.3 million in its pre-seed fundraising round, and counts Mark Cuban among its investors.


Volume XXXIII, Issue XVI

Dear Reader, It’s Halloween, but have no fear — the Steven Pinker scrut is finally here! We can’t wait for you to read REJC and MJH’s wonderful, hard-earned, behemoth scrut that’s been a long (long, long) time coming. In the rest of our frightfully good issue, CRR and MW cover the reopening of Cambridge Queen’s Head pub. JKL and JL report on the new technology the Museum of Comparative Zoology is using to catalog the seven million insects in its collection. YK and TCW visit the Houghton Library’s collection of death masks, which are just as creepy as they sound, and examine the spiritualism of William James. SSG and JGY interview Kim Smith, the woman we have to thank for the re-opening of Barker Cafe. VAK talks to public historian Hannah Scruggs, who researches the enslaved and free Black communities of central Virginia. SSI chats with SSJ about STS. KLM and JKW chronicle a series of inter-House pranks in the early 2000s, which included 250 dead goldfish, dhall restrictions, and a gong. JQY takes us back to a Harvard tradition that was unfortunately abolished for “reasons of liability” — racing down the Charles in makeshift rafts. RHDN explores roller skating, refugee legacy, and transcending the boundaries between self and family in his poignant endpaper. AHL pushes back on the fetishization of female pain after Spotify recommended her the “sad girl starter pack” playlist one too many times. CM writes a love letter to a sexy redhead. Of course, we couldn’t have done it without help from our supernaturally talented staff. HRTW proofed Pinker not one, not two, but three times. SCS drew Pinker not one, not two, but three times. JH and MH kept up the morale at 10:30 maestro, and SS kept up the Derek Bok Choy bit. JGG brought me cookies while I lay supine on the FM couch on Thursday night, editing the scrut. MVE brought me another cookie while I sat hunched over my laptop at Sunday brunch, still editing the scrut. SOMEONE AT CRIMWEEN stole the can of Campbell’s tomato soup that accompanied my Andy Warhol costume, and I was quite peeved. >:( But alas. Have a happy Halloween, and even happier reading! Yours, SSL & MVE


The Fires Underneath Pforzheimer House

We set out to uncover and understand the system that keeps Harvard running — from heating and cooling to electricity. A deeply complex system emerged — one at once modern and old-fashioned — and one that will have to change as climate change accelerates.


Volume XXXIII, Issue XV

Dear FM, I know, I know. Another Friday issue. But hey, the best things happen late — at least, TAS would say so. That’s Taylor Alison Swift, of course. Issue XV is here both after midnight and after Midnights, but she’s here! First up, IYG and GRW take a deep dive into the labyrinth that is Harvard’s energy system. What does it take to heat, cool, and power Harvard’s over 600 buildings? Short answer: a lot. Long answer: at peak demand, around 40MW, or enough to power 40,000 houses. From a tour of the boiler room under Cabot House, to the Blackstone Steam Plant, to the futuristic SEC, our intrepid writers pull the veil back on the complex infrastructure that makes life at this University possible. In the process, they also critically examine how that infrastructure will have to change if Harvard is to meet its ambitious goal of being fossil fuel-free by 2050. Harvard bills itself as a climate leader — but is it doing enough to reach its own goals? Read the scrut to find out! And congratulate the writers on pulling off a difficult reporting project with grit and poise — as TAS sings on the first track: “[You] been under scrutiny / You handled it beautifully.” For this week’s 15Q, the indefatigable IYG spoke with Pfoho Dean Anne Harrington, a mastermind of the history of mental health, the Quad, and her favorite ice cream spots. MTB and AEP talk animal rights with Earthling Ed, a vegan YouTuber who’s helping teach an Expos class on animal rights. THK chats with Christopher Nowinski, a Harvard football player-turned concussion prevention advocate. When he watched quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffer a head injury last month, he was left with a question…? and took to Twitter to take the NFL to account. RR and RK turn the spotlight on a band of campus anti-heroes: the four piano tuners who comprise Harvard’s Piano Technical Services. ACD takes us along for a 35 mile bike tour of Cambridge’s watershed — which, after this summer’s drought, is in desperate need of some midnight rain. MEE and CJK pop on over the 50-year-old Bryn Mawr Bookstore, a gem whose interior looks like every Hist-Lit concentrator’s dream. Seriously, even the photos will have you in a lavender haze. In this week’s iteration of FM’s tree beat, ALC and TCW write about a 110-year-old witness tree in the Harvard Forest with over 10,000 followers on Twitter. Through data and sensors, it’s bearing witness to climate change — which doesn’t mean snow on the beach, but rather catastrophic, even existential threats for much of the world. MHSH inquires into Harvard’s cultural stigma around Colleen Hoover novels — are they a whole lot of sweet nothing? — and finds that misogyny might be to blame. EJS brings us a moving and relatable inquiry about how Harvard’s productivity culture precludes mediocrity and the joy there is to be found in hobbies — and how he’s pushing back, because, you know, karma. When SWF found a mouse in her room, Harvard’s unhelpful “Mice FAQ” document essentially told her: you’re on your own, kid. So she wrote a levity about it. When the recession hit in 2008, Harvard had to make some budget cuts — and decided to leave students marooned without hot breakfast in the dining halls. EJJ and ESKS imagine what the University could have cut instead of the most important meal of the day. Finally, TCK closes our issue with a lovely endpaper about finding a home at Harvard after transferring here sophomore year, a process which culminated in doing river run as a senior. I mean, vigilante shit. As always, thanks to SS, SCS, MH, and JH, for visual virtuosity. To BWF for scrut-proofing and morale-boosting. To JGG for hanging in there. To RCU for let’s get coffee. No thanks to Bejeweled, for having a title I couldn’t fit into the conceit. And to SSL for glossy efficiency, stellar scrut comments, and Barker cafe run-ins! Read Issue 15! <3, MVE & SSL


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