Jon Evans

Jon Evans

Jon Evans is a novelist, journalist, and software engineer. His novels have been published around the world, translated into several languages, and praised by The Times, The Economist, and the Washington Post. His journalism has appeared in Wired, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, and The Times of India, and he writes a weekly column for TechCrunch. Jon also has a degree in electrical engineering and a decade of experience as a software developer, building everything from smartphone apps to billion-dollar asset-allocation services.

The Latest from Jon Evans

Away with them

Every so often a story comes along which is unremarkable on its face but erupts into wider attention because it seems to represent some larger social fracture zone. And then there’s the recent s

Mass media vs. social media

In the waning years of the last millennium, at my university, one of the cause célèbres of the progressive left was a concept known as “Manufacturing Consent,” the title of a book and fi

Reasons to be climate cheerful (ish)

The International Energy Agency published its annual World Energy Outlook ten days ago. In this era of climate crisis, that outlook includes, as you would expect, stern warnings of catastrophic warmin

Bored of the coins

Something strange is afoot in the world of cryptocurrencies. For the first time since Satoshi dropped Bitcoin on us like a benevolent bomb, this painfully new, highly bizarre field has become …

The post-exponential era of AI and Moore’s Law

My MacBook Pro is three years old, and for the first time in my life, a three-year-old primary computer doesn’t feel like a crisis which must be resolved immediately. True, this is partly becaus

The surprisingly boring road to self-driving cars

At last, it is here! The truly self-driving car, no human behind the wheel! For the public! …A few hundred of them, in a closed beta, in a small corner of sun-drenched (never snow-drenched, almo

Stochastic disaster

As I write this, massive fires are erupting all over California, and massive protests are erupting all over the world. Is the former a facet of the climate crisis? Is the latter a symptom of hyperpola

Facebook isn’t free speech, it’s algorithmic amplification optimized for outrage

This week Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech in which he extolled “giving everyone a voice” and fighting “to uphold a wide a definition of freedom of expression as possible.” That s

Surfing the reverse mullet with Alexis Ohanian

For many years the allure of Silicon Valley was contingent on the ability to move here. Its ecosystem didn’t work remotely. “We see a very strong indication that where you’re located

Armenia and the technology of diaspora

It’s a tough world out there for small countries. Technology is the future, everyone knows that; but how do you claim your share of that future when you’re competing with America, China, t

The siphon and the forge

The tech industry has won at capitalism. From America to China, from Amazon to Alibaba, from Alphabet to Tencent, the most valuable and most dynamic companies in the world are technology companies. Bu

Facebook’s plan for our post-web future

Let us connect some dots. Five years ago, Facebook acquired VR pioneers Oculus for $2 billion. This week, it snapped up neural-interface pioneers CTRL-Labs for somewhere north of $500 million, and ann

Our motto: Dronepocalypse Now

Last week someone knocked out 5% of world oil production with a small swarm of drones and cruise missiles, and in doing so, inaugurated “a change in the nature of warfare globally,” to quo

Please get your digital affairs in order

I really wish I hadn’t had cause to write this piece, but it recently came to my attention, in an especially unfortunate way, that death in the modern era can have a complex and difficult techni

Would we miss the Media Lab if it were gone?

A friend and MIT grad wrote to me yesterday, “I don’t know if the Media Lab is redeemable at all.” This in the wake of the bombshell Ronan Farrow piece in the New Yorker, reporting t

3D printers on the final frontier: Made In Space is building satellites that build themselves

In a nondescript building near Moffett Field, still undistracted by any VC funding, an 80-person company named Made In Space is building tools for the next generation of satellites and space explorati

Crypto means cryptotheology

Cryptocurrencies are a religion as much as they are a technology. They almost have to be, given their adherents’ gargantuan ambition of fundamentally changing how the world works. This means the

The mainstream media have still not learned the lessons of Gamergate

This week the New York Times published a five-years-later retrospective on Gamergate and its aftereffects, which is chilling and illuminating, and you should go read it. It makes an excellent case &#8

2020 and the black-box ballot box

One of the scarier notions in the world today is the prospect of American voting machines being compromised at scale: voters thrown off rolls, votes disregarded, vote tallies edited, entire elections

We’re all doomed, 2019 edition

Every year the great and good (and bad) of the hacker/information-security world descend on Las Vegas for a week of conferences, in which many present their latest discoveries, and every year I try to
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