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.

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  • Fake news is not the real problem

    Fake news is not the real problem

    It’s the Internet’s fault, we’re told. Brexiters and Remainers, Republicans and Democrats — every side of every political dispute now lives in its own separate reality, bellowing “fake news!” at every attempt to breach their borders of belief. The fragmentation of the media, coupled with the filter-bubble effect and the dominance of Facebook and Google… Read More

  • The Falcon Heavy backlash and the public trust

    The Falcon Heavy backlash and the public trust

    I watched the Falcon Heavy launch this week. Not as an accredited journalist, from an observation tower, but as one of the masses on Alan Shepard Beach twelve miles south. Watched it arc across the sky; watched the two boosters return safely to the landing pads like a video game; heard the sonic booms. And then, over the next few days, I watched the opprobrium rain down: the clearest sign… Read More

  • Here comes the sun

    Here comes the sun

    Let’s talk about the side effects of the creeping apotheosis of solar power. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’re a ways away yet — but we’re definitely heading in that direction. “Renewables are about to become our cheapest form of energy,” Wired UK observes. “We expect $7.4 trillion to be invested in new renewable energy plants by 2040 – 72%… Read More

  • The insight-industrial complex

    The insight-industrial complex

    I don’t like tech conferences. I mean, of course I don’t, they’re not meant for people like me. I’m an introvert, so I find them exhausting, and am (presumably) less likely than an extrovert to meet interesting or contributory people. I read much faster than people talk, so they’re not a good way for me to learn things. But there’s more to my dislike… Read More

  • Sex, the final frontier: Cindy Gallop raises $2M from mysterious investor for social sex tech

    Sex, the final frontier: Cindy Gallop raises $2M from mysterious investor for social sex tech

    “Everything’s a battle,” Cindy Gallop sighs, although it’s clear she relishes those battles. What she means is that the entire Internet has long been divided into two separate, walled fiefdoms: one labelled “pornography,” the other marked with those three dread words “no adult content.” The territory between those two worlds, which she is trying… Read More

  • A modest primer for Ethereum programming Crunch Network

    A modest primer for Ethereum programming

    The world is full of web programmers, but there’s a real paucity of cryptocurrency developers, and the chasm between the two fields is hard to cross. So I thought I’d take what I’d learned from architecting and building out our own Ethereum-based projects, and turn it into an open-sourced tutorial for web devs, in the hopes of encouraging a little more actual development… Read More

  • Everyone hates us, and it’s not because of our sex parties

    Everyone hates us, and it’s not because of our sex parties

    It was, briefly, the zeitgeist’s perfect Silicon Valley story: a sex-and-drugs party hosted hosted by since-ousted top-tier VC Steve Jurvetson, at an official Draper Fisher Jurvetson event,attended by multiple billionaires including Elon Musk. So said Paul Biggar, founder of CircleCI, in a widely read Medium post, expanding on Vanity Fair’s excerpt of Emily Chang’s new… Read More

  • The cryptocurrency bubble is strangling innovation

    The cryptocurrency bubble is strangling innovation

    Sure, fine, maybe it’s a bubble. OK it’s definitely a bubble, but that’s a good thing, a bubble brings attention and investment in infrastructure, which breeds real innovation. Right? Look at the dot-com boom. A lot of people lost a whole lot of paper money, but it brought us a cheap worldwide fiber backbone and companies like Amazon and Google. Today’s crypto bubble… Read More

  • It’s the Jons 2017!

    It’s the Jons 2017!

    Happy New Year! It’s been a transformational year in tech. The golden era of startups ended. Sorry about that. The tech industry finally rolled over a big rock it had ignored and/or leaned on for years, and exposed the squirming morass of sexual harassment beneath. We witnessed major AI breakthroughs, a cryptocurrency megaboom, really truly self-driving cars, and 18 SpaceX launches. But… Read More

  • Ted Chiang is a genius, but he’s wrong about Silicon Valley

    Ted Chiang is a genius, but he’s wrong about Silicon Valley

    Ted Chiang isn’t just one of the greatest science-fiction writers alive — he’s one of the greatest writers alive full stop. Which is why I was so saddened and disappointed by his recent excoriation of Silicon Valley in BuzzFeed. As the tech industry grows ever more powerful, we need brilliant minds critiquing and dissecting its many flaws. Instead we got a trenchant takedown of… Read More

  • ICO-lateral damage

    ICO-lateral damage

    The ICO regulators are here, and they’re carrying big sticks. (PDF) “Coins or other digital assets issued on a blockchain may be securities under the federal securities laws… tokens were securities as defined by Section 2(a)(1) of the Securities Act because they were investment contracts … An investment contract is an investment of money in a common enterprise with… Read More

  • The Flying Eye and you and I

    The Flying Eye and you and I

    It’s refreshing, in this difficult time, when technology and the tech industry seem trapped in a quicksand of endless ethical compromises and disconcerting emergent properties, to come across something tech-related of which one can say, awed, without complications or caveats: holy shit this is amazing. Which happened to me today! Let me share it with you. The Flying Eye Hospital… Read More

  • Metascarcity and Bitcoin’s future

    Metascarcity and Bitcoin’s future

    The problem with writing about Bitcoin is that the subject has become so emotional. The very name inspires triumph, greed, resentment, or fury. Triumph from those handful of hodlers (yes, really) who are watching the destiny they long foretold actually come true before their eyes. Greed from those hundreds of thousands of newbies who just bought in. Those two groups are, of course, bitcoin… Read More

  • In praise of Tesla’s bankruptcy

    In praise of Tesla’s bankruptcy

    You know everybody loves Tesla-the-company. But did you know that a whole lot of smart people hate Tesla-the-business? “From a return-on-investment-capital standpoint, Tesla is a catastrophe.” “The electric-car maker has been burning money at a clip of about $8,000 a minute (or $480,000 an hour.)” “Tesla is losing a massive amount of money with no competition, and… Read More

  • Cultural accumulation vs. cultural decay

    Cultural accumulation vs. cultural decay

    Don’t worry; I’m not getting all moralistic on you here. When I talk about cultural decay I’m talking about something I think we need more of. We have too much culture to have a culture, you see, and that’s basically all tech’s fault — but it’s not necessarily a problem. No, stop, wait, listen, I can explain. Have you noticed that it’s a whole… Read More

  • Arab springs and AI winters

    Arab springs and AI winters

    Remember the Arab Spring? “Revolution 2.0”? Remember how we imagined, full of triumphal optimism, that social media would become the web that knit the oppressed masses together, would empower them to join forces and overthrow their oppressors and stride shoulder-to-shoulder together into a better world? Yeah, those were the days. But now — “disillusioned”… Read More

  • Hillary Clinton and epistemological collapse

    Hillary Clinton and epistemological collapse

    How do you know that Hillary Clinton exists? I’m serious; or, at least, I’m making a point. Bear with me. Think about it. You don’t know her personally, after all. You’ve never met her. You’ve maybe been in the same room as a woman who was introduced to you as her – but probably not. So how do you know there truly is a real person named Hillary Clinton… Read More

  • Ether fever dreams

    Ether fever dreams

    “The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Everybody wants to believe they’re bettering the world, and what’s more, that they’re on the brink of a revolutionary transformation. Read More

  • After the end of the startup era

    After the end of the startup era

    There’s a weird feeling afoot these days, in the Valley, and in San Francisco. Across the rest of the world — Denver, Santiago, Toronto, Berlin, “Silicon Glen,” “Silicon Alley,” “Silicon Roundabout“, Station F — it seems every city still wants to be a startup hub, dreaming of becoming “the new Silicon Valley.” But in the… Read More

  • Self-driving cars and shipping containers

    Self-driving cars and shipping containers

    The most wonderful and most terrible things about new technologies are their emergent properties. The latest example is, of course, Fake News On Facebook; who would have thought that connecting everyone via social media would lead to wildly divergent narratives of (so-called) reality? And yet here we are. But if you think social media is messy and weird … just wait until we get… Read More

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