Opinion

  • The learned helplessness of Equifax

    The learned helplessness of Equifax

    Is there a formal name for the fallacy of assuming that the status quo is sane? Such a name would become more useful with each passing year. There are a shocking number of examples, but I give you, as a perfect, vivid, front-of-mind example, the credit rating system of the United States of America, as exemplified by that radioactive disaster of a company called Equifax. It is well understood… Read More

  • Tim O’Reilly thinks focusing less on shareholders just might save the world

    Tim O’Reilly thinks focusing less on shareholders just might save the world

    There’s no shortage of angst in Silicon Valley. Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and author of a new book, “WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us,” thinks a lot of problems could be solved if big tech would focus less on profits and more on enabling other companies to be built atop of, or in partnership, with their platforms. Read More

  • Animoji are dumb and I detest them

    Animoji are dumb and I detest them

    Apple today announced the digital equivalent of a singing telegram, a perversion of the emoji concept that embodies the worst of both the company’s exclusionary philosophy and the worst of CG animals and excreta. Animoji are dumb and I loathe them. Here’s why. Read More

  • The iPhone lineup just got really compleX

    The iPhone lineup just got really compleX

    Steve Jobs said “Simple can be harder than complex,” so it looks like Apple is taking the easy route. Customers will now have to choose between 8 different iPhones with today’s addition of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X. That’s a tons of specs and options to compare, and we’re not even talking about color or storage size. Read More

  • Technology, complexity, anxiety, catastrophe

    Technology, complexity, anxiety, catastrophe

    You wake up. Check your phone. Something happened overnight. People are upset. The actual news is uncertain, it’s too soon for context and understanding, but it’s not too soon for everyone to quickly confirm their biases. It’s never too soon for that. You shower. Get dressed. Get ready for your job. Work emails have already begin to flood into your inbox. Some automatic… Read More

  • Real news of fake reviews

    Real news of fake reviews

    Goodhart’s Law, as phrased by Mary Strathern: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” Honored more in the breach than the observance, alas. Our algorithmic world has turned so many measures into targets, and by doing so ruined them. Let’s talk about just one example: let’s talk about books. “#1 Bestseller!” That’s a mark… Read More

  • Seven things I have learned about writing software

    Seven things I have learned about writing software

    It’s happening. Bit by bit, little by little, I’m morphing from an engineer into some kind of…manager. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still write code every day; but I find myself spending more and more time in analysis and discussion, in meetings and calls, making higher-level decisions, trying to organize teams, and worrying about strategy rather than tactics. Of course… Read More

  • An epidemic of risk and reputational hazards Crunch Network

    An epidemic of risk and reputational hazards

    Going viral is central to technology and business today, but one of its most pernicious consequences should get more attention than it does: the virally contagious nature of unethical behavior. Given the risk of viral ethics, a key question for decision-makers is how to minimize the potential for — and mitigate the effects of — the contagion of unethical behavior in their… Read More

  • Cryptowestworld

    Cryptowestworld

    Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there lived a mysterious, brilliant inventor, now lost to history, who created a kind of autonomous zone wherein the traditional rules of governments and law did not apply. It was scoffed at as escapism, but over time it drew an ever-growing crowd who used it primarily to indulge their greed and lust. A few, though, believed it could be more than an… Read More

  • Hey politicians — don’t hate the internet, hate the game Crunch Network

    Hey politicians — don’t hate the internet, hate the game

    We must ask ourselves, what aspects of the internet are intrinsic to democracy and are they divisible from those necessary for control? Freedom of speech and the right to privacy are essential to democracy and need to be preserved online. Read More

  • Video evidence is meaningless without accountability

    Video evidence is meaningless without accountability

    Some had guns and some carried sticks and shields. Some carried homemade pepper spray and mace. But one thing nearly everyone on all sides carried: a camera. There were television cameras, DSLRs, 360-cameras and, most commonly of all, simple smartphones. It was the one constant in the crowds of yesterday’s showdown between politically emboldened white nationalists and counter-protesters… Read More

  • Not even remotely possible

    Not even remotely possible

    Down with the tyranny of geography. Down with commuting, “the daily activity most injurious to human happiness.” Down with allegedly “collaborative” open floor plans built such that “high-level executives […] are exempt from this collaborative environment.” Up with more time, greater flexibility, and, believe it or not, higher… Read More

  • Don’t ruin streaming by turning it into cable

    Don’t ruin streaming by turning it into cable

    Technology was going to free us from cable. It’s right there in the phrase “cord cutting” — a liberation from the bonds of traditional television. This is supposed to be the era of on-demand entertainment, when we don’t have to subscribe to some bloated cable package in order to get the content we want. But the golden age of television has yet to meet its… Read More

  • A smartwatch won’t fix what’s broken with Fitbit

    A smartwatch won’t fix what’s broken with Fitbit

    Fitbit’s Q2 earnings could have been worse. Unlike Q4 of last year, the company didn’t use the opportunity to announce that it would be laying off six percent of its staff. Still, things are bad. As we pointed out earlier in the week, the company’s stock price is little more than 10 percent of its 2015 high. Read More

  • Beyond the boring blockchain bubble

    Beyond the boring blockchain bubble

    The silly season continues. Speculators are piling into the cryptocurrency space in the hopes of–sometimes very literally–making money fast. As I write this Ethereum’s value has halved since June but is still 20x since January. Litecoin is up 12x since then. Even Bitcoin has tripled, again. It seems like everyone now has an opinion on, and a position in… Read More

  • INNOVATE 2017 | Tristin Harris
    Crunch Network

    The ‘attention economy’ created by Silicon Valley is bankrupting us

    “The attention economy” is shaping everything about contemporary life, according to Google’s former design ethicist, Tristan Harris. That economy has brought us Donald Trump by bankrupting our intelligence and exploiting our “lower-level vulnerabilities.” Read More

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