Opinion

  • 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

  • Data can only get you so far before your human ingenuity needs to kick in

    Data can only get you so far before your human ingenuity needs to kick in

    Tony La Russa is a member of the MLB Hall of Fame as a manager. The man helped introduce video study and analytics to the game of baseball when he was manager of the great Oakland A’s teams in the late 1980s and 1990s. He understands the value of data, but he also gets that data only gets you so far before humans have to adjust to the situation in front of them. 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

  • 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

  • Forget the Alexa-powered toasters at CES, these innovations will really shape 2018 Crunch Network

    Forget the Alexa-powered toasters at CES, these innovations will really shape 2018

    This year, as CES rolls out troves of new Alexa-enabled toasters, mirrors and even shower heads, the gathering has become just another symbol of Silicon Valley’s disconnect with the needs of everyday people. 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

  • Facebook’s ‘comment a memory’ meme should replace ‘HBD!’

    Facebook’s ‘comment a memory’ meme should replace ‘HBD!’

    I find it truly sad the way Facebook has led us to reduce wishing friends a happy birthday to a meaningless, generic chore. It’s not Facebook’s fault. It gives us an open-ended comment box. But our laziness and sense of social obligation unfurl as a pile of “Happy Birthday!” or even “HBD!” wall posts. 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

  • The Last Jedi should be the last Star Wars film

    The Last Jedi should be the last Star Wars film

    At the risk of being ostracized by the vast majority of my TC teammates, let me propose that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would — in a fairer universe — be the last Star Wars film… (Spoiler alerts!) 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

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