Opinion

  • 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

  • 18 pessimistic opinions on the next 10 years of fake news (and 5 optimistic ones)

    18 pessimistic opinions on the next 10 years of fake news (and 5 optimistic ones)

    A topic like fake news (more broadly the question of trust and verification on the internet) is a complex one. Sometimes you just have to poll the room and get a feel for what people are thinking before drawing any conclusions. That’s what Pew Internet did, contacting thousands of experts in tech, internet, and social policy and asking how they thought things would go. They were not… Read More

  • Facebook and Google competed for anti-immigration ad dollars during the 2016 election

    Facebook and Google competed for anti-immigration ad dollars during the 2016 election

    In a textbook illustration of the conflict of interest between Facebook and Google’s ostensible dedication to free speech and their ostensible espousal of progressive values, the internet giants reportedly took millions in advertising money from a major anti-immigration group at the same time as both were engaged in pro-immigration advocacy. 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

  • Extracting bias at TechCrunch [Internal]

    Extracting bias at TechCrunch [Internal]

    Our new guidelines underscore TechCrunch’s pathological obsession with social platforms, but also call for our reporters to proceed with the utmost caution, expressing none of their rampant pre-existing biases, which they will maintain undetectably. In the interest of a desperate attempt to appear nonpartisan, we have included our new guidelines here. Read More

  • Dear Silicon Valley: America’s fallen out of love with you Crunch Network

    Dear Silicon Valley: America’s fallen out of love with you

    Silicon Valley, you used to be the envy of the world. Over the last decade I’ve seen countless cities try to become you. In case you haven’t noticed, though, you’ve changed from hero to villain. You’re too expensive and exclusive for the rest of the world. You’ve moved from icon to joke — the show that bears your name is a cringe-worthy, true-to-life satire. Read More

  • Curing the incurable

    Curing the incurable

    Very rarely, an app comes along that changes your life. I want to tell you about such an app, and how it changed mine. I had nothing to do with its making; I have never installed or opened it on my phone; and yet, I expect that this will be the most personal of the almost 400 pieces I have written for TechCrunch over the years. It is estimated that between one-third and one-half of adults in… Read More

  • Papyrus creator speaks out after Ryan Gosling roasts the font on SNL

    Papyrus creator speaks out after Ryan Gosling roasts the font on SNL

    If you’re like me, whenever you see a sign that uses the most overworked font in the world, you point it out and yell “Papyrus!” You probably aren’t like me. But it turns out Ryan Gosling is. Read More

  • Capitalism without consequences

    Capitalism without consequences

    Technology decouples economies. AirBNB owns no rooms, but provides accommodations; Uber owns (essentially) no vehicles, but provides transport; Stripe is not a bank, but provides bank accounts; a vast panoply of corporate services run on Amazon-owned servers. There are many excellent things about this decoupling; it improves efficiency, aids focus, and spurs innovation. But technology also has… Read More

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