Opinion

  • Is Trump a Twitter addict? Crunch Network

    Is Trump a Twitter addict?

    The president of the United States cannot seem to stop tweeting. Despite stern advice from his advisors and opprobrium from the world, not a day goes by that POTUS doesn’t escalate some tension in 280 characters. Each of us can relate to making a social media post we regret later and vowing never to do it again — but few of us do it on such a public scale. But is it addiction? 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

  • The loss of first check investors

    The loss of first check investors

    Victor Basta hit a nerve with his article on TechCrunch last week describing the “implosion” of venture capital over the past 36 months. Using PitchBook data, he found that the total number of VC rounds committed to startups has declined, even while dollars invested has remained mostly static. Silicon Valley is no longer making it rain so much as it is making it trickle. 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

  • 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

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