Free Speech in the Age of Algorithmic Megaphones

Free Speech in the Age of Algorithmic Megaphones

Yesterday Facebook took down 559 domestic political pages and 251 accounts for violating its terms of service on coordinated inauthentic behavior—“networks of accounts or Pages working to mislead others about who they are, and what they are doing.” While Facebook has...
Antibiotics May Soon Become Useless. Now What?

Antibiotics May Soon Become Useless. Now What?

In early October, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new antibiotic: Nuzyra, generic name omadacycline. Omadacycline is a tweaked version of a tetracycline, a class of drugs that have been around since the very beginning of the antibiotic era; it works...
How Tech Swagger Triggered the Era of Distrust in Government

How Tech Swagger Triggered the Era of Distrust in Government

Last month, I heard Jill Lepore give a talk about These Truths, her single-volume history of America from the 15th century through the 2016 presidential election. She got her biggest laugh when she made fun of WIRED for predicting in 2000 that the internet would both...
Three Commandments for Technology Optimists

Three Commandments for Technology Optimists

The impacts of new technologies are unpredictable: Inventors hyperbolize a revolutionary technology when it emerges, but it’s impossible for society to anticipate its long-term effects. Because new technologies are so powerful and incomprehensible, responsible...
What Is Voldemorting? The Ultimate SEO Dis

What Is Voldemorting? The Ultimate SEO Dis

“I’m so tired of all the bad news on birdsite.” “Yeah, there’s just too much about The Cheeto.” Cheeto and birdsite might not be common vocabulary, but the phrases are strangely interpretable. It’s easy to jump from Cheeto to...
The Next Great (Digital) Extinction

The Next Great (Digital) Extinction

Somewhere between 2 and 3 billion years ago, what scientists call the Great Oxidation Event, or GOE, took place, causing the mass extinction of anaerobic bacteria, the dominant life form at the time. A new type of bacteria, cyanobacteria, had emerged, and it had the...