Opinion & Commentary

Wikileaks and the End of Stolen Kisses

139109

Slavoj iek says that Wikileaks is hated not because of the secrets it has revealed, but because it exposed the cynicism of a system that has long stopped believing in the values it imagines itself to uphold. It's a problem not only for diplomacy and governance, but for the eroding distinction between public and private life.

Read More »

Everlastingly Strange

2001-a-space-odyssey

G. K. Chesterton: "The simplest truth about man is that he is a very strange being; almost in the sense of being a stranger on the earth."

Read More »

Unevenly Distributed: What Gremlins Says About The 80s And Its Tech

gremlins

Even before the viewer catches a glimpse his first Mogwai, Joe Dante's Gremlins establishes the link between the titular goblins and malfunctioning technology by way of Randy Peltzer and his many incompetent inventions. It's a film very much of its time, with many fascinating things to say about the way Reagan-era Americans looked at technology. It's also a movie that would be impossible to remake today, for one big reason: the smartphone is our Bathroom Buddy.

Read More »

Leviathan 2.0

390px-Leviathan_gr

The evolutionary ebb and flow of freedom, liberty, and the collective continues on the Web, as it has throughout the history of the public sphere.

Read More »

Decline, but not Fall

3102057573_23fefd874c_z

The decline of experimental results isn't something many scientists want to talk about, writes Jonah Lehrer. But perhaps when it comes to science, such disappointment isn't a bug but a feature.

Read More »

We Are the World

mapparium3

An international group of scientists proposes a "knowledge collider" to bring supercomputing to bear on social problems. While crunching the numbers won't be a problem, figuring out what they mean will prove more challenging.

Read More »

Unevenly Distributed: Why CES Is Hell

ces-tvs

During next week's CES, you'll rarely hear a single word about why you should really care about the devices debuting there... but is that really so surprising when even the electronics makers at CES can't answer as simple a question as why their gadgets matter?

Read More »