Opinion & Commentary

Wikileaks and the End of Stolen Kisses


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.

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Everlastingly Strange


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."

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


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.

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Leviathan 2.0


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.

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Decline, but not Fall


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.

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We Are the World


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.

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Unevenly Distributed: Why CES Is Hell


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?

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