Tag: Digital

Our Metrics, Ourselves

In 1994, a doctor named Clifton Meador penned a satirical portrait of “the last well person” for the New England Journal of Medicine. The protagonist, bent on discovering every datum of unwellness …

Josef Albers in the iPad Era

In a crisp white shirt, his right knee on the floor, famed former Bauhaus instructor and future head of Yale University’s department of design Josef Albers holds a half-smoked cigarette in one hand ...

Being Data

In 1966, Der Spiegel interviewed Martin Heidegger: SPIEGEL: And what takes the place of philosophy now? HEIDEGGER: Cybernetics.1 Even before the mass production of personal computers, Heidegger saw ...

Gamifying the Workplace

Anyone who has read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer no doubt remembers the fence-painting scene. Consigned as a punishment by his Aunt Polly to spend a Saturday whitewashing 30 yards of wooden fence ...

On Accelerationism

At a time when the future seems to belong to Chicago-school economists and the Internet to Google and the NSA, a new movement calls to re-imagine left politics from top to bottom.

From Bartleby to Scrivener for iOS

From the earliest typewriters to Google Docs, writing devices have never been built for novelists. Instead, they are designed for office use, with creative writing of all sorts seen as a marginal-at ...

Seeing Things

December 1, 2015 — One of the great myths of our time concerns the promise of a global vision, of seeing things with the power, distance, and clarity of an all-encompassing vantage point, what Donna ...

A Global Neuromancer

Neuromancer is now more than 30 years old, a considerable time to remain a classic. Its publication in the Orwellian year will seem ironic and laden with symbolism only for those who think Orwell has ...

What World? Whose Algorithms?

In an arresting chapter in Carolyn L. Kane’s new book, Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code, she analyzes the movie Predator, which gives expression to ...

The Best of 2015

It’s finally spring and we’ve settled comfortably in 2015’s controversies and think pieces, its soundtrack and landscape, its must-sees and many of its premieres and releases. But never fear: There ...

Drone Poems

The protests of Hong Kong’s 2014 “Umbrella Revolution” were marked in early days by the intermittent appearance of a helicopter drone flying high above the crowds, looking rather like a pizza box ...

Adventure Capitalists

William Gibson has become a reluctant prophet for cyberculture. Although his early work failed to imagine some technological particulars (like the smart phone), he foresaw that cyberspace—a term he ...

Justice for “Data Janitors”

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke famously declared that any sufficiently advanced technology becomes indistinguishable from magic. Today, the likes of Google, Amazon, and Facebook appear ...

Terms of Service

In a comprehensive survey of how technological advances will “creep” into everyday life, computer expert and technologist Thomas Keenan guides the reader through a slew of increasingly ubiquitous and ...

Writing Technology

Read my blog, please, but don’t dare peek into my diary. Even though these two genres employ some of the same conventions—a diurnal relation to time, a preoccupation with subjective experience—one is ...