Tag: Technology

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 ...

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.

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 ...

Underground Distractions, Shanghai

This is the latest installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery. Windows on trains and planes are equipped with shades: vertical or horizontal, rigid or ...

Prophecy in Future Perfect

This is the latest installment of our series An Engineer Reads a Novel.   When you’re looking for representations of technology in literature, it often turns out that Jules Verne got there first ...

How Spiritualism Spread

It seems unlikely that any era in human history was without its fascination with death or the desire to communicate with those who have passed into it. But the 19th century was a period in which ...

Graphic Novels for MBAs

Over the course of the two-year program at Harvard Business School, an MBA student will read over five hundred case studies. They range in length from a single page to over 50, but their format is ...

Ghost in the System

It’s fitting that a videogame about novels and their authorship manages to marry two media long thought to be polar opposites. Aaron Reed and Jacob Garbe’s The Ice-Bound Concordance, available for ...

Afrofuturism: Everything and Nothing

Whence the “Afro” in “Afrofuturism”? In the 1994 interview with Samuel R. Delaney that inaugurated the term, Mark Dery defines Afrofuturism as “speculative fiction that treats African American themes ...

Cyborg Communitarianism

Since life on Earth is so hard, the utopian imagination likes to turn to space. Almost as soon as astronomers and their telescopes emptied the heavens of angels, philosophers like Bernard Le Bovier ...

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 ...

Speaking in Science

Some of today’s most provocative scientific tools are being built to do science themselves. IBM’s Watson, for instance, is being developed to sift through data at volumes far exceeding the capability ...

Beyond Neoliberalism

Most of the people I know are constantly seeking self-improvement. Not spiritual enlightenment or knowledge for knowledge’s sake, but the kind of self-improvement that promises career advancement ...

Franzen Makes Nice

Reading Jonathan Franzen’s fifth novel, Purity, in a state at once sympathetic and skeptical, I kept thinking of George Kaplan. In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 film North by Northwest, a ring of foreign ...