Pocket Articles

Things I’ve read, worth reading.

💭🔮 The psychology of Silicon Valley

I’m here with a special Sunday essay for this week’s Exponential View. Katy Cook, a long-time reader, recently published a book, The Psychology of Silicon Valley. As I am busy kicking off the new podcast series, I asked her to step in this week.

Exponential View • 1937 words • 9 minute read

The great paradox of our time: everything is both better and worse than ever before

Our world is better off now than at any point in human history, but at the same time things have never been worse. It’s a contradiction that presents us with a seemingly unresolvable conundrum: the source of our progress has become the source of our downfall.

The Correspondent • 3598 words • 16 minute read

Adversarial Interoperability

“Interoperability” is the act of making a new product or service work with an existing product or service: modern civilization depends on the standards and practices that allow you to put any dish into a dishwasher or any USB charger into any car’s cigarette lighter.

Electronic Frontier Foundation • 836 words • 4 minute read

Building a More Honest Internet

Over the course of a few short years, a technological revolution shook the world. New businesses rose and fell, fortunes were made and lost, the practice of reporting the news was reinvented, and the relationship between leaders and the public was thoroughly transformed, for better and for worse.

Columbia Journalism Review • 2723 words • 12 minute read

“Degrowth is about redistribution by design, not by collapse”

For the designers of buildings, degrowth requires abandoning the idea of a final, pristine work of architecture. As a bar of soap, ARCHITECTURE is a communal resource for Triennale visitors to clean themselves.

Failed Architecture • 4048 words • 20 minute read

I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It.

I had hoped that 30 years from its creation, we would be using the web foremost for the purpose of serving humanity. Projects like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap and the world of open source software are the kinds of constructive tools that I hoped would flow from the web.

The New York Times • 975 words • 4 minute read

The ‘Silicon Six’ spread propaganda. It’s time to regulate social media sites.

I get it: I’m one of the last people you’d expect to hear warning about the danger of conspiracies and lies. I’ve built a career on pushing the limits of propriety and good taste. I portrayed Borat, the first fake-news journalist, along with satirical characters such as Ali G, a wannabe gangster, and Bruno, a gay fashion reporter from Austria.

The Washington Post • 1847 words • 8 minute read

Contract for the Web

The Web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available. It has changed the world for good and improved the lives of billions. Yet, many people are still unable to access its benefits and, for others, the Web comes with too many unacceptable costs.

Contract for the Web • 442 words • 1 minute read

Utopian Overreach — Real Life

In July 2018, I ran a workshop called _What Is Your Utopia_ at SpaceUs Roslindale, an MIT DesignX project that turned empty shopfronts into artist studios. The goal was to not only to demonstrate how utopian thinking can help us imagine new ways to address problems but also to show how anyone’s vision of an ideal world would inevitably impose their personal values as universals.

Real Life • 1835 words • 8 minute read

“He’s F—king Destroyed This Town”: How Mark Zuckerberg Became the Most Reviled Man in Tech

It’s funny how you can leave a place, like your hometown, or the city where you went to college, and when you return, so much is as you left it. The bar where you ordered your first drink with a fake I.D. has barely changed.

Vanity Fair • 1569 words • 7 minute read