Cam Pegg

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not

As a Japanese, I grew up watching anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion, which depicts a future in which machines and humans merge into cyborg ecstasy. Such programs caused many of us kids to become giddy with dreams of becoming bionic superheroes.

WIRED • 1677 words • 8 minute read

The Bullshit Web

My home computer in 1998 had a 56K modem connected to our telephone line; we were allowed a maximum of thirty minutes of computer usage a day, because my parents — quite reasonably — did not want to have their telephone shut off for an evening at a time.

2269 words • 10 minute read

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions

On Aug. 3, 2001, a McDonald’s film crew arrived in the bustling beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island. They carried their cameras and a giant cashier’s check to a row of townhouses, and knocked on the door of Michael Hoover.

The Daily Beast • 8444 words • 38 minute read

“I Was Devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, the Man Who Created the World Wide Web, Has Some Regrets

“For people who want to make sure the Web serves humanity, we have to concern ourselves with what people are building on top of it,” Tim Berners-Lee told me one morning in downtown Washington, D.C., about a half-mile from the White House.

Vanity Fair • 2989 words • 14 minute read

It’s time to rein in the data barons

When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress earlier this year to discuss how the now-defunct political-data company Cambridge Analytica acquired data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent, one of the few pointed questions came from Lindsey Graham, a Republican senat

MIT Technology Review • 3239 words • 15 minute read

Do ‘Close Door’ Buttons in Elevators Actually Do Anything?

When you’re running late for work, one small comfort is finding an empty elevator waiting for you at your office building. You scurry inside, and since no one else is waiting to enter, you jab the ‘close door’ button. The doors comply, the elevator starts moving, and you breathe a sigh of relief.

Mental Floss • 735 words • 3 minute read

The Legend of Nintendo

On the top floor of the building, Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo Co.’s president, took a seat in a wood-paneled conference room, next to a translator. A crescent of handlers settled into chairs nearby while a server brought out cups of hot green tea.

Bloomberg • 3283 words • 15 minute read

Capitalism’s greatest weakness? It confuses price with value

The global financial crisis, which began in 2008 and whose repercussions will continue to echo round the world for years to come, has triggered myriad criticisms of the modern capitalist system: it is too ‘speculative’; it rewards ‘rent-seekers’ over true ‘wealth creators’; and it has pe

World Economic Forum • 1794 words • 8 minute read

To work for society, data scientists need a hippocratic oath with teeth

One person unsurprised by the unfolding data scandals surrounding Cambridge Analytica and Facebook is Cathy O’Neil. In 2016 Cathy published her book Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.

WIRED UK • 3057 words • 14 minute read

Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children

For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility.

The Atlantic • 1132 words • 5 minute read