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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.


In OneZero. More on Medium.

Parents who endlessly post on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites are risking their children’s safety and robbing them of creating their own stories

Austin never got to choose not to be on the internet.

Beginning with annals of his parents’ previous attempts at conception, through two rounds of IVF, a photo of the plastic stick that finally held “two pink lines,” and the real-time video of them receiving the sonogram, even before he…

Tens of thousands of Facebook users participate in groups that spread misinfo about vaccines — some with an odd religious bent

A month after Facebook said it would expand efforts to scrub its platforms of vaccine misinformation, false narratives about the Covid-19 vaccine are still flourishing in public and private Facebook communities.

OneZero found dozens of anti-vax groups, public and private, some of which have tens of thousands of users. The…

A failure at Stanford teaches us the limits of medical algorithms

This story was co-authored by Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of Parity, an enterprise algorithmic audit platform company.

“The algorithm did it” has become a popular defense for powerful entities who turn to math to make complex moral choices. It’s an excuse that recalls a time when the public was content…

An x-ray of the author’s chest, with the text “Body on the Grid” juxtaposed over the image.
An X-ray of the author’s chest. All photos courtesy of the author.

A device connected to my heart could save my life. It could also be hacked.

Three nights before Christmas 2016, I was standing in my bathroom when a gallop broke out across my chest. It was ventricular tachycardia, a dangerous kind of arrhythmia where only one side of the heart pumps and does so at high speed, denying blood from moving through it. At the…

Illustrations: Alicia Tatone

How a group of friends ended up donating over $100,000 to a sick friend — who was perfectly fine

Several winters ago, I watched as my old classmate Cindy was publicly dying on the internet.

I did this on Facebook, where her wisecracking, self-deprecating tone suddenly gave way to a somber third-person announcement that Cindy had been secretly battling chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), a little-known neurological disorder with…

Over at Future Human, our staff writer Emily Mullin writes that a crop of new biotech companies have sprung up to provide better alternatives to breastfeeding. While infant formula, which is based on animal milk, has been around for decades, it differs from human breast milk in many ways. Harnessing…

Life insurer John Hancock says it will use data from Amazon’s new wearable to track plan holders

Yesterday, Amazon unveiled a new health and fitness tracking wristband called Halo, along with a subscription service and app, to rival existing wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbit.

The $100 gadget comes with new features beyond what existing consumer health devices already offer: one that measures your percentage of…

Big & Mini helps promote intergenerational connection while combating social isolation

OneZero: What is Big & Mini?

Aditi Merchant: Big & Mini is a nonprofit organization that works to connect young adults with seniors (typically over 60 years old) to form mutually beneficial connections and combat loneliness. It is a virtual platform, so all you need to join is a computer…

Pavlok in a pandemic

Instagram has a delightful ability to surprise me with ads for pointless objects I absolutely can’t live without. A little box that sanitizes my keys with a blast of UV light? Yes! A subscription plan for growing micro-broccoli? Why wasn’t I informed sooner?? A meal delivery service whose products appear…

From here on out, security may involve a thermometer

Last week, I dropped by my recently reopened gym to restart my lapsed membership. As soon as I walked in the door, a woman pointed an infrared thermometer at my forehead.

I was instantly anxious — not because I felt sick or thought I had a fever but because it…


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