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


In OneZero. More on Medium.

Does a new technology pose serious dangers — or are we just overreacting? Philosopher Evan Selinger has some ideas on how to tell the two apart.

“Toboganning”, by Mike Dunens

When people worry about the impact of a new technology, often they worry it’ll set us on a path to ruin.

Sometimes they’re freaking out for no good reason. New technologies — particularly ones that affect communication, or give young people new abilities — unsettle people all the time, but…

Bitcoin and its competitors will emerge greener, more democratic, and stronger

Photo by Ewan Kennedy on Unsplash

Last week, the Peoples’ Bank of China made an unprecedented move, declaring all cryptocurrency transactions in the country illegal. Crypto exchanges are reportedly scrambling to drop Chinese users before the ban comes into effect, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether dropped as much as 7% when the ban was announced…

‘Papers, Please’ came out in 2013, but middle-schoolers are still stumbling upon its grim, fascinating lessons

I remember back in the ’80s, when a high-school friend suggested I read George Orwell’s 1984.

“It’s really wild,” he told me. “It makes you feel like crap.”

The book wasn’t on our school’s reading list. It had been written four decades earlier, just after World War II. But once…

Big Technology obtained the five draft bills currently circulating around the House of Representatives that target Big Tech. If they’re signed into law, it will be bad news for the tech giants.

The following is a selection from Big Technology, a newsletter by Alex Kantrowitz. To get it in your inbox each week, you can sign up here.

For years, Big Tech crushed the competition with relative impunity, squeezing every dollar from would-be rivals to reach unprecedented valuations. And while their anti-competitive…

We must help one another strive for integrity over impact

Erik Von Weber via Getty Images

Every piece, no matter how short, offers the writer an opportunity to cross the line — to exaggerate, fabricate, or cherry pick facts in a way that ever-so-slightly misrepresents reality for what feels like the greater good. Whether writing an extended essay about the conflict in the Middle East, or…

Big Technology

In a new interview with Big Technology, the senator discusses the future of antitrust

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Stringer/Getty Images

“I’d say resolved,” Senator Amy Klobuchar told me over Zoom yesterday. We were talking about whether congressional Democrats were serious about pursuing meaningful action against the tech giants. And Klobuchar, the new chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, seemed committed.

“There’s been some good hearings,” she said. “But to…

Data belonging to Alex Jones, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell may be included

Alex Jones and his phone. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A hacker targeted far-right social network Gab and stole more than 70 gigabytes of user data, including 40 million posts and private messages, Wired reported on Sunday.

Gab CEO Andrew Torba acknowledged the hack on Sunday, claiming the platform was attacked by “demon hackers” and referred to these individuals using…

Big Technology

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler speak on why Silicon Valley’s hold on the tech industry may be weakening

Mayor Francis Suarez, Mayor Steve Adler, and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway

Mayor Francis Suarez took his seat on a beautiful Miami afternoon, with a blue sky, bay, boats, and palm trees visible behind him. He was in good spirits, happy to again be talking about Miami’s potential as a tech hub. “This,” he told me, “is not a virtual background.”


Pattern Matching

Social networks would love to show users less political content. Here’s why that’s a problem.

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Political posts on Facebook and other social networks are often divisive, misleading, or just plain false. Social platforms including Facebook and YouTube have played a role in radicalizing people and facilitated the organization of radical groups, including hate groups, some of which have committed real-world violence.

There is reason to…

Another social network slowly backs away from political groups after the U.S. Capitol riot

Nextdoor recently stopped recommending political groups to its users, OneZero has learned. The company had not publicly disclosed this change, but confirmed it when asked on Wednesday.

“We stopped allowing political groups in the main feed in mid-January,” Nextdoor spokesperson Edie Campbell-Urban told me via email. “The change is permanent.”


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