And the scariest part is your emotions may be up for sale.
Area Man Offers Opinion on New Product
For Politico Magazine, I wrote about the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications and how social media is seen as a new battleground between jihadist and western government propaganda.
In the latest issue of The Baffler, I wrote about Processed World, a now-defunct Bay Area magazine that responded to an earlier wave of tech-driven gentrification. PW had a lot of smart things to say about work and its discontents, the computerization of the workplace, and a host of issues — corporate power, income inequality, unacknowledged forms of labr — that still matter today. If you want to read back issues of PW, try the Internet Archive or Bad Attitude, an anthology of the mag’s early years.
My latest is an essay for The New Inquiry on the Internet of Things. It’s about tech hucksterism, surveillance, feature creep, the world as feedback mechanism, the dubious promise of better living through data, and the appeal of dumb products.
For The New Republic, I dreamed up, in the paranoid style, some worst-case scenarios for Google’s robotics projects.
I interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Schultz about The Wherewithal, his new novel in verse. Topics discussed: the Shoah, Vietnam, being down and out in 1967 San Francisco, welfare, the poor as a minority, the specter of the Zodiac killer, failure, and using Wittgenstein as armor. Read it here.
For the latest issue of Pacific Standard, I wrote about big data, “culturomics,” Google Ngram Viewer, and the new book Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture. The review is here and in the print edition of the mag.
Over at Al Jazeera America, I wrote about the data trade, how data brokers manipulate consumer information, corporate surveillance, and the need to regulate data brokers.