How Slack Ruined Work
Slack is a particularly “scary offender” in stopping people getting their work done because it encourages them to be constantly distracted. It’s scary because messenger-based systems directly tap into how humans seek to reward themselves, and the long term result is unhealthy.
Studies Shoot Down Tech’s Harmful Effects on Kids—So Now What?
It looks like grownups can disregard the fear-mongering about the ill effects of digital media on kids. A 2017 study in Child Development found “little or no support for harmful links between digital screen use and young people’s psychological well-being.”
I Accidentally Uncovered A Nationwide Scam On Airbnb
An undetected scam created by some person or organization that had figured out just how easy it is to exploit Airbnb’s poorly written rules in order to collect thousands of dollars through phony listings, fake reviews, and, when necessary, intimidation.
Billed as the fastest way to cross the surface of the earth, Hyperloop represents the greatest leap in transport infrastructure for generations. The concept promises to slash journey times between major cities from several hours to a matter of minutes.
Elon Musk, His Rocket, And The Grand Scheme That Tore Apart Boca Chica
SpaceX is dismantling a remote beach community at the southernmost end of Texas, one house at a time. Some residents took its money. Others refuse to leave. Still others are sticking around to see what happens.
The 10/10/10 Rule For Tough Decisions
It’s good to sleep on it when there are tough choices to make, but you also need a strategy once you wake up–which is why you should employ the 10/10/10 rule. How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now? How about 10 months from now? How about 10 years from now?
The Great American Tax Haven: Why The Super-Rich Love South Dakota
Last year billionaire Sun Hongbin quietly transferred $4.5bn worth of shares in his Chinese real estate firm to a company on a street corner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Thanks to its relish for deregulation, the state is fast becoming the most profitable place for the mega-wealthy to park their billions.
How Our Home Delivery Habit Reshaped The World
The great trick of online retail has been to get us to do more shopping while thinking less about it – thinking less, in particular, about how our purchases reach our homes. This divorce of a product from its voyage to us is perhaps the thing that Amazon has sold us most successfully.
The Doomsday Invention: Will Artificial Intelligence Bring Us Utopia Or Destruction?
Philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons—and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction.
Behind The Chinese Internet Wall
What is happening on the other side of the barrier? There we find people who respond to state controls with creativity and spunk. While some spend their days trawling cat videos, others create oases of subversion within the reality that they’ve been dealt.
How McKinsey Destroyed The Middle Class
Consultants seek to legitimate both the job cuts and the explosion of elite pay. Rather than simply improving management, to make American corporations lean and fit, they fostered hierarchy, making management, in David Gordon’s memorable phrase, “fat and mean.”
Fake It Till You Make It: Meet The Wolves Of Instagram
To thousands of young millennials from humble backgrounds, Jordan Belfort’s Wolf of Wall Street story became a blueprint for how to escape an unremarkable life on low pay. Their social media feeds display super-rich lifestyles, but what are these self-styled traders really selling?
What Facial Recognition Steals From Us
In just the past five years, the meaning of the human face has quietly but seismically shifted. That’s because researchers at Facebook, Google, and other institutions have nearly perfected techniques for automated facial recognition.
In Venezuela’s Economic Crisis, Bitcoin Is a Lifeline
Faced with hyperinflation, a worthless local currency and a risky black market for dollars, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to bitcoin as a tool for survival in the world’s worst-performing economy.
‘This Is Small Talk Purgatory’: What Tinder Taught Me About Love
I found myself single in a town where the non-student population is 1,236 people. I briefly considered flirting with the cute local bartender, the cute local mailman. For the first time in my life, I decided to date online. But finding someone fully and messily human was harder than I thought.
Destroyer Of Worlds
The story of 8chan’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, is a perfect expression of this: born with a profound disability and shuttled in and out of foster care, his creation of the site was born not out of cold calculation or political ambition, but from a need to find community in loneliness.
How Psychology Is Just Catching Up With The Effects Of Online Hate
Lindsay Ellis is a video essayist. She makes videos commenting on films, TV shows, and other media. More than 860,000 people subscribe to her YouTube channel. But there is also this difficult aspect to what Ellis does: online hate.
The Productivity Paradox
Higher productivity means the expectation of rising wages and abundant job opportunities. In a time of Facebook, smartphones, self-driving cars, and computers that can beat a person at just about any board game, how can the key economic measure of technological progress be so pathetic?
Inside X, Google’s Top-Secret Moonshot Factory
Within Alphabet, Google’s parent company, it is grouped alongside Deepmind in “Other Bets”, although in that metaphor, X is more like the gambler. Its stated aim is to pursue what it calls “moonshots” – to try to solve humanity’s great problems by inventing radical new technologies.
Ring And Nest Helped Normalize American Surveillance And Turned Us Into A Nation Of Voyeurs
The allure of monitoring people silently from afar has also proved more tempting than many expected. Customers who bought the cameras in hopes of not becoming victims joke that instead they’ve become voyeurs.
The Secret History Of Facial Recognition
Sixty years ago, a sharecropper’s son invented a technology to identify faces. Then the record of his role all but vanished. He died on October 4, 1995. His obituary in the Austin American-Statesman made no mention of his work on facial recognition. Who was Woody Bledsoe, and who was he working for?