Technology

Life Goes On

Shing-Tung Yau— My father’s death hit me hard, throwing me into an unfamiliar state in which I felt a weird mixture of things, all unpleasant, all at the same time. A powerful sadness welled up in me from a deep place I’d never accessed before. I felt a dull ache

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Six Tips for Avoiding Misinformation on Social Media

Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall— Is that article fake news?  Is this meme trustworthy?  Is that scientific claim reliable?  Over the last few years, it has become clear that most of us are not very good at answering such questions.  For this reason, social media has contributed to a

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Virtual Weapons and International Order

Lucas Kello— Every historical era begins with a revolution: it comes of age when revolution becomes the new normal. The Reformation began when a disaffected Augustinian friar asked, What authority has the Pope? It achieved its peak when the schism in Christianity became a source not of religious war but

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The Center of the Universe

Marcia Bartusiak- Walk into an open field on a clear, moonless night. Overhead, sparkling stars are sprinkled across the sky. All of them seem equidistant from you—and no one else—and you are lulled into imagining yourself at the center of the universe. For nearly five hundred years, astronomers have struggled to

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Political Tribalism: The Art of Divide and Rule

Michelle Baddeley— How did Donald Trump manage to become president? If we look to psychology for an explanation, we can understand Trump as the populist leader of a modern-day tribe of voters. These voters define themselves according to a specific set of attitudes. On social media, they have a level

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A History of Servers: From Lazy Suzan to Alexa

Markus Krajewski— When Amazon introduced the world to a black, cylindrical cartouche with built-in ears and a female voice that answers to the name of Alexa in 2015, more than a few people have been looking forward to its promising and, more importantly, affordable services as a so called virtual

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In Your Digital Dreams: Art in the Age of the Internet

Interview with Jeffrey De Blois By David Ebony One of my first internet projects was to write a monthly column for a website called Art Icons, beginning in the early 1990s. An experimental site, short-lived, and now defunct, Art Icons was perhaps one of the first web venues devoted exclusively

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Censorship in the Age of Protest

Zeynep Tufekci— Censorship during the internet era does not operate under the same logic it did during the heyday of print or even broadcast television. When Mubarak cut off internet and cell-phone communication in Egypt in January 2011, just as throngs packed Tahrir Square, his move backfired at all levels.

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Socialist Media

Terry Eagleton— Over half a century ago, in an excellent little book entitled Communications, Raymond Williams outlined a socialist plan for the arts and media which rejected state control of its content on the one hand and the sovereignty of the profit motive on the other. Instead, the active contributors

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Hunting Mobile Shoppers

Joseph Turow— “Bricks and mortar is dead; long live bricks and mortar!” This was the surprising theme that emerged from the sprawling 2014 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, reported Laura Heller, editor in chief of the online trade magazine FierceRetail. Everybody in retail had previously been emphasizing only the tremendous advantage that

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