I've been blogging here for more than 20 years, and the only organizing principle behind what I write here, if anything, is a fascination about how we make culture, and especially how we make culture around, and with, technology. Nothing has exemplified the complexity of that conversation more than my
A blog about making culture. Since 1999.
The key to protecting people's privacy on the internet isn't in trying to stop users' data from being sent to different services, it's in poisoning the well by having user data be so inconsistent, disconnected, spurious or expensive to collect that today's surveillance infrastructures (often referred to as "ad tech"
One of the biggest sources of miscommunication is people having different styles of communication, or different norms about the right way to express emotion or context even if there's agreement on more straightforward aspects of verbal communication. Things like "ask vs. guess" cultures are one common manifestation of this, and
Amongst the many new publications that's popped up in the current newsletter boom, I've been enjoying Kate Lindsay and Nick Catucci's "Embedded". One of the biggest reasons why is the recurring feature "My Internet", which details the way one person uses all the common aspects of the internet that we
After a pause of a few years, Twitter announced today that they're going to resume allowing any user to request the blue verification checkmark for their account. The social and technical dynamics around Twitter verification remain as fraught and fascinating as they were in the earliest days of the service,
Anytime a big new market pops up, people rush in to stake their claims and make their fortunes. Our culture loves creation myths, especially in technology. Fables about lone geniuses are ubiquitous in the tech industry, with their fundamental falsity doing nothing to undermine their utility for most people in
Over the weekend, we had the chance to explore the newly-opened Moynihan Station, the massive new expansion to Penn Station that's been in the works for decades. Though it ostensibly serves as a welcoming and modern new facility for Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers, it's very clearly also meant
Ted Lasso, the standout series of Apple's new Apple TV+ streaming service, rightfully earned a place on many people's lists of the most-recommended new shows of 2020. But what's best about it is what makes it so different from most other highly-acclaimed shows, especially "prestige" TV. You'll see lots of
In the early days of Twitter, there was a pleasingly low-tech tradition called "follow friday" (which people later denoted with the #FF hashtag), wherein people listed other accounts that they suggested you might follow. It did a good job of providing a manually-curated form of discover on the platform until
Twenty five years ago today, Microsoft released Windows 95. It was undoubtedly a technical leap forward, but its biggest, most lasting impacts are about how it changed popular culture's relationship to technology. For context, when Windows 95 was released in August of 1995, only about 30% of American homes had