October 13, 2015

In a sense, nothing really changed about the dynamics of the race as a result of the first Democratic presidential debate, but that in itself is extremely important. Clinton performed as excellently as I expected, and probably reminded many folks why they liked her to begin with. Sanders also did himself some good by setting himself up as a substantial and passionate contrast to Clinton. With neither of them making any meaningful mistakes, they served to solidify the existing situation,… Read more

October 12, 2015

The power went out on my block tonight, and it was weird. It started around 10pm, I was the only one awake in the house, and there were no lights outside either. So here I was, alone, in a big blanket of near total darkness. Except for my phone, of course. Which I used to draw this. Me, a little freaked out, in the dark. Finally getting to get some creative use out of the stylus on the old Note… Read more

October 6, 2015

This summer, researchers at Iowa State University made some easy headlines with a study on “nomophobia,” their term for anxiety about being away from one’s smartphone. I can’t get access to the paper itself, so I have no idea what exactly they found, but according to press materials, they gave respondents a 20-question qualitative survey about the level of anxiety they experience in certain phone-free situations. Respondents were to rate their level of anxiety from 1 to 7, 7 being… Read more

October 5, 2015

If Hillary Clinton is my Machiavellian Prince, Lawrence Lessig is my Don Quixote. I know he can’t win (and he knows he can’t win), but his platform, his cause, is closer to my heart than perhaps any candidate’s has ever been. That cause is one that goes beyond the litany of issues that confront our country and our planet, because it is the One Issue to Rule Them All, the crux of everything, which, if not decisively solved, will mean… Read more

October 4, 2015

I have lots of feelings about Hillary Clinton. Heck, I used to work for Hillary Clinton. She had no idea, of course, but for about three months as 2007 turned into 2008, I was a media researcher for her presidential campaign, more or less the guy standing at the castle parapets yelling “incoming!!!” whenever anything of any note whatsoever was said about her in more or less any medium. (It was so stressful and frenetic that my body almost entirely… Read more

October 3, 2015

On Thinkery, the podcast I do with Brian Hogg (that’s what he tells me his name is, anyway), we’ve been trying out having the occasional guest on the show to join the conversation. They’re not interviews per se, more of a chance to add a third voice to the usual two-way chat that the show normally is. To kick it off, we were really, really lucky to get two excellent guests who are frankly out of our league, and yet… Read more

September 11, 2015

Summing up the latest Apple event in which a slew of new products were introduced, including a giant-ass iPad, a better Apple TV (low bar), and new iPhones–6 with some odd gimmicks in them. The Verge’s Nilay Patel said on Periscope (and I’m paraphrasing), “Today, Apple released a Surface, a Roku, and a Samsung phone.” And yeah, they kinda did. I think that’s fine, though, I’m not one of those folks who think Apple or any other company has to… Read more

September 8, 2015

I have a soft spot for the transhumanists, and as I’ve said, if they were a little less sure of themselves and their goals, and if they were just a little less, well, religious in their faith about what technology and artificial intelligence will bring, I could see to donning the label myself. Zoltan Istvan, the movement’s (and party’s) presidential candidate is the embodiment of this faith. A huge, strong fellow who has led a life that resembles Indiana Jones-meets-extreme… Read more

September 4, 2015

Reading Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence, and having read James Barrat’s Our Final Invention, as well as consuming a lot of other writings on the dangers of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence, I was beginning to feel fairly confident that unless civilization collapsed relatively soon, more or less upending most technological progress, humanity was indeed doomed to become the slaves to, or fuel of, our software overlords. It is a rather simple equation, after all, isn’t it? Once the machines undergo a superintelligence… Read more

September 3, 2015

  UPDATE 9/6/2016: Lessig’s campaign successfully passed the $1,000,000 pledge threshold (I pledged a token amount), and formally announced his candidacy on ABC this morning. I heartily support Lawrence Lessig’s campaign for president, and there’s almost no public figure I can think of that I would prefer to be president. And that’s just the problem. Lessig’s campaign is premised on the idea that if he runs and wins, he will doggedly pursue a single, crucial legislative goal: to end the… Read more

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