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The word is flat

2 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

Declaims Crispin Sartwell in a curious column in today’s Wall Street Journal: Leaving aside quality, people have never written or read more, or even nearly as much, as they do now. This is the golden age of the written word. Leaving aside quality, every age is a golden age.

The Prime Time Internet

2 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

When television emerged as a fledgling medium in the middle years of the last century, it already had, in the form of the Federal Communications Commission, the Communications Act of 1934, and various other laws and precedents, a framework for regulating its content. The formal restrictions on the broadcasting of obscene, indecent, profane, prurient, and […]

A Tribute to Flip the Media

It's time to declare we've reached journey's end with Flip the Media, and create new pathways to provide our community with the essence of what that publication gave us for nearly a decade. The post A Tribute to Flip the Media appeared first on Flip the Media.

The internet as an innocent fraud

2 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

The paperback edition of Utopia Is Creepy is out today, September 12, from W. W. Norton & Company. Collecting seventy-nine of the best posts from Rough Type as well as sixteen essays and reviews I published between 2008 and 2016, the book, says Time, “punches a hole in Silicon Valley cultural hubris.” Here’s an excerpt […]

Oracles of the countertop

2 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

I have an article in today’s New York Times about how domestic robots, which we always expected would resemble ourselves, have instead arrived in the form of chatbot-powered smart speakers. The shift from the Jetsons’ embodied Rosie to Amazon’s disembodied Alexa says something important about our times, I suggest. The piece begins: From the moment […]

Problem solved

2 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

I came across this headline today in Newsweek: At first I was appalled. But then I began to see the upside. Once we get rid of reading and writing lessons in elementary schools, just imagine all the time that will be freed up for STEM classes. Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward.

Question marks of the mysterians

2 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

By leaps, steps, and stumbles, science progresses. Its seemingly inexorable advance promotes a sense that everything can be known and will be known. Through observation and experiment, and lots of hard thinking, we will come to explain even the murkiest and most complicated of nature’s secrets: consciousness, dark matter, time, the origin and fate of […]

O2O: Time on Wine Site Leads to Direct Mail Piece in My Mailbox

2 months agoMedia / New Media : Screenwerk

I had a very interesting experience “online to offline” this week. One of the speakers for the upcoming Place Conference is Trace Johnson of wine retailer Total Wine & More. I was doing a prep call with him and spent some time poking around the Total Wine site in advance of the call. I had […]

Reality as a service

3 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

I’ve always seen reality as mixed, so when I heard today that Microsoft is about to launch a line of Windows Mixed Reality Headsets, I was chuffed. Everyone who dons the eyewear, I assumed, would see the world exactly as I do. It was a dream come true. Subjectivity would finally be resolved, and in my […]

Reviews and the Problem of the Defensive Local Business Owner

3 months agoMedia / New Media : Screenwerk

You’re a local business owner who strongly identifies with your product or service and you hear negative feedback. What do you do? Yelp counsels a “stop, drop and roll” approach to dealing with critical reviews. And many local SEOs and agencies have an array of advice on the subject. Among the recommendations: –Ignore these reviews […]

Google and the Case of the Disappearing Location Modifiers

3 months agoMedia / New Media : Screenwerk

One of the most interesting tidbits that I’ve come across in the past week is the following on the Think with Google site: In September 2015, we shared that “near me” or “nearby” searches on Google had grown 2X in the previous year. Now, just two years later, we see that behavior has continued to change.. […]

AI’s game

3 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

The following review of Garry Kasparov’s Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins appeared originally in the Los Angeles Review of Books. ¤ ¤ ¤ Chess is the game not just of kings but of geniuses. For hundreds of years, it has served as standard and symbol for the pinnacles of human intelligence. Staring […]

The robot paradox, continued

3 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

You can see the robot age everywhere but in the labor statistics, I wrote a few months ago, channeling Robert Solow. The popular and often alarming predictions of a looming unemployment crisis, one that would stem from rapid advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and other computer automation technologies, have become increasingly hard to square with […]

The virtual postman never stops ringing

3 months agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

In the latest issue of New Philosopher, I have an essay, “Speaking Through Computers,” that looks at how the form and content of our speech have been shaped by communications networks, from the postal system to social media. It begins: Much modern technology has its origins in war, or the anticipation of war, and that’s […]

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