Filters for Humans

April 26th, 2013

In the last week, I’ve thought a lot about what I might do as a listener and a speaker on the internet to try to preserve the good while saving my head and heart from the worst of the shouting. This is a very sketchy first draft, but it’s what I’ve come up with so far. Read more ⇒

Less Light

January 17th, 2013

I was going to post something else here, about time and travel. But all I really want to say now is that our world is less bright without Aaron Swartz in it. He helped make RSS, Markdown, Creative Commons, OpenLibrary, and Reddit. He did critical work in the open access world. He was extraordinarily generous with his time, which turned out to be heartbreakingly short. Read more ⇒

Why The Atlantic’s Scientology Advertorial Was Bad

January 15th, 2013

The Atlantic has apologized for the way they handled a “sponsored” article about Scientology on their website last night. That’s good, and necessary. (It belongs on their actual website, rather than in an email campaign, but whatever.)

The magazine would doubtless like for this to be the end of the discussion, and it probably will be. Most readers will forget it happened, except the ones who already hated the magazine. But the thing that happened last night is interesting for a couple of reasons, and I think it’s worth actually laying them out before we all agree to drop it and hope it never happens again. Specifically, there are two kinds of “bad” to talk about, here, and it’s very hard to talk about them at the same time, so I won’t. Read more ⇒

Safe From Harm

December 19th, 2012

The first time I read Liza Long’s “Thinking the Unthinkable,” all I felt was compassion for the woman who wrote it and the horrifying and dangerous situation she described. Maybe that’s what you felt, too. The second time I read it, I saw something else. I saw her son, the one she describes as a killer in waiting. Read more ⇒

How to Kill a Troll

July 7th, 2012

Anita Sarkeesian is a cultural critic who makes YouTube videos. A lot of people like her work: she tried to raise $6,000 via Kickstarter to fund a new set of videos about women in video games, and raised nearly $160,000 instead. And it’s this fact—that people like Sarkeesian’s work, that they choose to listen to her and even put their money behind her projects—that so enrages some people who play video games. Read more ⇒

Brooklyn from Orbit

June 21st, 2012

The last six months have been dizzying, in mostly good ways: invigorating conferences, really fun projects, badass new friends and collaborators. A lot of travel, too. I’m home for awhile, though, and it’s time to take stock and make a couple of announcements. Read more ⇒

Bloggers and Bowerbirds

June 4th, 2012

Earlier this spring, two well-known bloggers—Maria Popova of Brainpickings and Tina Roth-Eisenberg of Swissmiss—introduced the Curator’s Code, a proposed convention for attributing credit to bloggers and other link-finders. The initial discussion that followed mostly skipped over rational critique and went straight for sneering and overheated bluster: it was, apparently, intolerable cheek for these “self-proclaimed curators” to want their efforts as digital gravediggers to be recognized when others passed their work along. Read more ⇒

The Forecast is Awesome

December 31st, 2010

That was a hell of a year. It has been a ridiculously wonderful experience to participate in and learn from the giant, piñata-studded, slightly tipsy party that has been content strategy in 2010. (On the personal side, I’ve had a lot of wonderful conversations and read a lot of spectacular things. And rather miraculously, the members of my immediate family are ending the year alive and in good health.) Read more ⇒