George W. Bush Can’t Paint His Way Out Of Hell

The chilling spectacle of watching the political class redeem a criminal, again. Photo: Gary Hershorn/REUTERS Photo: Gary Hershorn/REUTERS Photo: Gary Hershorn/REUTERS I am not an art critic, but I don’t think George W. Bush’s new portraits are very good. They inspire nothing but malaise and communicate a dilettante energy. Painting is to Bush what politics […]

Facebook Bans Honest Signal Ads on Instagram

A series of Instagram ads run by the privacy-positive platform Signal got the messaging app booted from the former’s ad platform, according to a blog post Signal published on Tuesday. The ads were meant to show users the bevy of data that Instagram and its parent company Facebook collects on users, by… targeting those users […]

The Android “Choice” Screen Is A Privacy Problem

About a year and a half ago, Google began the chance to be one of the search engines that European users as their default on Android devices. And for the past year and a half, we’ve seen some familiar ad-targeting giants continue to take those expensive slots. This auction was the result of a spearheaded […]

Slate Star Clusterfuck

On journalism, ideas, “ideas”, free speech, and tech. A while ago, I did a Q&A with a venture capitalist who had formerly worked in media. The conversation took place on Clubhouse, the explosively growing audio-driven social network. The topic was the tech industry and journalism, and the discussion had been precipitated by a few weeks […]

Slate Star Codex and Silicon Valley’s War Against the Media | The New Yorker

How a controversial rationalist blogger became a mascot and martyr in a struggle against the New York Times. Illustration by Ben Wiseman   On June 22nd, visitors to Slate Star Codex, a long-standing blog of considerable influence, discovered that the site’s cerulean banner and graying WordPress design scheme had been superseded by a barren white […]

Mouthbreathing Machiavellis Dream of a Silicon Reich

One day in March of this year, a Google engineer named Justine Tunney created a strange and ultimately doomed petition at the White House website. The petition proposed a three-point national referendum, as follows: 1. Retire all government employees with full pensions. 2. Transfer administrative authority to the tech industry. 3. Appoint [Google executive chairman] […]

Mediating Consent

When theologian Martin Luther debuted his Ninety-five Theses in 16th-century Germany, he triggered a religious Reformation — and also a media revolution. 1630 map of the Maluku Archipelago (Moluccas, or Spice Islands) The printing press, invented approximately 50 years before the 95 Theses,  extended Luther’s reach from the door of the cathedral to the entirety […]