Here are a few of the questions that we thought about while assembling the issue:
- What new kinds of scale does technology enable and demand?
- Why is scale such an important concept for the tech industry?
- What kinds of problems and possibilities do big tech, big data, big everything create?
- How do we govern, mobilize, moderate, democratize at scale?
You can find excerpts from the issue and the table of contents below.
"Go Ask Alice" by The Editors
Technology shrinks to grow, and grows to shrink.
"Don’t Read the Comments: Caroline Sinders on Online Harassment"
A design researcher at Wikimedia discusses how to define online harassment—and how to stop it.
"Mining the Sky: Meehan Crist, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, and Denton Ebel on Astrocapitalism"
American entrepreneurs are teaming up with one of the world’s smallest countries to make outer space safe for extractive capitalism.
"Do It Yourself: Matt Bruenig on Using the Internet to Build a Think Tank"
A conversation about building political alternatives with the internet.
"The Internet of Women" by Moira Weigel (full piece)
A reflection on #MeToo, the death of print media, and the structure of the internet.
"The New Octopus" by K. Sabeel Rahman
An anatomy of today’s tech monopolies, and a proposal for how to tame them.
"The Data Is Ours!" by Ben Tarnoff (excerpt at The Guardian)
A radical blueprint for data democracy.
"The Unicorn Hunters" by Kim-Mai Cutler
The past, present, and future of Silicon Valley’s venture capital industry.
"'The Scale Is Just Unfathomable'" by Tarleton Gillespie
An inquiry into how social media platforms moderate content at an industrial scale.
"See No Evil" by Miriam Posner
An investigation into how software wires global supply chains, and what code conceals.
"Words Are Weapons" by Marc DaCosta
How do we talk about technology in a way that helps us transform it?
"The Factory Is Alive" by Christina Agapakis and Natsai Audrey Chieza
Living within our means might require making our technology come alive.
"Shapeshifters" by Alexandra Pettet
A report on how digital technology has revolutionized gerrymandering.
"Crawling the City" by Will Payne
Apps like Yelp and Foursquare don’t just map the city. They gentrify it.
"Cyborg Tongues" by Ross Perlin
What happens when small languages collide with smartphones and the internet?
"Farms Race" by Nina Sparling
What the hell is open-source agriculture?
"Letter from Shenzhen" by Xiaowei Wang
A dispatch from the Other Bay Area.
"The Reciprocal Biomimicry Initiative" by Jonathon Keats
The world’s first program dedicated to systematically adapting human technologies to benefit other organisms.