Issue 4: Scale

Our fourth issue, "Scale", is now available in print or digital.

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.

Contents

Editorial

"Go Ask Alice" by The Editors (full piece)

Technology shrinks to grow, and grows to shrink.

Chatlogs

"Don’t Read the Comments: Caroline Sinders on Online Harassment" (full piece)

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" (full piece)

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" (full piece)

A conversation about building political alternatives with the internet.

Features

"The Internet of Women" by Moira Weigel (full piece)

A reflection on #MeToo, the death of print media, and the structure of the internet. This piece is also available in audio from our friends at Curio.io.

"The New Octopus" by K. Sabeel Rahman (full piece)

An anatomy of today’s tech monopolies, and a proposal for how to tame them.

"The Data Is Ours!" by Ben Tarnoff (full piece)

A radical blueprint for data democracy. This piece is also available in audio from our friends at Curio.io.

"The Unicorn Hunters" by Kim-Mai Cutler (full piece)

The past, present, and future of Silicon Valley’s venture capital industry.

"'The Scale Is Just Unfathomable'" by Tarleton Gillespie (full piece)

An inquiry into how social media platforms moderate content at an industrial scale.

"See No Evil" by Miriam Posner (full piece)

An investigation into how software wires global supply chains, and what code conceals.

Patches

"Words Are Weapons" by Marc DaCosta (excerpt at The Guardian)

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 (full piece)

Apps like Yelp and Foursquare don’t just map the city. They gentrify it.

"Cyborg Tongues" by Ross Perlin (full piece)

What happens when small languages collide with smartphones and the internet?

"Farms Race" by Nina Sparling (full piece)

What the hell is open-source agriculture?

"Letter from Shenzhen" by Xiaowei Wang (full piece)

A dispatch from the Other Bay Area.

Assets

"The Reciprocal Biomimicry Initiative" by Jonathon Keats

The world’s first program dedicated to systematically adapting human technologies to benefit other organisms.