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Issue 13

Distribution

The internet was invented for the purpose of redistribution: to move computing power from one place to another. Today, the cloud both has and has not fulfilled this dream. On the one hand, users anywhere can borrow cycles from servers deep in the forests of Oregon or high on the mountains of Guizhou. On the other, those servers belong to just a handful of companies. Data analytics and machine learning have made it possible to optimize supply chains linking every part of the world. But they have not spread production or profits evenly. As blockchain evangelists aim to distribute trust, and distributed-cognition theorists describe a world of matter vibrating with consciousness, this issue will explore the distributive aspects of digital technologies. New futures are always arriving; they are never evenly distributed.

editorial

Power Curve

The Editors

Futures are always arriving. They are never evenly distributed.

features

The Nonmachinables

Brian Justie

Redundancy and resilience at the US Postal Service.

Labriculture Now

Jan Dutkiewicz, Gabriel Rosenberg

An argument for bioreactor-brewed meat.

Parliaments of the Earth

R. K. Upadhya

The electric possibilities for democratic power.

patches

Mutual Aid Stations

Rida Qadri, Noopur Raval

An analysis of tech worker organizing in the Global South.

Data Relations

Salomé Viljoen

What we talk about when we talk about data.

Time to Death

Eve Zelickson

A report on algorithms that predict mortality, and breed inequality.

portals

The Access Doctrine

Daniel Greene

On seeing poverty as a technological problem.

chatlogs

Don’t Call It a Throwback: Keolu Fox on the Past, Present, and Future of Genetic Data

A conversation about digital genetic data and equity.

From the Bottom to the Top: Mai Ishikawa Sutton on the Decentralized Web

Who has power in the distributed web?

Now I Know My ABCs: A Conversation with Two Organizers from the Alphabet Workers Union

What it’s like to build a union inside a trillion-dollar tech company.

First edition of Issue 13: Distribution expected to be released May 17, 2021.