WIRED April 2021

The Wired mission is to tell the world something they've never heard before in a way they've never seen before. It's about turning new ideas into everyday reality. It's about seeding our community of influencers with the ideas that will shape and transform our collective future. Wired readers want to know how technology is changing the world, and they're interested in big, relevant ideas, even if those ideas challenge their assumptions—or blow their minds.

United States
Conde Nast US
12 号


on the cover

It’s a tradition in computer science, dating back to the days of the earliest microprocessors, for rookie coders to pass a simple test. They must write a program, no more than a few lines long, that outputs the phrase “Hello, world!” As we look ahead to the coming months—to the end, we hope, of isolation and the start of new growth—we can’t think of a better message than that. So we asked Lisa Congdon, an artist based in Portland, Oregon, to put it on our April cover. The program isn’t ready to run quite yet; there’s still the vaccine rollout to worry about, and the emerging variants, and plenty else. But one day soon, the world is coming back, and you’ll want to say hello.…

rants and raves

In March, Rachel Monroe explored the booming tactical training industry; Steven Levy revisited a 25-year-old bet on the fate of the world between neo-Luddite Kirkpatrick Sale and wired cofounder Kevin Kelly; and Vince Beiser investigated a screwball case about clean-energy fraudsters in Utah. Over on wired.com, we published Sarah Fallon’s personal essay about an engineer and the F-14 fighter jet (which we are printing in this issue). Readers share their forecasts, skepticism, and reminiscences. RE: “THE LION, THE POLYGAMIST, AND THE BIOFUEL SCAM” Learn something new about the federal RFS every day! (Like how handy a tax fraud accomplice it can be.)—@GinaHadam, via Twitter RE: “THE BET” I don’t know if it has destroyed society, but the unintended consequences of technology are jarring. The optimist in me sees these as “growing pains” in the effort…

catfishing, the hidden history

“QUITE EARLY IN LIFE George Tracy discovered that if he were to be reasonably happy and prosperous he must pretend.” So begins a mesmerizing psychological novel by Charles Marriott, published in 1913. The tale of George’s lifelong obsession with an elusive frenemy named Mary, who has “the key to the side door of his nature,” has long been out of print. It’s remembered chiefly for its title: The Catfish. Yes, this century-old book gives us the figure of the modern-day catfish, the shrewd machinator who breaks hearts and passwords with nothing but Wi-Fi, cunning, and yottabytes of imagination. This conceit was reprised in the 2010 documentary by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, Catfish, which tells the story of a Michigan artist, Angela Wesselman, who used fake Facebook profiles and other online…

the preppie handbook

THE PREPPERS HAVE the best stuff. It’s because they operate under such constraints: You have to pack your whole society—money, tinctures, food powders—in a lone bag. Then, when the big bug-out comes, you slip on your paracord bracelets and shemagh scarf and vanish into the woods, to an already-scouted redoubt obscured by trees. There, beside your tent, you gnaw jerky and sip bleached snowmelt out of 5-gallon bags, wrapped in a 26-micron bivy that reflects 90 percent of body heat. A society of one. By day you carefully inventory the dozens of curated objects in your bag, rifling through sub-pockets, enumerating ibuprofen, contemplating seed packets, calculating caloric yields. Portable hand cranked flashlight. Clove oil for toothache. At night, with darkness yielding to bright gray inside your night-vision goggles, you patrol, hand…

“hey, watcha working on?”

ONE YEAR INTO our all-remote existence, executives at white-collar companies are realizing two things. One is that they’re pleased (stunned, even) by how productive employees have been. They’d worried that “work from home” would turn into “Netflix and chill.” Instead, their people are killing it: Deliverables are being delivered, milestones milestoned. But companies have run into a serious problem. They have lost serendipity. Sure, colleagues are connecting on video chat. But it’s all very planned and formal; there are no how’s-it-going encounters at the coffee station. This is a shame, because those chance run-ins help cement a sense of togetherness, and they can engender new ideas too—like when the VP of HR eats lunch next to a salesperson and casually mentions a new market that winds up being worth millions. So now…


20% Amount by which the value of bitcoin surged in just one hour after Elon Musk added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter bio. 1,300 Number of companies that lost IP and other data to ransomware attacks worldwide in 2020, according to cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. 7.7% Proportion of Amazon warehouse workers who suffered a serious injury on the job in 2019—nearly double the industry average, according to Reveal. 24K Number of g’s produced when the tiny, shrimplike amphipod snaps its massive claw in defense—so violent the critter could nearly explode itself.…