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category_outlined / Science
WIREDWIRED

WIRED May 2019

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Conde Nast US
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
totally wired

Now that I’ve turned my mind to reveling in the glory of technology, I’ve been gazing back at the olden, golden days. And the other day I remembered that, once upon a time, humans had to remember things. Not just useful things like phone numbers or how to calculate percentage change. Also things that had no right to occupy brain cells, like whether the best draft of your novel was in a Word doc named “Next Great American!!” or “Next Great American???? Revision 4,” and, worse, did you save said doc in a folder named To Do List or YOU CAN DO THIS? Also, did the path to said folder lie behind /Documents/New Years Resolutions or /Desktop/Private/My Dreams? I mean, bless Steve Jobs and his Cult of Skeumorphians for turning command lines…

access_time1 min.
“what was the best thing you learned while working on your story?”

“Back when I was pregnant with my third child, I sort of flipped out and became the leader of our neighborhood earthquake preparedness group—we live over the Hayward fault. Then I totally forgot about it. This story reminded me to replace the batteries in the little miner’s helmet flashlights I bought 10 years ago, since there’s yet another fault line to worry about.” — Tabitha Soren, photographer for “Nevada by the Sea” (page 62) “Despite Facebook’s intentions to tamp down political ragebait in 2018, Fox News has gotten more engagement on the platform than any other English-language publisher since then. We pretty much found out why.” — John Gravois, editor of “15 Months of Fresh Hell at Facebook” (page 46) “I became intrigued by the United Church of God, the church to…

access_time7 min.
dial in for recovery

Most of the meetings of Internet and Technology Addicts Anonymous take place online, which is more sensible than it sounds. Colloquy via web-based conference call might help tech burnouts clear the first hurdle in recovery: asking for help. If your idea of social life is a four-day Twitch bender played under a codename, at least you don’t have to leave behind all the comforts of home—screens, anonymity—when you’re demoralized enough by digital compulsions to bust open a FreeConferenceCall.com tab. ▪ Four English-language ITAA conference calls take place each week, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and weekend days at noon. Live meetings, where addicts in folding chairs share wisdom and complaints with other addicts, don’t seem to last long; in-person groups meet for a year or so and then fizzle. Only the…

access_time3 min.
an app of our own

You know what I hate? Rating drivers on Lyft. Three stars? Five stars? I know Lyft wants to feed the ravenous maw of its machine intelligence, but I worry drivers will get punished for low ratings. In the app-dominated gig economy, platforms already hoover up as much as 30 percent of the fees, and workers barely eke out a living. So when Lyft asks me to rank drivers, I lie—I give everyone five stars. It makes me think: Why doesn’t someone try to run an on-demand labor app that doesn’t seem to exploit its workers? ▪ Well, that world is inching into reality with the emergence of worker-owned apps, where they own and run the marketplace themselves. It’s a trend that could save the gig economy from itself. One of these…

access_time1 min.
angry nerd

JUST GET OUT OF MY SPACE Hustling is the default mode of the 21st century, and I’m not above listing my adorable split-level Victorian on Airbnb during my out-of-town weekends. Need to rent a car for the day? Take mine—I wasn’t using it anyway. But whoring out my bed—my own private sanctuary, complete with sweat-stained sheets and raggedy stuffed elephant named Elephant—on Recharge, the “Airbnb for naps”? I’d rather sell a kidney. The tech industry thinks that every last inch of my personal space should be for hire, that strangers should be able to rent it, on demand, by the hour, at their convenience. I call it, with eye roll heavily implied, the sublet economy. Initial moves toward the micropersonal seemed sane enough: Share the extra storage space in your garage…

access_time5 min.
the power of suggestion

This March, a book that advances an outlandish conspiracy theory—a theory whose name I will not mention—soared in Amazon’s sales rankings. The book’s rise was helped greatly when the ecommerce giant put the book on its carousel of recommended titles, which is shown to shoppers who aren’t searching for that particular book. That fueled more curiosity and sales. Which led to more recommendations. ▪ The particular conspiracy theory outlined in this book holds that President Donald Trump pretended to collude with Russia precisely to ensure that he would be investigated, which would give him a chance to secretly collaborate with special prosecutor Robert Mueller to investigate and finally arrest former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who belongs to a global satanic cult of pedophiles with Barack Obama and George Soros. Yes,…

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