WIRED October 2018

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.

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3 мин.

“Why WIRED? Because the Digital Revolution is whipping through our lives like a Bengali typhoon—while the main stream media is still groping for the snooze button.” So began the founding manifesto of this magazine. It’s an awesome document: 216 words of vim, bold font, and attitude. And thanks to the accidental SEO-juju of a factual error (typhoons in Bengal are actually called cyclones), its most famous phrase would forever refer Google searchers to the manifesto. In any event, it made you want to read the darn thing. According to the manifesto, the magazine was birthed into being because the rest of the press was too busy with malarkey to “discuss the meaning or context of social changes so profound their only parallel is probably the discovery of fire.” The year was 1993,…

11 мин.

MARIA STRESHINSKY: When I was really young, I went to the New Games Tournament. STEWART BRAND: Oh my gosh, in Marin County? That’s amazing. STRESHINSKY: I’ve been thinking about all the different things that you’ve helped create. BRAND: Do you remember the New Games at all? STRESHINSKY: I remember the Earthball. BRAND: Ah, good. Well, it was mythic then, enough to stick to a small child. “My friend and I had a matching set of patchwork overalls (it was the mid-‘70s!), and our artist drew them into his illustration.” —Maria Streshinsky, EXECUTIVE EDITOR Here’s the thing about Stewart Brand: He has spent a lifetime creating mythic things that stick. The New Games Tournament was a festival of wackadoodle and wild games meant to get people outside, playing, but also—and more important—Brand created them during the Vietnam War…

5 мин.
fight the dour

When we launched WIRED, we were accused of being Panglossian optimists. I embraced that as a badge of honor. The Digital Revolution was reinventing everything, and that was good. Twenty-five years on, that optimism is no longer justified—it’s necessary. Indeed: militant optimism. WIRED’S premise was that the most powerful people on the planet weren’t the politicians or generals, priests or pundits, but the people creating and using new technology. The state and politics were obsolete. We no longer needed to subcontract our responsibility for society to distant capitals. By using the new tools now radically empowering individuals, we could, ourselves, work directly on making a better world. Of course, the entrenched institutions being displaced weren’t giving up. Like the mainstream media. We used to joke that The New York Times would run…

1 мин.

Viruses are nature’s Trojan horses—they replicate by smuggling their genes into a host’s cells, turning them into mini virus factories. So in the late ’80s, researchers got the clever idea of sucking out the viral innards and inserting good genes to fight diseases. Then, in a 1999 clinical trial, a teenager died from a horrific immune response to one of those so-called viral vectors. Today, immune risk still limits approval of gene therapies. ¶ Enter the silicage. Using AI to interpret images from cryo-electron microscopy, scientists at Cornell recently discovered this cagelike orb, which forms naturally in solutions of soap and silica. Turns out, the shape is similar to some viruses, and researchers think silicages could also be used to deliver genes. Coat them with the kind of binding peptides…

2 мин.
blood will tell us everything

Favorite household chore: “I do the dishes every night. Other people volunteer, but I like the way I do it.” Age when I first saw a computer: 13 Few things trouble me as much as the fact that many cutting-edge medical advances aren’t available to everyone who needs them. Many lifesaving procedures require specialized equipment and trained technicians. If you don’t have a lot of money or live near a major hospital, you’re out of luck. Stephen Quake wants to change that. By sampling the small amount of genetic material that circulates in the bloodstream, he’s replacing invasive, often painful procedures with cheaper, easier blood tests. He’s built a career out of turn ing highly specialized procedures into something simple that can be done anywhere, including the most remote places in the world. Most…

3 мин.
blockchain for bankers—or tyrants

Despite all the grifting, thieving, speculation, and wild price swings you’ve heard about, bitcoin and other decentralized digital currencies are clearly here to stay. Boosters think cryptocurrencies and the distributed ledgers called blockchains they depend on will reinvent the financial system. Neha Narula, who studies them full time, and Joi Ito, who has been following digital money since the dawn of the web, talk about what that reinvention might look like. First IP address: First time I wore chain mail: “Feeding Caribbean reef sharks on a wreck.” First time I sold anything for cryptocurrency: “When we sold music for Ecash on our server in 1997.” WIRED: What are some of the implications of cryptocurrencies for average people? NARULA: First of all, the way we fund productivity is going to change. ITO: Small and medium-size businesses…