Jan. 13 2014 update: finally got around to finishing brief summaries on each article. Essay Title (author) then page # it starts on. Gives an idea how...moreJan. 13 2014 update: finally got around to finishing brief summaries on each article. Essay Title (author) then page # it starts on. Gives an idea how long each essay is.
Introduction (Clive Thompson) -pg. 1 Doctor Delicious (Ted Allen) -pg. 7 Over-the-top tech cooking, starts out with most time consuming making of a gin & tonic. New ways to cook with invented tools.
Say Everything (Emily Nussbaum) -pg. 19 The younger generation is completely online. Nussbaum investigates how privacy is not an issue for those born with the computer age already running full force as they grow up. Their online presence is taken much differently than people even of my age....for them it’s almost like - if it isn't online it isn't real. Here is a rough quote from one girl she interviews: "if you go to a party what's the point of being there if you don't get a photo and post it."
The Pedal-to-the-Metal, Totally Illegal, Cross-Country Sprint for Glory (Charles Graeber) -pg. 39 About a rich man's obsession with driving & breaking records, particularly the across the US. Also mentions the speed film Le Rendezvous done in Paris, he tried to film one similar in New York City. Not sure it ever did get done...had lots of problems with getting it done. Main part of story is one of his attempts at a cross county speed record, and since technology is getting better at tracking it may be his last chance.
The Polarization of Extremes (Cass R. Sunstein) -pg. 62 Short article about news feeds and everything you read on the internet being catered to your own interest, unlike a typical printed newspaper with articles on other subjects. The catering will lead to entrenchment of already held beliefs, or so the author proposes. Something that seems logical.
Fragmentary Knowledge (John Seabrook) -pg. 69 About the Antikythera Mechanism found in 1900 the Angean Sea (Greece) and approximately 2,000 years old. Unknown what it does, complicated clock or world’s first computer. Years of research has gone into this device, and some people have become obsessed with discovering its purpose. Better scanning devices have revealed writing, and latest theory is a complicated type of toy that shows the rotation of the known planets at that time.
The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer (Julian Dibbell) –pg. 91 Very enjoyable article about WoW (World of Warcraft) and gold farming.
How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook (Cory Doctorow) -pg. 107 How everyone is on facebook, especially those people you want to leave in your past. Yes! So do you ignore them, add them, modify your posts to cater to different groups?
The Meteor Farmer (Ben Paynter) -pg. 112 Reminded me of The Meteor Hunters TV program….maybe even this article is about one of those guys.
Breaking D-Wave (Alex Hutchinson) -pg. 123 Quantum Computers. Wow!! If they could get up and running.
Your DNA Decoded (Thomas Goetz) -pg. 132 How you could find out about potential genetic health issues, and a company that just started (although a while ago now) to provide for cheap DNA sequencing. The article also poses the idea that once everyone has their DNA sequenced it will change everything. Once you know your DNA it changes your life…but when everyone does it the scientists have significantly more data, so how we will live will be vastly different (maybe).
The Autumn of the Multitaskers (Walter Kirn) -pg. 152 How young people claim to be able to multitask, but really our brains can’t handle it, so they are actually harming themselves.
The Brain on the Stand (Jeffrey Rosen) -pg. 172 Neurology and the Law. Things are a changing.
Twilight of the Books (Caleb Crain) -pg. 197 The demise of reading literature. Americans don’t read anymore, on decline for decades. And this isn’t good for a democracy. So we readers should encourage non-readers to pick up a book or two.
These Images Document an Atrocity (Robin Mejia) -pg. 212 Trying to track genocide and other atrocities in countries that are remote, or refuse to let any international agencies into the country. Uses digital satellite images to track burnings of villages and mass movements of peoples.
The Prophet of Garbage (Michael Behar) -pg. 226 Technology that burns garbage with plasma and use the energy created (steam) as a clean energy source. Some skeptical that the small amount of waste stuff isn’t harmful to the environment, but likely is. In the end it may be the best solution, runs itself and burns all types of garbage (medical waste, chemicals, just about everything) and cleans the garbage due to the extremely hot temperatures. At time of article just getting started….is it selling yet or failed?
The (Josh) Marshall Plan (David Glenn) -pg. 235 About news reporting, via the web, but more engaged with the readership, who sometimes helps with the stories, etc.
About the Contributors -pg. 255
Sept. 2013 upon completion: I really enjoyed this collection of essays. Too bad the publisher didn't continue the series. There are two other collections, but from prior years. I may take a look at them anyway, although technology ages super fast.
Oct. 2 2013 update: found that Yale University Press published the next two years, 2009 & 2010. Still not recent years, at least in technology terms, but will look for these.(less)