William Gibson On Burroughs, Sterling, Dick, Libraries, The Uncanny, The Web

In real life, William Gibson looks like you would imagine. A little older than the Gibson you imagine, but he was born in 1948, so it only stands to reason. He is gaunt and affable, clothes black, smart looking frames on his eyeglasses, more avuncular than professorial. And he really talks like that! Those neologisms and the sizzling chrome-finished turns of phrase? They fall out of his mouth in the course of conversation. He lives the gimmick.

Gibson appeared at the New York Public Library on Friday night for the LIVE From the NYPL series, and it was something of an occasion. Gibson, as active as he is in [...]


The Streets Will Be Paved With Smokes

Will recycled cigarette butts help repair our crumbling infrastructure? Sure, why the hell not.


A Very Short List of Things That Could Go Wrong With a Space Elevator



The Fake Email Hacking Alarm System!

"For my email I built in a canary: a tempting looking email that's sitting in my inbox that's entirely fake and designed to tempt an attacker into clicking on it," writes John Graham-Cumming. "That starred email from 'Barclays Private Banking' is entirely fake. And in clicking on it you've activated the canary. The company logo at the bottom is being loaded externally from a private server that I own. On that server a script logs the complete information about the machine that loaded the picture and sends a text message to my phone." Who wouldn't pay $10 a month for this? And there's lots of ways to [...]


It's Time for Michelle Obama to Get Pregnant

Worried about Barack Obama's reelection chances in the face of flagging support from his base, experienced Democratic political strategists, former White House administration officials and professional political pundits have called for the president to "go bold." Last week, former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich even predicted that Obama dump Biden in 2012 and make Hillary Clinton his new vice president: "Because Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a Democratic base."

Only a Yale-educated statusquocrat's idea of "bold" would be to add another Clinton. I have a far more truly bold political strategy for 2012 (one based on absolutely no inside information): Get Michelle Obama [...]


The Education Bubble

I have not always been a Peter Thiel fan—the PayPal founder and Facebook investor's politics and ideas are complicated and sometimes they stem from what I would consider psychological projections (see: affirmative action, although even in that case I totally agree with his embracing a larger concept of "diversity"!)—but honestly, I am on board with about 75% of this extended interview with him in the National Review. One idea in particular is extremely valuable, and we will all be talking about this a lot in the next decade: that America has group-hallucinated itself into an education bubble.