The Near Future

The Future Of Biohacking In The Age Of Patent Trolls

The Bottlenose, a prototype by Grindhouse Wetware, receives sonar, UV, wi-fi and thermal information and translates it to a magnetic field.

We stand at a strange moment in human history, when lawyers and corporations wage war amongst each other over one question: who owns your body? Off to the side, biohackers—the freaks, geeks, rebels, and punks who do biotechnology experiments in garages and basements—must decide whether to abide by the outcomes.

Maybe you’ve heard about this argument in the context of the Myriad Genetics Supreme Court case; that corporation had patented a part of the natural human genome, the “breast cancer gene.” Some versions of the [...]


We'll Die The Way We Lived: The Arcology Dream Is Over

Conservative millionaire entertainer and peddler of conspiracy theories Glenn Beck is building a city-state, "an entirely self-sustaining community called Independence Park." I can't wait to visit, it sounds like it will be very welcoming to all kinds of Americans.

He's on the right track, though. So are the seasteaders. And the gun-hoarding survivalists of all stripes. And those of us who are interested in reviving the New York City Secession Movement. (Our plan is to secede and then, uh, magically raise the city by 30 feet. Still working on details there, do check back.) But yes. The coasts will drown, or the United States will disband, or World [...]


Rex Reed Presents: Hot Gershwin Jazz With Really Old Jews

Last night at the 92nd Street Y, the security man at the metal detector was saying, "Pacemaker? Pacemaker? Pacemaker?" And then a good number of men would skip around the security line and its potentially heartbeat-disrupting EMF. This was important because everyone there was amazingly, astoundingly old! Like, median age 80. They were going to see a night of songs with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, hosted by adorable film critic and bon vivant Rex Reed, and starring former "Dukes of Hazzard" star Tom Wopat and also Lucille Ball's daughter!


In The Permanent Shadow Of Rich People

Developers are about to dim the lights on Central Park. My NYT op-ed:

— warrenstjohn (@warrenstjohn) October 29, 2013

This is an extremely elegant op-ed by Warren St. John about the effects of development along Central Park. A central component of zoning decisions in New York City has to do with air and light—the canyonization of parts of the city, essentially. TWENTY-SIX years ago this month, a coalition of New Yorkers led by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis won a historic victory for Central Park. At issue was a planned building on Columbus Circle by the developer Mortimer B. Zuckerman with 58- and 68-story towers [...]


The Shortening Lifespan of the American Movie Theater

What is the actual future of going to the movies? Anthony Lane asks, as "video on demand" begins to bully the poor besieged theater-owners of America. "Showmen like James Cameron, I suspect, will continue to haul us off our couches for the grand, marquee events, but smaller fare may be streamed to us direct, and new films whittled down into just another channel on TV"—and this is a bad thing, he thinks. His argument is unusual, and it's not one that has ever crossed my mind before.


U MAD??? Evgeny Morozov, The Internet, And The Failure Of Invective

Internet, yay! Internet, oh no!—surely, it’s obvious by now that there is as much reason for hope as there is for fear from our technological future. A rational and nuanced criticism will seek to define our true circumstances, identify dangers, and encourage beneficial progress. Thus far, however, tech critics have tended to extremes, either for or against the Internet: wringing their hands á la Nicholas Carr (The Shallows), or busting out the pompoms in the manner of Jeff Jarvis (What Would Google Do?). This simple-minded stuff will no longer do. It's into the vacuum of a powerfully felt need that contemporary theorists like Evgeny Morozov and Jaron Lanier have been [...]


You're Being Gamed

Gabe Zichermann, the author of Game-Based Marketing and a startup advisor and one of those incredibly likeable connector-type people, likes to talk about what motivates people to do the sort of things that make people money. The best incentives aren't often cash, he thinks, unless the money is really good. His acronym for incentives is SAPS, which stands for status, access, power and stuff. Those are in order, by the way, of things that people say they like best. This is an idea that most every businessperson likes, for obvious reasons, including that giving away "status" and "power" can have no ongoing cost.

"Now we care about what [...]