The end of AOL Instant Messenger might be a blip, but it's still a loss for a certain micro-generation—for people who, like me, got their period and their first screen name the same year.
If the “like” remains the basic unit of reaction on social media—and therefore, of online life—then the most powerful force is indifference.
Maybe handwriting is neither a lost art nor an anachronism; perhaps new technology will show there is some useful alchemy left in the way language, the body, and our sense of identity intertwine.
On preserving and celebrating the present, from Meerkat to Knausgaard, one fresh crisis after another for all eternity.
The desire to refresh, recharge, and reinvent ourselves is natural, even healthy—but resolutions tied to objects and tools tend to disappoint us.
Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman wanted to write the definitive story of Anonymous. Her new book explains why that was an impossible goal.
MetaFilter began in 1999 as a sort of humane proto-Reddit. Why did a site for sharing "best of the web" links become a place where strangers help each other in real life in extraordinary ways?
"Poems are a record of failure," says the poet Ben Lerner—art, too, by extension. But does that argument apply to the stranger corners of the Internet?
Plenty of companies are feeding data to computers in the hopes of replicating human behavior, but how close can machines truly get if all they have to work on is the information we offer?