Thu. Jan 20th, 2022


Later For decades, virtually every financial, social, and governmental organization in the world has been radically disrupted by a small but extremely powerful innovation: the blockchain.

Do you believe it Or are you one of those people who thinks that blockchain and crypto boom are just a huge, decade-long scam — the bastard child of Dutch tulip bubbles, Barney Maddox’s register scheme, and the thrill of liberal internet? Perhaps, you – like me – are not in any of these extremes Rather, you wish someone would show you how to think intelligently and concisely about the problem without always falling into the binary trap.

Binary has been on my mind a lot since I took over the editor’s chair at WIRED last March. This is because we feel like a starting point in the recent history of technology, when the various binaries that have been around for a long time are being questioned.

When WIRED was founded in 1993, it was the bible of techno-Ethiopianism. We invented chronicles and champions that we thought would rebuild the world; They have to give up what they need. Our covers are bright, arbitrary, dreamy, and feature mostly rich, white, and male geeks who are shaping the future, recreating human nature, and making everyone’s life more efficient and fun. They were braver, more creative, richer and cooler than you; In fact, they already live in the future. Reading WIRED, we hinted, you can join them there!

If that optimism is binary 0, then the mood has shifted to binary 1. Today, a large portion of media coverage focuses on the damage caused by the tech industry-driven Amoc. It has been given to us Tahrir Square, But also Xinjiang; The Blogsphere, But also manosphere; Its unlimited opportunities Long tail, But its endless uncertainty Gig economy; mRNA vaccine, But also Crisper kids. Wired did not shy away from covering these issues. But they have forced us-and in particular, me as an incoming editor-to ask the question: What does it mean to be a publication born to celebrate technology, when technology is often demonized?

To me, the answer starts with binary rejection. Both the optimistic and pessimistic perspectives of technology miss the point. The lesson of the last 30-odd years is that we were wrong to think that technology could make the world a better place. Rather, it was our mistake to think of technology as the solution — and now it would be equally wrong to think of technology as a problem. For a technology it is not possible to do both good and harm at the same time, but normal. A hype cycle that quickly builds billionaires and leaves a trail of failing companies can lay the groundwork for lasting structural change (Exhibitor A: First.com Bust). An online platform that builds communities and helps citizens overthrow dictators (Facebook) can also prevent people from conforming and grouping and becoming a tool of oppression. As F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, an intelligent person should at the same time be able to hold opposing ideas in their minds and still be able to act.



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