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The Atlantic: Science and Technology

Teaching Kids to Code During the Summer—for $1,000 a Week

Teaching Kids to Code During the Summer—for $1,000 a Week

On a humid morning in June, classrooms along a third-floor corridor in a New York University building hummed with high-pitched chatter. The space serves as the hub for summer programs in computer
Writers Have Always Loved Mobile Devices

Writers Have Always Loved Mobile Devices

Writing is a mobile art. People do it on laptops, tablets, and phones. They write—or type—while walking, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, commuting to work, eating dinner. Although writing’s
What If a Female CEO Acted Like Elon Musk?

What If a Female CEO Acted Like Elon Musk?

On Thursday night, The New York Times published an interview with Elon Musk that offers a view into the billionaire entrepreneur’s life in the last year. Musk choked up “multiple times,” the Times

Why the U.S. Should Provide Universal Basic Income

America is the richest civilization in history. Why, then, are our living standards so low compared to those of other wealthy democracies? “There’s a big idea out there that could help solve this,”
It Was the Gatekeepers Who Failed

It Was the Gatekeepers Who Failed

The consistently thought-provoking Damon Linker posits in his latest column that Western culture’s dominant view of technology rests on a lie: “the notion that the world would be a better place
How Daquan Went From Homegrown Instagram Account to Modern Media Conglomerate

How Daquan Went From Homegrown Instagram Account to Modern Media Conglomerate

With more than 11 million followers, Daquan is on par with Instagram meme stalwarts like The Fat Jew and Fuck Jerry. The account’s posts have spread far and fast, and have attracted famous followers
The Strange Infinities of e-Commerce

The Strange Infinities of e-Commerce

When the tube from Walmart.com arrived at my door, I rushed inside, popped off the lid, and unfurled my inspirational poster. On it, a quote from the science-fiction author and journalist Annalee
More Bridges Will Collapse

More Bridges Will Collapse

There’s an old chestnut about infrastructure that goes, Infrastructure is everything you don’t notice—until it fails. It’s a definition that works for any kind of infrastructure, too: big or small,
Platforms Are Not Publishers

Platforms Are Not Publishers

This post was updated on Friday, August 10 at 7:53 p.m. to reflect the author’s role as the founder of a Facebook-funded project.Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the internet are not media. They are
The Mopeds Are Coming

The Mopeds Are Coming

When King Carlos III commissioned the Puerta de Alcalá in the 1770s, the city of Madrid was already almost a thousand years old. The gate, designed in the neoclassical style popular during that era,
The Most Powerful Publishers in the World Don’t Give a Damn

The Most Powerful Publishers in the World Don’t Give a Damn

There is a meme you maybe won’t remember, from a different internet epic, that goes like this: Are bloggers journalists? It was a real question that became a joke because it’s the kind of thing
What It’s Like to Wallow in Your Own Facebook Data

What It’s Like to Wallow in Your Own Facebook Data

Nicolas OrtegaI found my way to the Download Your Information tool in late March, soon after a whistle-blower revealed that the political-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had gathered information
Of Course Twitter Loves Elon Musk

Of Course Twitter Loves Elon Musk

Back in 2010, when the most controversial question about Twitter was whether it was too frivolous, the CEO at the time, Evan Williams, said, “We’re just realizing the promise of the Internet—the
What Does It Mean to Ban Alex Jones?

What Does It Mean to Ban Alex Jones?

On Monday, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify “banned” the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his media company, Infowars, from their platforms.Jones has seized on the moment, selling his show
Wikipedia, the Last Bastion of Shared Reality

Wikipedia, the Last Bastion of Shared Reality

The ever-widening maelstrom surrounding tweets by Sarah Jeong, the latest hire by the New York Times editorial board, may consume all the atoms in the known universe, and as Wikipedia is of this
What Your Boss Could Learn by Reading the Whole Company’s Emails

What Your Boss Could Learn by Reading the Whole Company’s Emails

When Andrew Fastow, the former chief financial officer of Enron, finishes a public-speaking gig these days, a dozen or so people from the audience are typically waiting to talk to him. Some ask about
The Draconian Dictionary Is Back

The Draconian Dictionary Is Back

In 1961, what newly published book was denounced as “subversive and intolerably offensive”? Was it the new American edition of Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller’s sexually explicit autobiographical

How Video Can Create a Just Society

“We live, at the moment, in a country where basic rights are really being violated,” Yvette Alberdingk Thijm told The Atlantic at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival. Thijm is the Executive Director of
Apple Is Worth One Trillion Dollars

Apple Is Worth One Trillion Dollars

Apple, a company founded 42 years ago in a Santa Clara Valley garage to make personal computers, is now worth $1 trillion. It becomes the first American company to achieve that feat.A trillion is an
Can Philanthropy Save a City?

Can Philanthropy Save a City?

STOCKTON, Calif.—The philanthropists came on air-conditioned buses from big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. They were driven past vacant lots overrun with weeds, auto-repair shops and