Subscribe to The Atlantic and get 2 free issues

Imagine a world without shops or factories

Continue reading the main story I have come to think that our world is being turned upside down. We probably do not grasp the huge implications because, perhaps, we are still imprisoned by our past…
AUTHOR:Peter Day
PUBLISHED: Oct. 10, 2013
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4605 words)

To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure

Photograph by Thomas Prior for Bloomberg Businessweek Just before 8 a.m., Johnson Zeng eases his rented Chevrolet into a space in front of Cash’s Scrap Metal & Iron in St. Louis. He’s in the…
PUBLISHED: Aug. 29, 2013
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2874 words)
2 RETWEETs

The Untouchables: America's Misbehaving Prosecutors, And The System That Protects Them

Want More? Download Our New Weekly Magazine: Huffington. NEW ORLEANS -- Some questions seem particularly prone to set John Thompson off. Here's one he gets a lot: Have the prosecutors who sent him to…
PUBLISHED: Aug. 1, 2013
LENGTH: 52 minutes (13004 words)

Playing With Life: Are Living Video Games Ethical?

A dozen students huddle around a laptop-strewn table crammed with palm-sized circuit boards and unruly rainbows of wire. Each student tinkers with his or her own clear plastic platform, which…
PUBLISHED: July 14, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2544 words)

A Trip to Camp to Break a Tech Addiction

Campers perform a welcoming dance on the first day at Camp Grounded in Navarro, Calif., which prohibits phones, computers, tablets and watches, as well as the use of real names. There was a phantom…
AUTHOR:Matt Haber
PUBLISHED: July 5, 2013
LENGTH: 3 minutes (814 words)

Noam Chomsky: Humanity Imperiled

The path to disaster. Image from Flickr via mashleymorgan By Noam ChomskyBy arrangement with TomDispatch What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human…
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2724 words)

Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup

Words of caution from the former CTO of Twitter. The startup life isn't rebellious—it's the new corporate ladder:

"The machine doesn’t care about you. In fact, the machine is designed with the understanding that most startups will fail, or at most offer unremarkable returns to investors. The majority of the companies in many VC portfolios are acknowledged duds. One or two '10x' companies prop up most portfolios. At best, startup founders who fail get another pull of the slot machine. At worst, their failures drive them to desperation."
AUTHOR:Alex Payne
SOURCE:al3x.net
PUBLISHED: May 30, 2013
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2209 words)

Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?

Real C. elegans worms squirming in a laboratory agar plate. The have been genetically modified to express fluorescent proteins (Jesper Pedersen). For all the talk of artificial intelligence and all…
PUBLISHED: May 17, 2013
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3020 words)

The Evolution of a First Novel

This week I turned in the final draft of my book to my publisher. If you know me, or have happened to run into me at CVS on a Tuesday evening with a distant and vaguely stern look on my face, you…
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2568 words)