Does Who You Are at 7 Determine Who You Are at 63?

In 1964, filmmaker Michael Apted first interviewed 14 children from varying socio-economic demographics n England to investigate the maxim, “Give me a child until he is 7, and I will give you the man.” He’s returned to interview the original subjects every seven years to see how their lives have turned out. What’s been called “the most profound documentary series in the history of cinema” has discovered that the maxim is false; as we all know, life is far more complicated than that.

Published: Nov 27, 2019
Length: 34 minutes (8,730 words)

The Great A.I. Awakening

The story of how Google’s developed artificial intelligence to vastly improve its translation service, Google Translate, and what machine learning might be able to do in the near future.

Published: Dec 14, 2016
Length: 60 minutes (15,174 words)

Check In With the Velociraptor at the World’s First Robot Hotel

Lewis-Kraus visits a hotel in Japan where service is provided by robots and considers the necessity of human interaction.

Source: Wired
Published: Mar 2, 2016
Length: 32 minutes (8,055 words)

The Trials of Alice Goffman

Alice Goffman’s controversial first book fueled a fight within sociology over who gets to speak for whom. Lewis-Kraus delves deeply into her story, negotiating larger issues about the distinction between journalistic and academic practices, and the meaning of sociology today.

Published: Jan 12, 2016
Length: 33 minutes (8,485 words)

A Grand Juror Speaks

Lewis-Kraus writes about serving on a Manhattan grand jury, where he found a system alarmingly bent towards the will of the prosecution.

Published: Mar 1, 2015
Length: 10 minutes (2,707 words)

Welcome to Liberland

An attempt to build a libertarian paradise on a small plot of land between Serbia and Croatia, on the western bank of the Danube.

Published: Sep 1, 2015
Length: 36 minutes (9,167 words)

Can Politico Make Brussels Sexy?

Politico has transformed Washington D.C. journalism in the eight years since the site’s inception. Now they’ve landed in Europe.

Source: The Guardian
Published: Jun 18, 2015
Length: 26 minutes (6,590 words)

ZPM Espresso and the Rage of the Jilted Crowdfunder

A Kickstarter project gets fully funded by backers, who become irate and consider legal action when the project fails to deliver. The creators explain what went wrong.

Published: Apr 30, 2015
Length: 22 minutes (5,555 words)

The Fasinatng … Frustrating … Fascinating History of Autocorrect

The story of how a Microsoft employee working on the Word team invented autocorrect.

Source: Wired
Published: Jul 22, 2014
Length: 12 minutes (3,034 words)

‘Your Feeling of Autonomy Is a Fantasy’

A remarkable inside look at the hope, desperation, and financial realities for startups and founders working in San Francisco and Silicon Valley:

All the while, Martino’s ultimate warning—that they might someday regret actually getting the money they wanted—would still hang over these two young men, inherent to a system designed to turn strivers into subcontractors. Instead of what you want to build—the consumer-facing, world-remaking thing—almost invariably you are pushed to build a small piece of technology that somebody with a lot of money wants built cheaply. As the engineer and writer Alex Payne put it, these startups represent “the field offices of a large distributed workforce assembled by venture capitalists and their associate institutions,” doing low-overhead, low-risk R&D for five corporate giants. In such a system, the real disillusionment isn’t the discovery that you’re unlikely to become a billionaire; it’s the realization that your feeling of autonomy is a fantasy, and that the vast majority of you have been set up to fail by design.

Source: Wired
Published: Apr 23, 2014
Length: 42 minutes (10,559 words)