There might not be an app for that: The quest to quantify politics

US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Matthew Barzun recently wrote about a forum on “soft power” – the ability to influence and persuade other nations – in which the idea was proposed that this soft power could be tracked similar to how we track our fitness progress using wearable devices or our social influence using Klout. I respectfully disagree. (more…)

Techish Podcast #1: Watching YouTube

Techish podcast #1!

In this first episode, we talk about how the YouTube form could be changing what it means to be a filmmaker and a viewer. We also chat with Sean Tse, who was involved in the YouTube film Verax, a YouTube thriller based around whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Welcome to Techish: A blog on the issues presented by technology

Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic. – Arthur C. Clarke

Allow me to extrapolate from Clarke’s brilliant quote to say that while today’s technologies would be thought magic to those of a previous age: technology isn’t magic; technology is us.

The progression of technology is a reflection of society in flux. It presents the hope to make things better, but also the desire to tame and constrain the threatening and exploitable.

The frontiers of scientific open up previously known possibilities and pave the way for technologies that have enormous impact on our lives. It’s our obligation to see through the veneer of these technologies and question why we create them, what purposes they serve and how they affect us individually and as a society.

This is where Techish comes into play. This blog looks at technologies and asks: “What’s the ish?” This simple premise will hopefully enable us to be better equipped to think about and deal with technologies as they become unavoidable in our lives.

Like any introductory post of this kind, this post holds a lofty promise and is thin on details but if you’re reading it, I hope you believe in my vision as I work really hard to serve it.