Category: Backchannel

March 21, 2019

The Punishing Ecstasy of Being a Reddit Moderator

Banishing zombies and tracking down Russia propaganda—on the front lines with the social site’s volunteer army.


by Robert Peck in Backchannel
March 19, 2019

Coders’ Primal Urge to Kill Inefficiency—Everywhere

For software engineers, lack of friction is an aesthetic joy, an emotional high, the ideal existential state. It’s what drives them—and shapes our world.


by Clive Thompson in Backchannel
February 18, 2019

Amazon Alexa and the Search for the One Perfect Answer

Voice computing seeks to deliver a single correct response to any query. That’s why it’s going to upend our relationship with information.


by James Vlahos in Backchannel
February 14, 2019

What Happens When Techno-Utopians Actually Run a Country

Direct democracy! Universal basic income! Fascism!? The inside story of Italy’s Five Star Movement and the cyberguru who dreamed it up.


by Darren Loucaides in Backchannel
February 12, 2019

AR Will Spark the Next Big Tech Platform—Call It Mirrorworld

We are building a 1-to-1 map of almost unimaginable scope. When it’s complete, our physical reality will merge with the digital universe.


by Kevin Kelly in Backchannel
January 21, 2019

Weedmaps’ Grip on the High-Flying California Pot Market

Weedmaps doesn’t sell pot itself. It’s just a tech platform that provides visibility for those who do—apparently, whether or not they follow state rules.


by Hannah in Backchannel