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Preview: Scott Rosenberg's Wordyard


Hand-forged posts since 2002

Last Build Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:45:20 +0000


Where did 2017 go? Into Backchannel

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:45:20 +0000

From July through Thanksgiving this year I worked with Steven Levy, Jessi Hempel, and their team at Backchannel as an editor — an opportunity that became available while executive editor Sandra Upson was on leave. I’ve been around enough online media shops to recognize the fine hum of a great editorial outfit, and this was […]

Fall 2016 update, or: What I’m up to

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 21:50:49 +0000

Missed you! Here’s my latest news: (1) I continue to write features for Backchannel, which is still publishing on Medium but no longer owned by Medium, having been acquired by Conde Nast. Index of my stories is here. Some (relatively) recent stuff: This Company Kills Passwords — Okta and the future of identity How Kik […]

Wordyard update

Wed, 18 May 2016 04:49:09 +0000

As you can see, I’ve suspended the link-sharing project. It’s not that there isn’t still an incredible flow of links on the subject of digital authenticity and “being yourself” on social media. (You could fill a whole feed just with links to think pieces on Trump.) But I’m not satisfied with the format I’ve been […]

What does it mean to build bots ethically?

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 02:15:46 +0000

DammitKarissa | Flickr From “How to Make a Bot That Isn’t Racist,” by Sarah Jeong in Motherboard (3/25/16): “Most of my bots don’t interact with humans directly,” said Kazemi. “I actually take great care to make my bots seem as inhuman and alien as possible. If a very simple bot that doesn’t seem very human […]

People asks, “Who is the real Trump?”

Mon, 04 Apr 2016 17:24:12 +0000

Trump is said to be an effective campaigner because voters perceive his “I tell it like it is” persona to be real. Yet his coterie turns around and says that the shit-stirring, plainspoken, politically incorrect identity is the act, and the “real” Trump is a more thoughtful kind of guy. From “Who Is the Real […]

“Our unique selves must live in some balanced state between overedited and underedited”

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 19:44:51 +0000

Thomas | Flickr From “Runs in the Family: New findings about schizophrenia rekindle old questions about genes and identity,” by Siddhartha Mukherjee in the New Yorker (3/28/16): What is the nature of instruction that allows an organism to build a psyche, or a nose — any nose — in the first place? The C4-gene variant […]

“Always-on celebrities should not be surprised when their credibility is questioned”

Thu, 24 Mar 2016 16:54:40 +0000

Sara Kelly | Flickr Nick Denton in Gawker, writing on the jury verdict in the Hulk Hogan trial: Celebrities, especially ones as public about their personal and sex life as Hulk Hogan, have a narrower zone of privacy than ordinary people. Regardless of questions about Gawker’s editorial standards and methods, self-promoters should not be allowed […]

“Mr. Bush was considered authentic”

Sat, 19 Mar 2016 13:50:37 +0000

bk1bennett | Flickr From “Obama Privately Tells Donors That Time Is Coming to Unite Behind Hillary Clinton,” by Maggie Haberman and Michael Shear in the New York Times (3/18/16): Mr. Obama acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton was perceived to have weaknesses as a candidate, and that some Democrats did not view her as authentic. But he […]

“It’s the moment you’re being squeezed as an asset”

Fri, 18 Mar 2016 02:21:37 +0000

Andrew Huff | Flickr From “I thought my Instagram was all mine, until the algorithm proved me wrong,” by Nellie Bowles in the Guardian (3/17/16), about Instagram’s switch to an algorithm-based personal feed: “You create this identity for yourself, like your little secret life that interacts with other secret lives, and if that gets manipulated, […]

“Every one of these roles and tones seems ‘authentic’ “

Sat, 12 Mar 2016 00:35:22 +0000

Matt Johnson | Flickr “After the ‘Nice’ Debate: Trump’s Shape-Shifting Power,” James Fallows (The Atlantic, 3/11/16): Trump talks up his background as a business executive, but the background that really matters is his years as a reality TV star. All politicians need to be actors. But by nature or by experience, Trump is just far […]