Quote of the week
The trouble with writing fiction is that it has to make sense, whereas real life doesn’t.
Articles of the week
- Iain Banks: the final interview
A touching interview with acclaimed science fiction author Iain Banks, shortly before his death. He reviews his literary work, discusses politics and his predictions for the near future, and talks openly about dealing with a terminal diagnosis.
- OB298 — A Preliminary Atlas of Drone Strike Landscapes
Tim Maly deconstructs a drone strike, piecing together the various nodes in the network – the site of the strike, weapons manufacturers, airbases, testing facilities – that brought it about, and in doing so, demonstrates just how little can be known about attacks carried out in this way.
- Is Cyberutopianism Really Such a Bad Thing?
An excerpt from Ethan Zuckerman’s recently published book, Rewire, in which he defends the cyberutopian perspective that society can and should use technology to do good.
- Airbnb vs Hotels: A Price Comparison
Priceonomics breaks down the cost difference between Airbnb stays and hotel stays in the USA. A whole apartment on Airbnb is, according to their research, 21.2% cheaper on average than a hotel room.
- Palantir, the War on Terror’s Secret Weapon
Silicon Valley software company Palantir, whose software helps unify and make sense of various data points collected on a person, and is used extensively by US intelligence. Though the article is nearly a year and a half old, in the context of recent discussions on PRISM it becomes clear just how eerily powerful this type of software can be.