For the past ten days, I've been getting my news from Snapchat. I've learned stuff about internet dating, celebrity plastic surgery, Ukraine peace talks, and Bitcoin mines. But mostly, I've learned what old media thinks app media really wants. And it's not pretty.
I have discovered something extremely strange about San Francisco. It has to do with how many patents the city has produced in the past 25 years.
Siri, Cortana and Alexa are robotic personal assistants, but they are also women. They live in your pockets, their skinny smart phone bodies executing your every command. They are intimate with you. But they are also, as Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore said at the Windows 10 keynote last week, "a member of your family."
In many cities, it's become popular to hate "gentrifiers," rich people who move in and drive up housing prices — pushing everyone else out. But what's going on in these rapidly-changing urban spaces is a lot more complicated than that.
The more we learn about ecosystems, the more obvious it becomes that we won't save the Earth until we admit that our planet is a giant, incredibly complex machine that can be programmed. And, with enough study, it can be reprogrammed, too.