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Goodbye and Thank You From Matt Novak

After 10 years with Gizmodo, the writer is launching Paleofuture+.

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A portion of the December 26, 1965 edition of newspaper comic “Our New Age,” written by Athelstan Spilhaus and illustrated by Gene Fawcette.
A portion of the December 26, 1965 edition of newspaper comic “Our New Age,” written by Athelstan Spilhaus and illustrated by Gene Fawcette.

When I got an email from Gizmodo’s former editor-in-chief Joel Johnson asking if I’d be interested in writing for this site, it felt like winning the lottery. The year was 2013 and I was writing the Paleofuture blog for Smithsonian magazine while writing freelance articles on the side. According to Joel, not only would I be writing full-time for just one publication, it would be a website that provided the freedom to write bluntly, no matter the topic. After 10 years of incredible freedom, my time at Gizmodo is coming to a close. But I wanted to say thank you to my talented coworkers and the readers of Gizmodo, because this place wouldn’t be the same without you.

Gizmodo has seen a few different owners over the years, but the ethos has remained the same: Tell the truth and don’t be afraid to burn bridges in defense of your beliefs. At least that was my take on why we were successful. This website has been many things to many people, but I always felt like the thing that set us apart was our ability to call bullshit in plain language whenever necessary. The New York Times and Washington Post are fantastic news outlets, but sometimes stating things plainly is a radical act not afforded to the hard-news divisions of newspapers that do great reporting.

Respectable newspapers couldn’t just call Donald Trump a white supremacist when he was in office or explain that Elon Musk was an American oligarch making billions from government coffers, even though those things were objectively true. But Gizmodo and its sister sites have that freedom, and I hope they never lose it. Because a factually accurate story, which also includes a kind of radically honest context for the news, seems like an increasingly scarce product here in the 2020s. No one ever called me unbiased during my 10 years at Gizmodo, but I hope they could call me both accurate and passionate about the stories I covered.

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My passions will be moving on from Gizmodo after this week, as I’ve been made redundant—a word I’m still a bit confused by, if we’re being totally honest. But you’ll be able to keep up with my work at Paleofuture.com, which also has an archive of all my Paleofuture articles dating back to 2007. I’ve even launched a new subscription service called Paleofuture+ where I’m sharing exclusive new articles and rare futuristic videos. Members also get access to an exclusive Discord server to chat about past visions of the future.

Of course, it wasn’t all serious business over the past 10 years at Gizmodo. We also had the freedom to write lots of weird stuff that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. And I’m going to miss the times we got to be weird with you all.

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Again, thank you to everyone at Gizmodo, including the many editors I’ve had over the years. I’m sad to be leaving, but I know this place will remain necessary reading for anyone who cares about tech and culture in the years to come. I loved this job and I really did feel like I won the lottery. But everything ends at some point, and I’m just tremendously grateful that I had the chance to work my dream job for a decade.