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Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer for The Atlantic.
Results 1-10 of 128

Wikipedia, the Last Bastion of Shared Reality

August 7, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The ever-widening maelstrom surrounding tweets by Sarah Jeong, the latest hire by the New York Times editorial board, may consume all the atoms in the known universe, and as Wikipedia is of this world, it, too, must be a place to immortalize (or attempt to immortalize) Jeong as racist. Over...

Tech’s Fractal Irresponsibility Problem

July 26, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s Thursday, so there’s another small scandal in the tech world. Hate groups that Facebook had booted from its platform after the murder of Heather Heyer have slithered back into the blue-and-white universe, The Guardian reported. The Southern Poverty Law Center gave an exasperated quote; Facebook forcefully averred, “As organized...

Why Facebook Wants to Give You the Benefit of the Doubt

July 20, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In an unusually revealing moment for Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg told Recode’s Kara Swisher on Wednesday that he didn’t support taking down content about Holocaust denial on Facebook. Zuckerberg is Jewish, and he finds such denials “deeply offensive,” he said. But Holocaust deniers were not “intentionally getting it wrong.” When...

Civic Tech in a Time of Technopessimism

June 26, 2018 “When I look back at 2010 me, I think I had this naïve idea that tech would save government,” confessed Jen Pahlka, the founder of Code for America, a civic-tech nonprofit. In its early days, Code for America’s mission was to persuade people at the big tech companies to take...

Civic Tech in a Time of Technopessimism

June 26, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow “When I look back at 2010 me, I think I had this naïve idea that tech would save government,” confessed Jen Pahlka, the founder of Code for America, a civic-tech nonprofit. In its early days, Code for America’s mission was to persuade people at the big tech companies to take...

Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore

May 31, 2018 The telephone swept into Americans’ lives in the first decades of the 20th century. At first, no one knew exactly how to telephone. Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to start conversations by saying, “Ahoy-hoy!” AT&T tried to prevent people from saying “hello,” arguing in Telephone Engineer magazine that it was...

Uber’s Self-Driving Car Didn’t Malfunction, It Was Just Bad

May 29, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On March 18, at 9:58 p.m., a self-driving Uber car killed Elaine Herzberg. The vehicle was driving itself down an uncomplicated road in suburban Tempe, Arizona, when it hit her. Herzberg, who was walking across the mostly empty street, was the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle. The preliminary...

The Most Important Exchange of the Zuckerberg Hearing

April 12, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In his second day of congressional hearings, Mark Zuckerberg began the proceedings in the House of Representatives on Wednesday with an identical opening statement to the one he gave in the Senate on Tuesday. But from that point forward, the proceedings went in a very different direction. The House members...

The Most Important Self-Driving Car Announcement Yet

March 29, 2018 On Tuesday, Waymo announced they’d purchase 20,000 sporty, electric self-driving vehicles from Jaguar for the company’s forthcoming ride-hailing service. Waymo, Google’s sister company within Alphabet, held a press conference in New York for the unveiling of the vehicle, and most of the stories revolved around the luxury SUV’s look and...

The Most Important Self-Driving Car Announcement Yet

March 29, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On Tuesday, Waymo announced they’d purchase 20,000 sporty, electric self-driving vehicles from Jaguar for the company’s forthcoming ride-hailing service. Waymo, Google’s sister company within Alphabet, held a press conference in New York for the unveiling of the vehicle, and most of the stories revolved around the luxury SUV’s look and...