Author Archives: Ethan

Harnessing Mistrust for Civic Action

Yes, it’s international press day here on my old, creaky blog. Friends at Süddeutsch Zeitung asked whether I could turn my Re:publica Keynote on mistrust and civics into a newspaper op-ed. Here’s what I came up with, which ran in … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 1 Comment

Who benefits from doubt? Online manipulation and the Russian – and US – internet

I was asked by an editor at RBC, one of Russia’s best respected independent news organizations, to offer my thoughts on the Russian/US infowar. It was a great chance to think about Adrian Chen’s provocative tale about Russia’s Internet Research … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 1 Comment

Instaserfs: Precarious Employment in the New – and Old – Economy

(This summer, I’m going to publish some of my work on FOLD, the beautiful platform my student Alexis Hope is building. There’s a graphically enhanced version of this story there.) Benjamen Walker makes some of the best radio around. (Okay, … Continue reading

Posted in ideas, long bookmark | Leave a comment

Pattern recognition: racism, gun violence and Dylann Roof

When you read about Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine black men and women as they prayed, think about the patterns he represents. Over the next few days, we’re going to hear about mental illness. We’re going to hear … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 1 Comment

Listening Machines, and the whether, when and how of new technologies

One of my great pleasures in life is attending conferences on fields I’m intrigued by, but know nothing about. (A second pleasure is writing about these events.) So when my friend Kate Crawford invited me to a daylong “Listening Machine … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | Leave a comment

Mystery Show is the new Serial. Kinda. (But it’s an awesome moment for radio.)

Hey guys, Mystery Show is the new Serial! Well, sorta. Not quite. Actually, it’s almost the antidote to Serial. But in a way that acknowledges the awesomeness of both shows. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I have a … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 1 Comment

The death of Tidbit and why it matters

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that they had settled their complaint with the developers of “Tidbit”, a prototype piece of software developed by four MIT undergraduates as part of a hackathon. It’s about time. New Jersey … Continue reading

Posted in Media Lab | 1 Comment

Re:publica Keynote: The System is Broken – That’s the Good News

I’m at the wonderful Re:publica conference for a single day, racing home to teach tomorrow… and thus far I’ve given a keynote and done over 12 interviews, so I haven’t gotten the whole feel of the conference yet. Still, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 3 Comments

Introducing FOLD, a new tool (and a new model?) for storytelling

This morning, Center for Civic Media at MIT is releasing a new publishing platform, FOLD. Alexis Hope (a Masters student in my lab) and Kevin Hu began working on FOLD when they were students in my class News and Participatory … Continue reading

Posted in ideas, Media, Media Lab | 8 Comments

The Civic Statuary Project

The University of Cape Town removed a controversial statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes last week, after a month of student protests. Rhodes, who build the De Beers diamond empire, was an unrepentant imperialist whose wealth came from purchasing mineral … Continue reading

Posted in CFCM, ideas, Media, Media Lab | 2 Comments