A few of the issues I mention below were changed after I finished this post, when Wired “updated” the article on 10/20/21, but I think it is still worth examining the article as it originally came out on 10/14/21, so I have left my post as is.

If historians are…


Maybe more people are writing about the real and potential problems of technology today than ever before. That is mostly a good thing. The list of books and articles from the last few years that have nuanced and illuminating perspectives on the contemporary technological situation is rich and long.

Recently…


Over the past five years, including while writing The Innovation Delusion with Andy Russell, I have been reading a number of works that paint a similar picture of technology and the economy in the United States. …


Why one longtime Apple fan is giving up on the company

Mobile phone reflected in broken mirror with distortion effect
Photo: Artur Debat/Moment/Getty Images

I have been a loyal Apple customer since 2003, when I met the woman who became my wife. When Abigail and I got together, she had an iMac, a blue bubble of a thing that looked cutting-edge for its day. I have fond memories of staying up late into the…


In the last few weeks, friends at Virginia Tech have been asking me worried questions about the futurist and writer Jeremy Rifkin, who has apparently become a guru or “thought leader” in some quarters on campus. My friends asked, Is Rifkin really a respected thinker about economics and technology? And…


Have you ever heard of Design Thinking?

Your answer to that question will depend largely on where you sit in the world. The phrase Design Thinking is known almost universally in design circles. It’s made its way around networks of business hype more than once. Hell, the folks at Singularity…


Lack-of-Positive-Futures Theorist and Scifi Writer Neal Stephenson (Source: Wikipedia)

Recently, I’ve heard several people suggest that a lack-of-positive-futures, or optimistic visions of tomorrow, have hampered advances in science and technology. This lack-of-positive-futures hypothesis builds on well-known gripes about supposed deficits in recent technological progress. As billionaire vampire Peter Thiel put it, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140…


In a recent publication, business school professors and collaborators put forward evidence that a parasite found in feline excrement may be leading to increased entrepreneurial behavior. The reason, they argue, is that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii makes individuals it infects less risk averse and decreases fear of failure. …


Last week, I awoke to find a funny message in my inbox. A colleague had forwarded me an email that a leader at the Stanford d.school apparently wrote about my recent essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Design Thinking is a Boondoggle.” Noting that “we’re watching this piece carefully”…

Lee Vinsel

I do technology studies, co-organize @The_Maintainers, and profess Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech.

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