Or, how video chat entered the uncanny valley of sociality in the pandemic

Snow white dolls that look like they’re in the uncanny valley
Snow white dolls that look like they’re in the uncanny valley
Image CC-BY Alan Levine


Or, why the social internet has become our best third place option during the pandemic

A circle of seven people sit in meditation in Regents Park, London.
A circle of seven people sit in meditation in Regents Park, London.
A group meditation in Regents Park, London. Image CC BY-ND Mick Baker


Street art saying “the revolution will not be tweeted” with a Twitter bird with a line through it
Street art saying “the revolution will not be tweeted” with a Twitter bird with a line through it
Image CC-BY Gigi Ibrahim


How Trauma-Informed Journalism Can Help Us Navigate These Times

Yellow flowers arranged on the grass in the shape of a heart
Yellow flowers arranged on the grass in the shape of a heart
Image CC-BY Steven Diaz


Three Reasons for Optimism and Three Reasons for Pessimism

  1. The process by which this happened only highlights the enormous power of private platforms in governing what have effectively become private online spaces where public, civic discourse happens. Think about shopping malls and college campuses — urbanists…


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Image NC-BY-SA zug zwang


As we close out 2020, here’s a simple tool for reflecting on what’s to come

A blank sheet of paper folded in half
A blank sheet of paper folded in half
Image CC-BY chip.hedler


A Substack newsletter about global media and technology futures


Meditation runs counter to the demands of an attention economy. But it’s a critical skill for these times.

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Image for post
Image CC BY-NC Tsalon


In my new article for Columbia Journalism Review, I look at some of the challenges and opportunities.

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A photo I took in Shenzhen’s Huaqiangbei District.

an xiao mina

author and technologist. words and commentary in ny times, bbc, atlantic, hyperallergic, etc. meedan. opinions my own.

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