Where Does Tech Go Now? 8 Ideas from Alexis Madrigal

Skateboard detail

Detail of skateboard. Taken with a retro-look Olympus OM-D EM-5 and uploaded via God knows what filter to Instagram. Credit: The author.

Technology’s biggest product in 2013, observes Atlantic Tech ringleader Alexis Madrigal, was technoanxiety — worries about everything from the NSA (and how easy we make it for them to spy on us) to how we may be warping our minds, societies, or children by gluing our eyes to screens. And meanwhile, as he puts it,

Vintage everything. Digging your hands into the earth, while software eats the world.

We want a high-tech phone or gorgeous retro camera that takes old-fashioned photos. All of which sets us up for what Madrigal really wants to talk about:

This year, I think this uneasy balance busts. Its not that the underlying tensions will go away, but one can only remain anxious for so long. We will make our peace with our smartphones, either succumbing or overcoming, or something. Attention will turn elsewhere. 2014 feels like the beginning of a new cycle, and thats where my focus will be. I find myself astonished at the reporting possibilities that are apparent to me this year. And I want to share some of my hypotheses with you.

He has eight, from job tech and robots (some overlap there) to the question of whether, given the chance by ‘wearables’ and other tech that’s not in a phone, we’ll grab the chance to ditch these screens and use a tech connection to the world that may (or may not) be less distancing. Also, of course, tech and kids, which, as Madrigal now has one, I think we’ll see some stimulating work on.

This is a a wonderful forecast of the obsessions he’ll be covering this year and a brisk agile piece, full of Madrigal’s restless, unpredictable smarts and quick-flick language. You don’t even have to care about tech to enjoy this story. But you do, so you will, even more.

Where Do We Go From Here? 8 Hypotheses About Tech in 2014 – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *