On the concern aspect, it’s a cliché, however I’m nervous about A.I. and automation. I’m not anxious in regards to the machines themselves — a minimum of not within the Terminator, killer-robot sense. I’m anxious in regards to the political and financial system into which we’re deploying this new, world-changing know-how, and whether or not it’s too late to rejigger issues so we don’t find yourself with a very dystopian end result.

What’s the finest information tip you’ve ever obtained?

I’m undecided about “finest,” however probably the most random tip I’ve ever gotten was in all probability the Sony Footage Leisure hack. It got here to me as an unsolicited electronic mail from somebody (whom we now know was probably a North Korean hacker) who known as himself “the boss of G.O.P.” and included a hyperlink to a trove of paperwork. It appeared like spam, however I opened it on a whim and was shocked to seek out 26 folders of inner Sony Footage paperwork inside, together with spreadsheets containing the salaries of all their executives.

How does it really feel after you publish a giant story? What do you do?

Hmm, let’s see. After I publish a giant story, I normally step out onto my terrace, draw a number of deep, contented breaths, crack open a bottle of Château Margaux and spend the remainder of the day basking within the satisfaction of a job effectively carried out.

I’m kidding. Clearly, I spend the hour after a narrative is revealed frantically refreshing Twitter, on the lookout for affirmation from full strangers and measuring my self-worth by their instantaneous judgments. I’m not a lunatic.

Truly, it normally feels equal elements nice and terrible to publish a giant story. Nice since you’re carried out, which is sweet, however then you definately wait in agony because the world absorbs and digests what you’ve written and tells you that your total thesis is improper, otherwise you’ve blended up 4chan and 8chan, otherwise you wrote that the idea of a “non-playable character” got here from video video games when it actually originated in tabletop role-playing video games comparable to Dungeons & Dragons. (I received dozens of emails about that one.) On the uncommon events when the reception to a chunk is overwhelmingly optimistic, I enable myself to take pleasure in it, though I generally suspect there’s been some form of glitch — possibly the specialists are all on trip this week?

I’m fortunate to jot down for an clever and attentive viewers, and I do get plenty of nice and genuinely useful suggestions. I additionally write loads about horrible elements of the web, so on occasion my inbox and Twitter feed get flooded with trolls and bigots calling me a “pretend information moron from the New York Slimes” (or worse). On these events, I attempt to take a number of hours off from the web and let the cycle run its course.

How do you spend your time if you’re off responsibility?

My latest extracurricular is ceramics. Earlier this yr, I began taking pottery lessons, and it’s been — as Gwyneth Paltrow as this sounds — completely therapeutic and restorative. Making one thing together with your palms is extremely satisfying, and forcing your self to get away from screens and be taught a brand new ability is one thing I want I’d carried out years in the past.


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