How Minnesota Teachers Invented a Proto-Internet More Centered on Community Than Commerce

In 1967, Eighteen School Districts Around the Twin Cities Created a Computing Network Connecting More Than 130,000 Students

In 1971, three student-teachers in the Minneapolis public school system created the computer game The Oregon Trail for students in their American history class. In this game, players could imagine they were journeying from Missouri westward to the Pacific Ocean, in search of better lives. They had to manage supplies, battle illness and foul weather, and hunt for food to continue along the Trail. Working with rudimentary text-based computer interfaces, they typed “BANG” to hunt and answered questions—“Do you want to eat (1) poorly (2) moderately or (3) well?”—by keying …

More In: Ideas

No, We Do Not Have a “Nihilist” in the White House

Far From Being “Mindless,” This Nineteenth Century Philosophy Requires a Deliberate, Desperate Awareness of the Horror of Our Condition 

There has been, quite literally, much ado about nothing of late. Shadowing the rise of Donald Trump is the rise of what Friedrich Nietzsche called the “uncanniest of guests”—namely, nihilism. …

How Surf City USA Became the “Anti-California”

Riding a Wave of Litigation and Conspiracy-Mongering, Huntington Beach Defies the Golden State's Laws—and Its Diverse Reality

Who says you can’t build anything in California? Huntington Beach is busy constructing a wall of denial around whatever is left of its soul.

The Orange County city has long been …

A Native Hawaiian Returns Home

Thirty Years After My Family Left for Prosperity in California, I Moved Back to the Islands I Thought I Knew

The land sparkled like glitter. It was 1961 and my mother let my brothers and me take turns sitting by the airplane window, but I was lucky enough to commandeer …

Is Oakland Too Real for the Oscars?

The Bay Area’s Second City Gave Us the Year’s Surprise Hits—Black Panther, Blindspotting, and Sorry to Bother You—But the Academy Hasn’t Returned the Love

The best California movie scene of recent vintage is the opening of the 2018 film Sorry to Bother You. A young man and his girlfriend are getting intimate in what …