Essay

In Praise of the Postcard

A Seemingly Obsolete Technology Invites Us to Ruminate on the Possibilities of the Past and the Future

by Frances Tanzer

The postcard selection on Vis, Croatia’s most remote island, was not terribly appealing. I considered a card adorned with a photograph of boats in the old harbor. Surely, I thought, the photograph I had taken the previous night of the pink sunset over the harbor in Komiža was more beautiful than the seemingly hastily composed postcard image of the same scene.
  Later, I posted my pink sunset to Instagram Stories with a humorous caption. The act fulfilled the historic function of the postcard—to swiftly and cheaply share an illustrated message.
  Seen by over 100 people over the next 24 hours, the story represented the efficiency of current communication technology ...

The Takeaway

Can Humans Reprogram the Internet’s Original Sin?

From the Pop-Up Ad to Criminal Sentencing Algorithms, Software—And the People Behind It—Shape Our Lives

by Sarah Rothbard

Will ChatGPT change the world? The new artificial intelligence chatbot, which has inspired both fear and awe with its power to do everything from write jokes and term papers to perhaps even make Google obsolete, would not be the first piece of computer code to fundamentally alter the way we live. It won’t be the last, either.
  But even as we wring our hands over all the ways AI might replace humans, we tend to forget or ignore what Torie Bosch, editor of the new book “You Are Not Expected to Understand This”: How 26 Lines of Code Changed the World, called “the very human decision-making that goes into code.” Bosch, who is also editor of Future Tense ...

  • The Takeaway

    A Feminist-Led Uprising Brings the World to Iran's Fight

    This Time Around, Social Media and Youth Fuel the Call for “Women, Life, Freedom”

    A quartet of Iranian women took the stage to discuss the uprising in Iran, where a general strike has entered its third day and protests persist after nearly three months. Co-presented with the Goldhirsh Foundation and with generous support from Pedram Salimpour, “How Can Women and Girls Win in Iran?” brought Atlantic Council senior fellow Holly Dagres, artist Sahar Ghorishi, and anthropologist Pardis ...

Inquiries