Introducing: How to Keep Time

Why can it feel like there’s never enough time in a day, and why are so many of us conditioned to believe that being more productive makes us better people? On How to Keep Time, co-hosts Becca Rashid and the Atlantic contributing writer Ian Bogost talk with social scientists, authors, philosophers, and theoretical physicists to learn more about time and… read more

A Tool to Supercharge Your Imagination

What if The Atlantic owned a train car? I wondered. Amtrak, I had just learned on the internet, allows owners of private railcars to lash onto runs along the Northeast Corridor, among other routes. “We should have a train car,” I slacked an editor. Moments later, it appeared on my screen, bright red with our magazine’s logo emblazoned in white,… read more

How Starbucks Perfected Autumn

I drink the Pumpkin Spice Latte to commune with autumn. Not first for its taste, warmth or color, though also for those things. I order pumpkin spice to fuse my body with the leaves, the crisp air, the gentle reminders of death, and all the other trappings of fall. Twenty years ago this month, Starbucks brought this flavor to the… read more

My Books Were Used to Train Meta’s Generative AI. Good.

When The Atlantic revealed last month that tens of thousands of books published in the past 20 years had been used without permission to train Meta’s AI language model, well-known authors were outraged, calling it a “smoking gun” for mega-corporate misbehavior. Now that the magazine has put out a searchable database of affected books, the outrage is redoubled: “I would… read more

Slack Is Basically Facebook Now

“Oh,” I slacked my Atlantic colleagues earlier this week, beneath a screenshot of a pop-up note that Slack, the group-chat software we use, had presented to me moments earlier. “A fresh, more focused Slack,” it promised, or threatened. On my screen, the program’s interface was suddenly a Grimace-purple color. I sensed doom in this software update. Slowly, over the days… read more

Feeling Herd

At high noon on an early-spring day in 2017, six steers doomed to die escaped their slaughterhouse and stormed the streets of my city. The escape became a nuisance, then a scene, then a phenomenon. “Man, it was crazy!” one onlooker told the local alt-weekly. “I mean, it was fucking bulls running through the city of St. Louis!” What seemed… read more

‘Netwar’ Could Be Even Worse Than Cyberwar

The Russia-Ukraine conflict could trigger a massive cyberwar, New Scientist surmised. An unprecedented cyberwar is likely, Senator Marco Rubio warned. The hacker group Anonymous has allegedly launched a cyberwar against the Russian government. Cyberwar sounds bad—and it is. Broadly, it names the global threat of combat mixed with computer stuff. But further explanations of its risks tend to devolve into… read more

The Internet Is Just Investment Banking Now

Twitter has begun allowing its users to showcase NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, as profile pictures on their accounts. It’s the latest public victory for this form of … and, you know, there’s the problem. What the hell is an NFT anyway? There are answers. Twitter calls NFTs “unique digital items, such as artwork, with proof of ownership that’s stored on… read more

I Figured Out Wordle’s Secret

Updated on February 4, 2022 at 11 a.m. ET. Wordle! It’s a word game people are playing online. Each day, the game offers one new puzzle: Guess a five-letter English word correctly in six or fewer tries. After each guess, the game tells you which letters are correct, which are wrong, and which are the right letters in the wrong… read more

The Subversive Genius of Extremely Slow Email

Every day, the mail still comes. My postal carrier drives her proud van onto the street and then climbs each stoop by foot. The service remains essential, but not as a communications channel. I receive ads and bills, mostly, and the occasional newspaper clipping from my mom. For talking to people, I use email and text and social networking. The… read more