“The worrying thing about this is that we live in an asymmetrical world, where just a few companies and public institutions know a lot about us, while we know little about them,” — Carlo Ratti, MIT Senseable City Lab

For some in the tech industry, Google’s reputation for integrity has frayed.


“It seems as if no company, executive, or institution truly understands how to survive and prosper in the internet age. Except Google.”
–Jeff Jarvis, “What Would Google Do?” (2009)

Image credit: Daniel Leslie

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.

-Paul Simon, “Bookends”

Mark Zuckerberg delivering his keynote address at Facebook’s F8 Developers Conference in 2016 in San Francisco (Source: YouTube)

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, the internet’s Boy King, laid out his vision of our future in the form of an expansive 5,700-word dissertation. Zuckerberg’s manifesto, which manages to be at once insipid and terrifying, outlines a version of our collective trajectory in the coming decades that will digitally bind us to…

Trump towers over street kids in Mumbai, India. Photo credit: Paul Needham. (If you were curious, this terrifying photo has been authenticated.)

“Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.”
–David Bowie

The year 2016 (as we spit upon the ground) was defined by – the loss of David Bowie notwithstanding – intense contradiction, the decline of domestic and international institutions, and emerging…

Mayor Bloomberg addresses the New York Tech Meetup in 2011. Credit: Clay Williams/NYTM

Last week I attended the NY Tech Meetup. For a certain segment of the NYC tech community, NYTM is something of an institution. It was the flagship group when Meetup.com was founded, and its format (usually half a dozen startups giving demos) has the feeling of a mini TechCrunch Disrupt.

Sunset while touring the Bosphorus, November 2012 (Photo: Daniel Leslie)

Today my thoughts are with Turkey, where four years ago I traveled with friends and experienced the nexus of East and West.

Some of my fondest memories are from that trip: watching passers-by over Turkish coffee in the street cafes of Istanbul, haggling with rug dealers in the Grand Bazaar, the palpable residue of antiquity. …

Photo credit: Zbigniew Osiowy

Brexit is the latest darkness descended upon the Global Village.

A resurgent and toxic nationalism has begun to eat Europe alive, and the internet has become an accelerant poured on the flame.

On this Independence Day in the USA, consider the following:

  • The contested, and now de facto, independence of Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea from Ukraine
  • The disastrous and ill-conceived…

Photo: Daniel Leslie

A couple of years ago we met with a startup that wanted to disrupt an industry dominated by existing digital platforms which, our client believed, were missing opportunities in the marketplace.

They showed up at our first meeting with what amounted to a laundry list of feature ideas.

“We’re going…

Photo: Daniel Leslie

The Internet of Things, a phrase nearly as overused as it is devoid of humanity, should provide a disquieting sense of what our future holds.

It’s a future that will prove to be both wretched and sublime, the offspring of the consumerism of the twentieth century and the hyper-connectivity offered…

Daniel Leslie

Managing Partner, @reflexions. Contributor, Huffington Post. Technology, data journalism, social justice.

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