The problem with social mobility is that sometimes the gap between the life you came from and the life you now lead seems unimaginably huge, and it’s hard to reconcile this into a coherent identity. But sometimes, as when I saw my dad with the cosmonaut’s glove, that distance collapses, even if ju…
Those are “just” complex web platforms with millions of users. With phone operating systems like Android or iOS you’re talking dozens of interlocking platforms, billions of users, giant carrier companies like Verizon and AT&T that have complex, mutually-suspicious relationships with handset makers, hardware that is constantly evolving and breaking, and software to bind it all. Manufacturing a phone is like building Rome in a day, under a microscope. Or 2.5 million Romes in a day, since at least that many smartphones are manufactured. It’s one of the most complex things we do as a culture. So the number of variables involved is immense and the amount of product work required is equally immense.
Building digital tools for active citizenship: this week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade talk to Glenn Otis Brown, the chief digital officer at the Obama Foundation. The conversation works through each major stop in his career, from Harvard Law (including the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society) to Creative Commons to Google and YouTube to Twitter to his current role. Topics covered include the mission of the Obama Foundation, copyright and fair use, what “product counsel” does at a place like Google, the power of livestreaming, and Rich’s fantasy vision of a Miami courtroom.
Track Changes is the weekly technology and culture podcast from Postlight, hosted by Paul Ford and Rich Ziade. Show notes and transcripts by Elizabeth Minkel. Production and editing by Tom Meyers. Podcast logo and design by Matt Quintanilla of Postlight.