Illustration by Eleanor Davis

In The Manual: “We Are What We Build”

I’m honored to be included in Issue 5 of The Manual, doubly so because it may well be the last issue of The Manual, triply so because I spoke at the very first Build Conference, the event that gave birth to The Manual.

I have two pieces, as is traditional for The Manual: an article titled “We Are What We Build”, and a short, untitled ‘life lesson’ about a whiny 12-year-old me and my grandfather’s quiet wisdom.

A quote from “We Are What We Build”:

The challenge now is in how those fragments of our lives are treated. This is as much a social question as a technological problem, but the two are not separable. What Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and every other at-scale social network does now — everything they make possible or impossible, everything they make easier or harder — will shape what we think of as normal in a decade or two.

Past readers may recognize this sentiment (as well as the title) from my talk at XOXO 2015, which was heavily intertwined with the article for The Manual. One led to the other, in fact. I proposed the talk, which Andy B. accepted, and then Andy M. asked me if I’d write it for The Manual. So I did.

I was glad to write both, and I hope you enjoy them… and more importantly, I hope they provoke some reflection.


Originally published at meyerweb.com on April 19, 2016.

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