Nieman Foundation at Harvard
How to b-e-e of use: Signal Cleveland hosts second annual community spelling contest
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Articles by Joanne McNeil

Joanne McNeil is a science and technology writer living outside Boston, Mass. She curates The Tomorrow Museum (“a collection of images and speculative essays exploring how technology, science, and economics are affecting the fine arts”) and organizes the Boston Bookfuturists. Her personal website is
“What’s changed is there’s now a lot less secrecy around journalist-moonlighters. There’s no longer any illusion that, if you were actually any good, someone would have hired you. (Who is there to hire you?)”
“Watch for Facebook to reemerge, promoting itself as the sensible, mature alternative to Elon Musk’s Twitter chaos.”
“We have a generation of ‘veteran tech critics’ with ties to the industry they comment on.”
“Needless deaths of hardware store cashiers and bus drivers were framed in stories as the sacrifice of ‘heroes’ rather than an outrage and injustice. Or workers were written out of news stories entirely.”
“Such spaces are escape hatches from the horse-race election cycle: People are looking for those escape hatches, and they’re looking to create them too.”
“There is a semi-atemporality to web interfaces, which means that even a publication that hasn’t been updated in years might look like it’s still active. That irresolute state communicates to future readers that no one cared to treat it well in its final days. Perhaps no cared about it ever.”
“‘The algorithm knows best’ is now a laughably naive position to take, even for the companies that initially pushed that narrative.”
May 5, 2010