The value of online writing today

I’ve been thinking lately about what value long-form writing has in the current internet era, which is dominated by a combination of video (e.g. YouTube), images (e.g. Instagram), ‘in the moment’ multimedia (e.g. Snapchat, TikTok) and the black and white opinions prevalent on social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook). There are two key aspects of the … Read more

Writers are builders too

A writer’s role is to build something thoughtful and/or delightful that is of value to people. It should help readers do their jobs, or help them understand the world, or help them cope with the world (by providing entertainment or comfort). Would that qualify as a “builder” in Marc Andreessen’s eyes?

Internet amnesia: Clive James & his website

Clive James

The writer and cultural critic Clive James died last November, at the age of 80. His website,, lives on. James viewed his website as a way to preserve his work, and even in a sense live forever. What he didn’t realise is that the Web forgets the past all too easily, and sometimes erases it entirely.

The internet’s impact on culture

The advent of streaming, from Spotify and others, was the first sign that the internet might no longer be just a distribution channel for music. In fact, Spotify ended up fundamentally changing how we consume music.

The Case For Humanism In Tech

blue robot

At the end of 2016, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) issued the first draft of a handbook entitled Ethically Aligned Design. The 138-page document provides guidelines for “prioritizing human wellbeing” in the development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomous Systems (AS). I’m sure we all agree that a people-centred approach … Read more


I was at a reception last week at the home of the US Ambassador to New Zealand, Mark Gilbert. The event was in celebration of innovation in New Zealand. “We share an ocean,” joked Ambassador Gilbert, as he listed some things America has in common with New Zealand. He meant the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand’s Minister … Read more