Author Archives: Nick Wolven

Down with Geeks!

(Author note. I published this elsewhere once. Might as well republish it here.) For several years, now, lefty cultural critic and man about the webs Freddie de Boer has been—how should I put this?—lamenting the laments of geek culture. His … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smartphonies

Tim Wu, who writes often about technology, once suggested this thought experiment: A well-educated time traveller from 1914 enters a room divided in half by a curtain. A scientist tells him that his task is to ascertain the intelligence of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Won’t Believe My Take on Clickbait

So I was looking at the Slate homepage, and I was thinking, everybody knows, or intuits, or has in some way internalized the basic compositional principles of clickbait headlines. Right? You’ve got your straightforward tease. “You won’t believe this wacky … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Worlduilding, Nerdbusting, Etc.

Every moment of a science fiction story must represent the triumph of writing over worldbuilding. Worldbuilding is dull. Worldbuilding literalises the urge to invent. Worldbuilding gives an unnecessary permission for acts of writing (indeed, for acts of reading). Worldbuilding numbs … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anguish Acquisition

Having children certainly inflects your experience in interesting ways. Before I had my son, I naively believed two things to be true: That children pick up language much more easily than adults. That this happens automatically, through some mysterious interplay … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How the Web Went Bad

(Author’s Note: Excerpts from this essay were published by the Baffler on … oh, at some point in the distant past; I can’t remember when. I’m putting the whole essay here because no one told me not to, and honestly, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Sorrows of Young Weev

Here’s Ethan Mills sending an open letter to his fellow “white dudes”: In the last 10-15 years the internet has weaponized fragile white masculinity in anonymous toxic discussion boards and comment sections as well as directed hate campaigns such as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trending Tendencies: An Empirical Parable

You read one day in the paper that more women are now enrolling in college than men. Not only that, but the gap is widening. What, you wonder, could be driving this trend? You consider a few possibilities. It could … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Men Are Alt-Right MRA Misogynist Dudebro Pigs, Women are Oppressive Totalitarian PC Ideological Feminazis

A Google employee recently ended up in hot water for arguing that women and men tend to seek out different activities and careers because they have, on average, different values and interests. This is an idea that–I exaggerate only slightly–every … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Osita Nwanevu Almost Gets It

I’ve been thinking about David Brooks’s sandwich gaffe. A few weeks ago, Brooks wrote a column arguing that subtle cultural codes–what novelists call “manners”–were a bigger drag on social mobility than so-called structural barriers. As an illustration now made notorious … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment