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Motherboard’s writers, editors, and contributors have spent the last week talking to activists, researchers, and policy makers about the powers that Donald Trump will inherit when he takes power in January. There’s little sense in speculating about what Trump will do when he takes office, but it’s important to understand the powers he will have to affect things like climate change, energy policy, surveillance, cybersecurity, and the other things Motherboard holds dear.
Credits for this episode:
Host/producer: Jason Koebler
Editor: Tim Barnes
Space/NASA: Becky Ferreira
Border, immigration, and drug trafficking: Brian Anderson
Trade: Nicholas Deleon
Energy and Climate: Sarah Emerson
Vaping: Kaleigh Rogers
Health: Ankita Rao
Hacking and Cybersecurity: Lorenzo FB
Privacy: Joseph Cox
Drones: Ben Sullivan
Net Neutrality: Sam Gustin
Also: Derek Mead
We couldn’t ignore the fact that an impending Trump presidency feels like a Black Mirror episode. We discuss his campaign and the election through the lens of Black Mirror, and discuss ‘San Junipero,’ ‘Men Against Fire,’ and ‘Hated in the Nation.’
We’ve always sort of called Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror” the Motherboard show, because while we love tech, we’re probably a bit more wary of its ability to lean dystopian than your average tech publication. So this week and next, we’re going to be talking about the new season of Black Mirror on Netflix.
Today, we’re going to be talking about what the first three episodes—”Nosedive,” “Playtest,” and “Shut Up and Dance” say about our culture. Next week, we’ll be back talking about the end of the season—”San Junipero,” “Men Against Fire,” and “Hated in the Nation.” This week’s episode has spoilers for the first three episodes and some light discussion of the first season episode “Fifteen Million Merits.”
‘Berlin Station’ is a new spy drama/thriller from the cable network EPIX, which focuses on a leak of classified information at the titular CIA office, and the agents tracking it down. Motherboard spoke to series writers Brad Winters and Larry Cohen, who also worked together on a separate project: a graphic novel series called ‘Americatown’ about a near-future dystopia where Americans are the immigrants.
Tens of thousands of iPhone 6 Plus phones have been spontaneously losing their touchscreen capability because of an engineering flaw, but Apple still won’t admit there’s a problem. Motherboard spoke to Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, about what’s causing the issue and what Apple should do about it. We also talk with an Apple Genius about your options if you have a phone with the problem.
Motherboard reflects on a week exploring time, money and how we decide what to value.
Periods are having a moment in mainstream consciousness. We talk to Kiran Gandhi, a drummer and activist about how the technology and ideas are menstruation are changing, and what it was like to run a marathon “free bleeding.”
Between the hours of 3 AM and 5 AM Friday morning, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump went on a tweetstorm in which he was, you know, just saying that Hillary Clinton helped former Miss Universe (and a target of Trump’s misogyny) Alicia Machado become a US citizen “so she could use her in the debate.”
Is that true? Like, almost certainly not—but in this election season, truth and facts hardly seem to matter. Trump’s attacks on Machado are just the latest data point in an election cycle that has seen wild speculation, rampant exaggeration, and outright lies become accepted as fact by huge swaths of the electorate on both sides of the aisle.
If we’re living in a post-factual era, how did we get here? Vincent F. Hendricks set up the Center for Information and Bubble Studies at the University of Copenhagen to study how individual and media behavior online has created a reality where virality, social spread, and repetition is all that’s required for people to believe something is true.
While “facts” haven’t gone totally by the wayside, the way we cherry pick facts to make alternate realities has created a political system (and a culture) where we can’t have rational arguments because we can’t even agree on a baseline of truth.
Radio Motherboard spoke to Hendricks about this week’s debate and about his new book, Infostorms, which explores how our likes, upvotes, retweets, coupled with social media algorithms and brash politicians with a disregard for the truth are redefining rational society.
At times, Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ feels like a remake of ‘Citizenfour,’ Laura Poitras’s Oscar-winning documentary. Citizenfour is the superior film, but Stone’s spy thriller is still a fun look into this generation’s most important whistleblower. The most interesting thing about ‘Snowden’ the film, however, doesn’t even happen onscreen. The film’s success won’t be viewed in terms of box office numbers, but in whether it has the ability to culturally and politically move the needle for its protagonist. Just days before ‘Snowden’ was released, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International launched the most serious bid to secure a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden. So, is the movie good enough to change the hearts and minds of those who still view him as a traitor?