What’s Vanishing Point about?

As a professional software developer, product manager, life-long lover of computers and an internet addict since the early days, I once believed that this technology would connect, educate and liberate us all. Today, as the internet and society have all but converged, I have to ask myself - how’s that going, exactly?

To put it delicately, I think we’ve still got some work to do.

In my opening post, I offered a grave assessment on the impact of smartphones on our news media, explaining how writers are now incentivised to catch “passing trade” - appeasing the algorithms and audiences of infinite-scroll aggregator sites and social networks. This has left journalism and society writ large in a perilous place.

It’s increasingly clear to me that our favoured discussion channels for the fleeting topics of the day are not up to the job of handling bigger conversations that need to be had. It feels in these places that we can no longer see the forest for the trees. So I’m having a go at the old way.

This e-mail newsletter is about stepping back, looking back, and thinking about where our technology came from, where it’s gotten us, and where it might be going.