Welcome to the Technology Channel


Welcome to The Atlantic's new Technology Channel.

Most tech coverage on the Web is predictable: Google vs. Microsoft; the next gadget from Apple; what ever happened to my jetpack? We aim to take a broader view of technology. We're going to write about the financial algorithms that rule our markets, the tradeoffs of our energy system, how a fork is designed, and, yes, an iPad app that is just plain cool. We see technology not just as hardware and software but as a frame through which to view the great stories of our time.

First, I should introduce myself. I'm Alexis Madrigal and I'll be your lead writer and host. I came to The Atlantic from Wired.com and fresh off finishing a book about the history of green technology. Through both pursuits, I came to think about tech in ways that I think are missing from most of what you see in the big newspapers, tech blogs, and glossy magazines. Technology coverage can't just be about gadgets and gizmos: it's the story of humans reshaping and re-engineering the world they confront.

We hope to do four things on this site. First, we want to deliver reported features on emerging technological trends. Second, we want to bring you short, smart takes on the big news of the day. Third, we want to highlight the deep and important original reportage from around the Internet. Fourth, we want to build a community of people here on the channel who care less about the Kindle's pricing strategy and more about how literacy is changing. We're excited about a kind of journalism that is equally committed to fact-finding, making sense of a confusing world, and hosting a conversation for a smart and curious set of readers. Most of all, we aim to deliver the same depth and sophistication we try to apply to politics, business, and culture.

With today's launch, we're introducing some new features.

  • Toolkit is a way of cutting through the gadget clutter. You probably don't care about the endless procession of new objects and services. What matters is how you can use those things to improve your life. Each day we'll be answering your tech questions (and some of our own) from how to share files between computers to whether or not you should buy the new iPhone. (You can submit your questions to amadrigal@theatlantic.com).
  • The Tech Canon is a list of the most important works about technology. Some of the items are movies and magazine articles. Most are books. They cover a broad range of technologies, writing styles, and eras. Think of them as the classics you need to know.
  • Our video series, How to Think About... gives you quick frames for how to think about the blizzard of technologies and services out there. From Twitter's impact to Google and privacy the to the differences between Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, How to Think About is a quick way to get familiar with how we're thinking about the big tech issues of our time.
  • And we'll plunge deep In the Archives to show how The Atlantic has explored the entanglement of the American idea and American technology for the past 153 years. You'll see that this magazine has published some of the most prescient and important thinking on this subject ever written.

So, bookmark us, put us in your RSS reader, follow us on Twitter, or just keep coming back. And along the way, let us know what you think -- by commenting on stories, sending me an email at amadrigal@theatlantic.com, or talking to us on Facebook and Twitter. We'd like to provide the smartest tech coverage out there, but we'll need your help.

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Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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