Anil Dash

A Blog About Making Culture

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Nineteen is When They Forgot

The slogan, for people who weren’t in Manhattan that day, is “Never Forget”. The people who were not here, who were never here, call it “9/11”. But the people I still check in with, the friends who trudged home covered in ash, never call it that. It’s always euphemism or elision or metonymy. “That Tuesday morning”, or “when I was downtown” or, maybe,...

I’m Asking My Friends on the Left to Vote for Joe Biden

With authoritarianism at our door, the policies that progressives are driving for will be dependent on whether the fundamental institutions of democracy are protected at all. I believe every vote needs to be earned, and every candidate needs to be worthy of that vote on the strength of their policies. So, no surprise, I know a lot of people who are...

What Windows 95 Changed

Twenty five years ago today, Microsoft released Windows 95. It was undoubtedly a technical leap forward, but its biggest, most lasting impacts are about how it changed popular culture's relationship to technology.For context, when Windows 95 was released in August of 1995, only about 30% of American homes had any computer at all. Less than 10% had any...

Beyond the Frontier

I almost can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of the work the Electronic Frontier Foundation was doing on behalf of all of us who care about the impact technology has on society and culture. They describe their work as protecting digital privacy, free speech, and innovation, but I always saw EFF as an organization that existed because our laws,...

Prince & The Revolution: The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund Livestream

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to watch the most definitive record of Prince and the Revolution at their commercial peak, on one of the biggest musical tours ever mounted to that point.It's to raise funds for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO — and you can donate right here!(Before we start: if you somehow don't already have...

Questlove's Prince Tribute

There could be no more fitting remembrance of Prince than Questlove going deep into his catalog and spinning some of Prince's greatest works into a multi-hour DJ set. Unless Quest did that five nights in a row. Which he did! It was an absolutely monumental marathon of nightly live streams for the better part of a week, often ending in the wee hours...

When Every App Crashes

Today, for about half an hour in the afternoon, pretty much every app that you might try on your iPhone would likely have crashed upon opening it. It's probably worth understanding why, but more importantly, worth understanding what that reality means. And here, I'm addressing people who aren't coders, aren't engineers, aren't programmers — just regular...

My thinking on Covid-19

(Warning: this will be upsetting; you will not want to read this if you are already stressed.)First, a disclaimer — I'm far from an expert, have no special knowledge, and only know the same things as everyone else reading the news. But I have to plan ahead and am decent at extrapolating from human nature, and try to anticipate problems. So this is the...

The People's Web

Every day, millions of people rely on independent websites that are mostly created by regular people, weren't designed as mobile apps, connect deeply to culture, and aren't run by the giant tech companies. These are a vision of not just what the web once was, but what it can be again.Think of every time you've sent someone a Snopes link to debunk a...

“Link In Bio” is a slow knife

We don’t even notice it anymore — “link in bio”. It’s a pithy phrase, usually found on Instagram, which directs an audience to be aware that a pertinent web link can be found on that user’s profile. Its presence is so subtle, and so pervasive, that we barely even noticed it was an attempt to kill the web.Links on the web are incredibly powerful. There...

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