Politics

People Really, Really Hate the Future of the Internet


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Irene Suosalo

The future is here, and you, too, can own a piece of it. All you need to do is follow your celebrity prophets and drop a quarter million dollars on a JPEG of an ape wearing a sailor hat.

It is, unofficially, crypto day here at The Atlantic. Three of our writers explore why some very vocal people and corporations are hyping novel concepts such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They also explore why the blockchain and all it has birthed has inspired so many haters.

  • The internet is investment banking now. “It is, in a way, the most honest turn of the internet epoch,” Ian Bogost, the computer-science professor and Atlantic contributing writer, points out. “Now, at last, the wealth seeking is printed on the tin.”
  • The backlash is booming. “The anger at Web3 carries echoes of the fury over the subprime-mortgage meltdown almost 15 years ago,” Kaitlyn Tiffany observes.
  • Celebrities and NFTs are an unfortunate pairing. Amanda Mull argues that with NFTs, “America may have reached the logical extreme of celebrity endorsements.”
Residents visit a lantern show ahead of the Lunar New Year in Xi'an, in China's northern Shaanxi province.
AFP / Getty

Explore the week that was. See photos from this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations. And here are 35 more standout images from around the world.

Read. Fledgling, the last novel Octavia E. Butler published before her death, is “one of her most profound and emotionally acute.” This moment in the pandemic is a perfect time to reread it, Lovia Gyarkye argues.

If you feel grumpy this weekend, turn to one of these eight books for indulging a bad mood.

Watch. The Worst Person in the World, out in theaters today, is “a devastatingly resonant portrait of an unsettled generation,” David Sims writes.

Listen. The Experiment is back with a three-part series on SPAM and the American dream. Listen to part one now.

If you’re seeking more podcasts, check out this list of classic episodes recommended by our staff.

This week, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” a song from the Disney animated film Encanto, unseated Adele to claim the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. How exactly did the tune get so popular? Spencer Kornhaber explains.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.



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