Predicting Technology's Future

Our guest for this episode is Howard Rheingold, a critic, writer, and teacher who specializes in the cultural, social, and political implications of modern communication media. Howard wrote about the earliest personal computers at Xerox PARC, and he was also one of the early users of the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link or The WELL, an influential early online community. In 1994, he was hired as the founding executive director of HotWired. He is the author of several books, including The Virtual Community, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, and Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. 

In this conversation, Howard talks about transitioning from typewriters to computers and the potentials of virtual communities – to both serve as think tanks and form personal connections. He talks about recognizing “signals” of what was to come with telephones and computers and the early collective action that the smartphone encouraged. Finally, he describes five media literacies that everyone should master if they want to use social media well.