Katie Porter speaks in Tustin, CA on election night.

The Soul of the New Machine

Thirty-five years ago Tracy Kidder electrified readers with his “Soul of a New Machine,” which detailed the development of a minicomputer. Today we may be seeing the emergence of another machine, a political variety that could turn the country toward a permanent one-party state.

"Gig" Economy, Uber app screen

The Gig Economy, Americans and the Future

The rise of the “gig economy” has many Americans worrying about their jobs, and certainly those of their children. Gig workers lack many basic protections that full-time workers might have, for example, in enforcement of civil rights laws.

California Needs a New Economic Model

Given California’s historic economic diversity, we need an economy that also provides hope for people without Ph.Ds. Gavin Newsom may like to see himself as the governor of the technocracy, but to succeed he also needs to be governor for everyone.

To Make the Internet Great Again, Trump Must Smash Facebook and Its Tech Oligarch Friends

Unreliable narrator though the President may be, people are indeed waking up to the tech oligarchs massive and largely unchecked power, and the consequences of turning over our channels of communication to them.

NoBanNoWall Rally at San Francisco City Hall, Feb. 4, 2017

Lurching to a New Weimar

America seems to be heading inexorably toward a Weimar moment, a slide toward political polarization from which it could be increasingly difficult to return.

John Cox, Republican Candidate for Governor of California

The Golden State Won’t Glitter for Republicans

California’s Republican Party was once a force to be feared, not only in the state, but across the country. Nowadays, it’s at most a mild irritant and sometimes a convenient whipping boy for the Democratic progressives…

How About a Fusion Party in the Golden State?

What California needs is not a new Republican Party — at least at the state level — but what the late Kevin Starr called “the Party of California.” This party would target the growing independent constituency, now larger than Republicans, as well as Democrats who might be disaffected by their party’s relentless move to the left.

The American Republic Has Lost Adult Supervision

The ship known as the American Republic sails on, but its crew is made up of irresponsible and vicious children cast from “Lord of the Flies.” Prisoners of their own emotions, they increasingly seem impervious to the notion that their gyrations might topple their own vessel.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Middle East Cities Should Look Forward—and Back

by Joel Kotkin and Ali Modarres — The Middle East may well be the birthplace of cities, and maybe capitalism itself, but for the most part, it continues to lag in developing a modern, workable urbanism.

Autonomous car

Autonomous Cars Are Our Real Future

As one member of the California Transportation Commission notes, the state’s planners largely ignore the role of technologies — including home-based work, ride hailing and autonomous vehicles — that offer the best hope for resolving our transportation woes.