In this episode of Stuck@Om, I chat with one of the great human beings on the planet — Nicholas Thompson. He’s the Editor in Chief at WIRED Magazine, an avid marathoner, and has penned one of the best essays I’ve read in recent times. In this conversation, Nick and I talk about how media outlets have to shift the way they write stories to generate “clicks” over “subscriptions.”
A good friend and occasional editor of my words (at The New Yorker and once at Wired), Nick is a genuinely funny guy, as you can judge from his throwaway line: “My ambition in life has always been to be a LinkedIn video celebrity.”
We also converse about the reputation of the media and how it hasn’t improved during the coronavirus crisis. “The work we’re doing has never been more important. On the other hand, the financial model is more challenged than ever,” he said.
We postulate that social media is a double-edged sword — as much as it gives, it takes away. It has only amplified the heat on the media industry, and it appeals to the worst instincts of humanity while incentivizing the worst behaviors. There needs to be healthy cynicism and healthy optimism in regards to social media — without that, we cannot make progress.
And predictably, we get into a heated discussion (well, as heated as I can get) about Facebook.
We also have a lengthy discussion about the forced surge in telemedicine. The tech has existed for a while now, but the coronavirus removed the typical barriers for its use. As it becomes more widespread, what will the new rules and regulations look like? What if you had a video recording of every hospital visit since you turned 18 stored locally? That way, every time you visited a new doctor, they would have a video reference for treatment. Can we design a system to minimize the risk and maximize the benefits over a long time horizon?
Be sure to listen to our conversation for an in-depth look at the future of tech writing, automation, the medical industry, and much more. Nick is one of my favorite people, and I enjoy his writing, editing, and of course, just talking to him.
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Outline of This Episode
- Learn about Nicholas Thompson — Editor in Chief of Wired
- What WIRED publishes is important and utterly essential
- The reputation of the media hasn’t improved during this crisis
- Social media is a double-edged sword—as much as it gives it takes away
- Social media appeals to our worst instincts
- Do reporters dislike tech as often as they’re accused of it?
- The need for healthy cynicism and healthy optimism
- How the Coronavirus crisis is creating a boom in telemedicine
- We weren’t expecting the future to arrive like it has
- Tougher cleaning requirements in airports and public places
- What spectrum of jobs will be replaced by machines?
- What the hiring process will look like in the future
- What will the future of working from home look like?