Image via Robin Robokow
Upgrades can be terrible. They promise the expansion of technological horizons, but they only deliver new color schemes. They’ll make everything better, but they're incompatible with the old stuff. They are strongly suggested (and often, for good reason, like, say, protecting you from hackers); but they are also often Trojans for the latest features designed to slurp your data (unless you’ve already quit), snatch control from you (I see you, iTunes), or make you look like a doofus (OK Glass, we'll talk later).
But upgrades are also wonderful things. Think of the steel plow, the reflecting telescope, penicillin, the beer hat. The toilet. Think of the kind of upgrade you do on your own, with your hands (remember that?), whether it be bootstrapped or jailbroken, when you have to ground yourself to prevent being electrocuted while sticking new memory into your motherboard.
We’ve been making some exciting upgrades to the insides of our machine too. First, Derek Mead, who became Motherboard’s managing editor last year, will be replacing me as the site’s new editor-in-chief. I look forward to more of the great editing and writing and wrangling that Derek has been doing as our unflappable managing ed, building our daily editorial feed to a steady clip of fresh stories from the edges of future culture. See his work here and go follow him on Twitter.
I think his fanfare music should be that of Parquet Courts; one quarter of that band is Sean Yeaton, our beloved deputy editor, who is embarking on a rock star sabbatical to play music that’s been on heavy rotation in my head (listen to them do their thing here).
Meanwhile, I’ll become Motherboard’s editor at large, with more time to focus on writing, reporting, and producing video. Video is a medium that we’ve obsessed over since we launched in 2009, thanks to our VICE pedigree and, more recently, to Motherboard video producer Erin Lee Carr. Among the Motherboard’s video stories have been making waves on the Vice YouTube channel; awesomely, the video we made about tiny water-dwelling animals who can survive in space is the most-watched video on a channel known for raunchier extremophiles.
Secondly, because the weird future isn't just an American thing, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Motherboard Netherlands. Our first overseas site kicked off on Friday, with a video about Neil Harbisson, a cyborg who sees color. (He is not, it should be noted, the first cyborg. Previous MB subjects Steve Mann or Kevin Warwick and maybe Stelarc continue to vie for that distinction.) The site will be in the capable and non-cybernetic hands of editor in chief Alejandro Tauber, of VICE’s Amsterdam office, who will be helping to augment our European coverage of science, technology, and the curious ways those fields impact culture.
Getting to new highs and going forward would be impossible without you, our beautiful readers, and our fantastic outfit of editors, writers and producers: Brian Anderson, Erin Lee Carr, Chris O'Coin, Michael Byrne, our publisher Thobey Campion, and the entire fantastic gang of people that makes Vice go. Stay tuned for more upgrades in the coming months, and thanks for reading and watching and surfing into the strange future with us.