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Endorsement watch: Optimism for the future

WIRED does what it has never done before.

Hillary Clinton

For nearly a quarter of a century, this organization has championed a specific way of thinking about tomorrow. If it’s true, as the writer William Gibson once had it, that the future is already here, just unevenly distributed, then our task has been to locate the places where various futures break through to our present and identify which one we hope for.

Our founders—Louis Rossetto, Jane Metcalfe, and Kevin Kelly—all supported a strain of optimistic libertarianism native to Silicon Valley. The future they endorsed was the one they saw manifested in the early Internet: one where self-organizing networks would replace old hierarchies. To them, the US government was one of those kludgy, inefficient legacy systems that mainly just get in the way.

Over the past couple of decades, we’ve gotten to watch their future play out: We’ve seen the creative energies of countless previously invisible communities unleashed—and, well, we’ve watched networks become just as good at concentrating wealth and influence in the hands of a few people as the old hierarchies were. We’ve seen geeks become billionaires, autocrats become hackers, and our readers (people curious about how technology is shaping the world) become the American mainstream. Like any sane group of thinkers, we’ve calibrated our judgments along the way. But much of our worldview hasn’t changed. We value freedom: open systems, open markets, free people, free information, free inquiry. We’ve become even more dedicated to scientific rigor, good data, and evidence-driven thinking. And we’ve never lost our optimism.

I bring all this up because, for all of its opinions and enthu­siasms, WIRED has never made a practice of endorsing candidates for president of the United States. Through five election cycles we’ve written about politics and politicians and held them up against our ideals. But we’ve avoided telling you, our readers, who WIRED viewed as the best choice.

Today we will. WIRED sees only one person running for president who can do the job: Hillary Clinton.

Read the whole thing, it’s well worth your time. I don’t claim the WIRED ethos as my own, though I do have a fair amount of overlap with it. I’ve made my living in IT, and I’ve been on the Internet since before WIRED existed, so the way they think and how they view the world are very familiar to me. It’s deeply satisfying to me to see this exemplar of the techno-libertarian class, which is often needlessly hostile to the progressive worldview, get this one right in so complete a fashion. Donald Trump is a uniquely dangerous threat to this country (and the rest of the world), and the one thing we can do to ensure that threat is neutralized is to support Hillary Clinton. They picked the right time to pick a side, and they picked the right side. Well done, WIRED.

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