Elvia Wilk

  • What’s Happening?

    IN 1974 DORIS LESSING PUBLISHED MEMOIRS OF A SURVIVOR, a postapocalyptic novel narrated by an unnamed woman, almost entirely from inside her ground-floor apartment in an English suburb. In a state of suspended disbelief and detachment, the woman describes the events happening outside her window as society slowly collapses, intermittently dissociating from reality and lapsing into dream states. At first, the basic utilities begin to cut out, then the food supply runs short. Suddenly, rats are everywhere. Roving groups from neighboring areas pass through the yard, ostensibly escaping even worse

  • Net Loss

    In his recent book New Dark Age, James Bridle describes the current internet era as one of draconian, top-down control. Blind belief in computation has led to a disastrous imbalance of power, networked technology is being weaponized for mass surveillance, and algorithmic governance is sapping political agency from citizens. Tim Maughan’s novel Infinite Detail takes up Bridle’s thesis by imagining its antithesis: What if the internet kill switch were flipped? Assuming networked technology is the primary enabler of our ongoing political nightmare, what would happen if it just—shut off? As it