Where the team behind MATTER write about writing about the future.

April 17, 2013 at 6:01am

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Today is a big day in the short history of MATTER.

We’re thrilled to announce that we are joining forces with Medium, a new platform for reading and writing.

We think it’s great news for our readers, contributors and the in-depth journalism we produce. If you want to know more about the how, the what and the why, check out our longer post on the acquisition.

As a consequence, we’ll be wrapping up activity here and posting future thoughts, updates and other ramblings over at Stories that MATTER, our home on Medium.

Thanks to everyone who has read, commented and talked about the content we’ve posted on this blog. The conversation will continue over at Medium and on Twitter, so please join us at both venues.

Bobbie & Jim, MATTER founders

April 5, 2013 at 11:46am

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Manjoo on Facebook Home

It’s passages like this that make Farhad Manjoo such a pleasure to read:

I know what you’re thinking: I don’t want Facebook to take over my phone! I like apps! This is super terrible! What the heck is this world coming to?! Yes, yes, I feel the same way. But I’m a thirtysomething fellow who writes for a living and you’re the kind of person who reads essays about technology; in other words, you and I are probably too old and stodgy for this anyway. 

You can read the rest of his thoughts on Facebook Home here.

April 2, 2013 at 4:10am

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MATTER #5, Ghost in the Cell, is now available on Amazon’s Kindle Singles store — for readers in the US and the UK.

MATTER #5, Ghost in the Cell, is now available on Amazon’s Kindle Singles store — for readers in the US and the UK.


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The New York Review of Books covers MATTER #4, Uprising  →

By way of a post on the blog by Bill McKibben


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New methods of distributing labour online can be very radical and important… but most of the time, we’re simply using connectivity to redistribute work back to ourselves.

— Bobbie on "self-publishing and saving labour", inspired by Charlie Stross.

March 29, 2013 at 2:38pm

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From Juba to Dogtown

Scott Johnson, the author of the latest MATTER story, has reported from Iraq and Afghanistan and South Sudan. After Scott finished work on our story, I asked him to reflect on the connections he saw between the places he has worked, including Oakland, California, the scene of his MATTER story. You can read his thoughts in “From Juba to Dogtown”.

MATTER co-founder


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Ghost audiobook is live!

If you prefer to listen to your MATTER stories, then good news: the audiobook of our latest, The Ghost in the Cell, is now live!

Audiobooks are available for Members only: Just look for the image link on the page — it’s just below the headline, alongside our ebook and Pocket links — and click to start listening or to download. 

This edition is read by Nicky Barber. We hope you enjoy it.

March 28, 2013 at 4:44am

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One of those rare times when you get to hear someone a real journalism entrepreneur talk about what has worked and what hasn’t with their start-up.

— A note on Bobbie’s Hacks/Hackers London talk, taken from an insightful post by Kevin Anderson on the future of investigative journalism.

March 27, 2013 at 3:05am

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Further reading on The Ghost in the Cell


At the end of each MATTER piece, we give you a list of references — both academic papers that relate to the story and further reading if you’re eager to find out more about the topic we’ve covered.

This month our further reading included a Scientific American piece by Eric Nestler, whose work we refer to, on the "hidden switches in the mind" ($). Then there’s this Nature piece on epigenetics and a New York Times column on "why fathers really matter".

But of course it doesn’t stop there.

Reader Briggio pointed out this TIME story on a study showing women who were abused as kids are more likely to have children with autism, and there’s also an intriguing study on inherited traits in plants.

If you’ve got more tips for readers to get stuck in, then send them over — either here, on Facebook or via Twitter.

March 25, 2013 at 2:39am

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I must confess it was heartening to see “business model wrangling” feature as part of a Hacks/Hackers talk, where often excitement about an editorial goal or a technology technique can overshadow the brutal need to pay for things.

— Martin Belam on Bobbie’s talk last week at Hacks/Hackers London.