A few months ago, we noticed a notable trend in our web-traffic data: stories with a political aspect were extremely popular with readers. Perhaps this isn’t surprising; today’s news cycle - from the chaos of Brexit to the shambles in the White House, the tragedy of Grenfell to an iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg breaking away from the Antarctic ice shelf – is relentlessly political and possesses an existential urgency.
At one point, it seemed that liberal democracy was cruising towards comfortable middle age. The world order had been established and we were edging in the direction of greater freedoms and equality, some of it driven by increased access to technology. Sometimes progress was dramatic but, more often, it was simply the direction of travel, pulled inexorably in one direction by the tide of history.
Today, whether we are addressing issues of security or the environment, employment law or corporate takeovers of global organisations with vast amounts of data, the WIRED perspective of the world – one that is centred on how technology and science are shaping every aspect of society – is the norm, not an outlier.