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Editors' Note


As the boundary between human and machine becomes more blurred, we become walking nodes in a network that crawls across continents. The degrees of separation dwindle, and together, we breathe life into a common artificial intelligence that we sustain, and which, in turn, sustains us.

There’s power in this unprecedented level of connection, scope, and scale. Yet, if what we’re hearing is true: if this is the age of the Internet-of-Things, are we reduced to things—sentient sensors bound up in the collective, inextricable from the larger narrative of data and algorithms that encompasses us all? Do our individual perspectives and identities still matter in the vastness of the systems we’re part of?

In Issue Four, we find our answers. These writers remind us of what it means to be human in this ever-changing world. They show us that beyond sense, we feel. We experience the world in all its messy complexity—as awkward teenagers, reflective ex-best friends, and nostalgic sisters. The murky expanse of human emotion exists beyond data and code, and it’s up to us to navigate it.

The writers and artists of Issue Four invite us into their nodes, the messy humanity within the anonymous network. In Issue Four, we are proud to present you the inner workings of Abigail Song, Allison Liu, Diemmy Dang, Elena Zhang, Emily Khym, Heeseo Lee, Iman Hamid, Kyle Tianshi, Ming McCarter, Mira Jiang, Neha Varadharajan, Renee Chen, Shaun Loh, Sichen Li, Tina Zeng, and Yun-Fei Wang.

As you explore this issue, we hope you form your own connections with each other in the shared experience of reading and feeling—cultivating your own network that transcends artificial bonds.

We’re in the age of cyborgs, it’s true, but we still feel more than ever.

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