The Signal addresses current affairs for readers across the United States and around the world, from all different backgrounds, traditions, and cultures. We share with them a common belief in humanity, commitment to the ideas of liberal democracy and the open society, and above all interest in thinking about our world together rather than asking to be told what to think about it.

That isn’t simple. For centuries, change and uncertainty has defined the modern world; and for longer than most of us have been alive, media has been central to how we orient ourselves in this world and how we decide its future. Today, with change accelerating and uncertainty spreading, media increasingly filters what we see, shapes how we understand it, and conditions how we interact with one another. Digital networks have developed innovative ways to manipulate and monetize emotions, mainly emotions associated with elevated levels of dopamine in our brains, which tends to mean fear, hatred, and anger. The news industry feeding these networks has, meanwhile, become a battlefield for elite moral and political conflicts, leading to coverage that can feel bewildering and alienating to those on the outside. In this context, there’s an almost atmospheric pressure to embrace dogma where we have the opportunity to think, defaulting to conflict over communication. Trust in this whole ecosystem has been falling for years. Data shows it. Everyone feels it in some way. It’s an intuitively experienced reality.

The Signal is for people who want something else. We’re in the business of complexity at a time of chronic change and uncertainty. We understand that no one owns the truth; that those who think differently from us often know something we don’t; and that what any of us does know is always overshadowed by mystery. That’s why everything the The Signal does starts in questions, and every answer we find leads us to more of them. If it sounds like we’re onto something, please consider subscribing. And please always feel free to reach out. We’ll be glad to hear from you.