Rob Horning

With or without the help of AI, attempts to end the proliferation of fake content and disinformation on social-media platforms are probably doomed to failure. Instead, our posts and likes will continue to exacerbate conflict, strengthen groupthink, and cause mental distress. Why current strategies for fighting harmful messages are unlikely to work. By Rob Horning

Rob Horning on the nasal spray Spravato™

Reality as a clay, malleable simply through the power of thought, is the premise of a magical thinking. Social relationships are giving way to the imagination because it alone can manifest desire and fantasy – just after hitting the return key, that is. By Rob Horning

 Still from  American Psycho, 2000 Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman with Huey Lewis and The New's album Fore!  

Still from American Psycho, 2000

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman with Huey Lewis and The New's album Fore!


What is the sound of a decade in which society is consigned to history’s trash heap? One made up of perfect surfaces that hide the suffering beneath. On the music criticism of Patrick Bateman (American Psycho). By Rob Horning

   Jan Klos, The Nelson’s Head Pub , June 2014, from the series „ Pubs of East London“, 2014 –


Jan Klos, The Nelson’s Head Pub, June 2014, from the series „Pubs of East London“, 2014 –

Neoliberalism turned a hard-won freedom into a duty and everybody became an artist. If, in 1968, breaking with the family was a prerequisite to living as one wished, fifty years later it is back with redoubled force. Through highways and byways, we have come full circle. By Rob Horning

How fashion makes us consent to the absurdity of consensus reality; or, why being wrong together is more interesting than being right alone. By Rob Horning

Smartphones and social media have inserted themselves between us and the outside world, but this is an problem in a new form – the pursuit of unmediated experience has always been a hopeless endeavour. By Rob Horning 

The New York Times virtual-reality app takes Rob Horning to deep space, to the front lines in Falluja or to artist’s studios. But once you have stepped inside these worlds, it's not clear what you are supposed to do there.

Finally there is software that knows exactly how we feel inside – even better than we do. Thanks to Affectiva, market researchers no longer have to ask test subjects about their feelings: algorithms can scan these directly from their faces. Rob Horning explains the next phase of life with machines.