Edward Snowden made a surprise appearance—via a remote-controlled video chat robot—at the TED conference yesterday, and, as at his SXSW appearance, he got a warm welcome. The inventor of the Internet himself, Tim Berners-Lee, appeared onstage and called Snowden a hero, Wired reports, and a vocal segment of the crowd agreed, according to Fortune, with only about 10% deeming him a villain. Snowden's most headline-generating pronouncement was that "there are absolutely more revelations to come. Some of the most important reporting to be done is yet to come."
But the appearance itself fascinated David Weigel at Slate. Snowden has essentially positioned himself as a "cyborg thought leader," Weigel writes. With these appearances, he's "controlled his image like … well, like a guy who doesn't give out his contact info and lives in a country that American journalists need a visa to visit." Snowden's TED and SXSW hosts asked exactly the questions he wanted and avoided uncomfortable ones he didn't—like, say, anything to do with Russian politics. "Snowden has outlived the DB Cooper mystery that defined his public debut, and is now situated for a long game in which he becomes more popular and harder to call a traitor." Click for Weigel's full column.