📅 November 20 - November 26: Flowing thoughts

I’m sitting here on a Sunday evening, looking at the options for consolidation of some of my subscriptions. Do I really need them? Do they provide real value? Could I perhaps help a smaller operation rather than paying a big platform?

I think these are valid questions to ask oneself these days. Large platforms are trending towards the enshittification end of the scale, whereas smaller devs and suppliers are more in tune with what the users need and want. Sure, they’ll make some decisions that aren’t agreed upon by all, but they won’t deliberately trample over a whole bunch of payers to chase the next big thing or to skew things in their favour without regard to users’ privacy, etc.

Next time you come back here, it might look a little different. I haven’t decided yet.

I use four different platforms, and I’m looking to consolidate into two and concentrate more on my professional profile online. Making the conscious decision to decrease a personal presence. Although to be fair, my personal presence was already minimal, I’m likely to reduce it to nothing.

The internet has become so bad that each and every data point you put out there is being used to profile you. It is as if you are being asked to provide fingerprints each time to use the Internet.

I don’t know about you, but the debate about real-time ID systems is similar to one we have on Internet privacy. If you’re okay with being fingerprinted each time you leave your house (i.e. being captured on a real-time video surveillance system), then I think you have a serious misunderstanding of what that means and what that means for the future.

As the world turns towards the hard right and totalitarianism, they no longer need the Stasi of East Germany. You’re providing much more willingly across the Internet every day with your photos of your holidays, the photos of the food you’re about to eat (wtf is that all about, btw?), the “I’ve just watched so and so” check-ins, the “On the train to …”.

You might regret it sooner than you think.

Of note

This time last week, we were trying to keep up with the absolute madness going on at OpenAI. One of the bright sides of what happened is the outing and generalisation of understanding of Effective Altruism, or EA.

It’s a cult. And a really bad one at that.

I hope the media absolutely has a field day over it and gives it the treatment it deserves.

It is laughable and downright disgusting when you understand what it is about.

As usual, it is from the mindset of a privileged elite that has sadly been born free from needing to employ and develop their empathy. What an awful bunch they are. Each and every one of them.

We also saw CZ (🤦‍♂️) admit to being a criminal. Sadly, he may not go to jail. Another deeply disturbing and criminal enterprise is being exposed slowly but surely. Crypto-betting, as it should be called, is an unregulated way of ripping off as many mugs across the world as possible. It is a shameful enterprise and one that I hope is regulated into near disappearance.

Note: Don’t confuse CBDCs with things like Bitcoin. They are not the same.

What a world we live in at the moment.

Have a good week.

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen