📅 April 15 - April 21 | Routines and reading

When you have a decent routine it shows. When that routine is broken, for whatever reason, if you’re able to get back into the swing of things easily enough, then its a sign that the routine is Ok. I need these routines to be able to function efficiently. I’ve talked about why before, so I’m not going to go over that again here. But I’m glad that I could get back into those routines relatively quickly.

My week was dominated by nearly fours days of conferences. Monday to Wednesday was taken up by the ARIN 53 Public Policy and Members Meeting. It was held in Barbados, although I attended remotely as it was too complicated for me to get there easily and cost effectively. Attending remotely was the next best thing as ARIN takes great care to ensure that remote participants can contribute effectively and not feel out of step. I asked a number of questions over the few days and all were read out and answered as though I was there. I wish other online meetings would take the same care! After ARIN 53, it was CaribNOG 27. A two and a half-day conference that I was connected to for two days solid, again participating where I could.

I wrote a quick blog post —that I’m turning into a newsletter over the coming days— over on the Virtual School for Internet Governance. Have a read a let me know what you think.

I spent quite a bit of time working on a PoC for a client, based on basic SharePoint tools. For many small and micro-sized businesses, it can provide the kind of functionality typically found in specialised business software for a fraction of the price. It requires a bit of effort to understand the business logic and configure accordingly, which is not as easy as it sounds. From my experience, most clients don’t know or fully understand the business logic of the procedures and processes they have in place and they miss steps or misunderstand what those steps are doing in logical terms. That’s why consultants exist, I guess.


Reading

I did a lot of reading this week, but not very much progress in the book list.

In keeping with my current obsession, I read a lot of blogs from people working, studying and participating in the Internet Governance space. Once such blog is the Internet Exchange. A recent post discussed the relationship between encryption backdoors and government hacking, specifically how they can enable disastrous consequences, even genocide. Project Lavender was a cited example.

I read a truly frightening vision of the authoritarian future of major US cities in a blog post entitled Cool Grey City of Tech Authoritarians. I would recommend you read this as it discusses a lot of what is happening in big tech at the moment, to the detriment of everyone except the privileged few.

In the same vein, I’ve been feeling particularly unhappy with the way the Internet has turned (walled-garden, performative posting, surveillance capitalism run amok, etc.). This article goes a long way to explain why the Internet is currently broken for most people and how it is ruining art, music and many other creative talents. Definitely worth your time.

France is trying to block children under 15 years old using Social Networks. 1) Good luck with that. 2) I despise the likes of Facebook’s shitty product, but I don’t think banning its use for youngsters is the right response. Something much more effective is the EU decision to smash down the egregious posture of Facebook requiring you pay to not be spied upon. FU Facebook. Oh, and before you moan about them not being able to have a business model because targeted advertising is basically banned (or highly restricted at least), then you are only showing us you don’t understand the situation.

You may have heard about LLMs… I’ll just leave this here for you to read

You might have heard about the Internet Reviewer war of 2024 that recently started. An (Internet) famous reviewer called MKBHD trashed the Humaine AI Pin in one of his videos, and it started an online that didn’t quite go the way the person intended in their criticism of MKBHD. It might actually produce a net positive in the online reviewing scam, I mean, game. Take any online review as a shill or product placement unless you can verify it is an authentic “review”. Much like the rest of the Internet, sadly (see above). Read this blog post for more context.

If there is anything you should read out of this list, it is They’re Looting The Internet by Ed Zitron. Modern-day robber Barons are destroying the internet on the backs of you and me. We need to do something to stop it!

One last thing, I’ve been printing some of these articles and documents on paper to read and take notes on. I wish there was a digital application that was as useful as good old pen and paper. I used to use MarginNote but I haven’t used it in ages. I couldn’t get it to stick. I might give it another shot.


Of note

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was again on the Innovation, Agilité et Excellence podcast with my friend Jean-François Nantel. I had a blast, as always and we discussed a number of topics I enjoy researching, learning about and sharing.


Thanks for reading, and have a great week.

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen