📅 April 29 - May 05 | The Internet is dead, long live the Internet

As I noted last week, I’ll link to articles through footnotes rather than inline https links to make things more readable, especially if you’re reading this using Dark Mode. I should look into updating the theme, but I’m not that disturbed, and to be fair, I don’t really have the expertise to mess around with Hugo. Perhaps I’ll take a look in the future, but for now, footnotes it is.

I’ve been working with a couple of clients, both fairly small in size, but as I have been saying for many years, requiring expertise and tools like any other corporation. The fact that they are small is an issue of scale, not an issue of the types of tools they require. A business process for dealing with billing for a 10-person company is similar, if not the same, as for a 100 or 1000-person company. Sure, there’ll be some differences in hierarchy, approvals, etc, but the basics are very much alike. This is what I help my clients with. Looking at business processes and finding ways to help make them more efficient. This doesn’t automatically mean software. At times, it is organisation or management rather than an app for that.

For my business, I’m seriously considering reorganising my data into a “proper” database with metadata, versioning, and all that good stuff. OS Filesystems just don’t cut it anymore. Having structured data, even if it contains files (Word, Excel, PDF, etc.), is a bonus and helps in many areas: search, collaboration, sharing, and versioning (as previously mentioned). I’ll try to document what I decide to do, as it may help you.


Reading

There’s a lot of text out there discussing LLMs. There’s even text out there discussing LLMs created entirely by LLMs. If you’re like most people, you can tell much of the generated text reasonably easily. There’s just something odd about it. An article from Baldur Bjarnason, which I forgot to link to a week or so back, goes into why.1 Unlike a lot of articles discussing the subject, it is a lot more nuanced as well as being very well researched.

You may have noticed that I’m pretty against Internet advertising that is egregious, privacy-violating, and downright nasty. You may also have understood that I fall into the group of people who always use ad-blocking techniques as much as possible through software, scripts, or even DNS redirects to 127.0.0.1, where they deserve to be. Some companies, like FB and Google, are unhappy with this and are trying to bust these techniques. It won’t work. It never does.2

Talking about advertising —and I’ve written a lot about its lack of effectiveness—well, here’s an article from Arstechnica that discusses how Facebook’s AI advertising system, which controls all sides of the rigged game, is blowing through budgets in a few hours and charging them more than they have assigned. I’m pretty sure this is fraudulent and not “Computer says no”.3

And it would be remiss of me not to mention that Spain, as well as other European and African countries, have shut down Sam Altman’s pyramid privacy nightmare shitcoin scam, Worldcoin.4

I’m reading a lot about Internet Governance, and I’ll share as much as I can here. This article, for example, is about Human Rights in the Digital World. It is worth your time.5

On the same topic, there is this article about Digital Rights in the Caribbean. It discusses the integration of Human Rights and Digital Rights and the fact that they cannot be separated now.6

You may have heard about a GDPR challenge to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. There have been plenty of poor articles discussing the case. I suggest reading the release from the source.7

I thought I’d leave on a positive note, and it will neatly lead into some of the new reading and research I have been doing. Molly White, in her newsletter Citation Needed, writes about the Internet we could have. I highly recommend it.8


Thank you for reading, and I’m glad you got some value out of this. I’m compelled to write; I don’t know why; it just is. I’m sitting here finishing this off on a Sunday night before posting tomorrow morning with a lovely glass of old Rhum. It is quiet, apart from the insects, and the temperature is finally coming down to a comfortable level.

Wishing you an excellent week ahead.

I’ll be busy, so I’m not sure how much I’ll post for the next couple of weeks. Please bear with me.


Have a great week.


  1. https://softwarecrisis.dev/letters/llmentalist/ ↩︎

  2. https://www.theverge.com/2024/4/15/24131338/youtube-ad-blocker-crackdown-mobile-apps ↩︎

  3. https://arstechnica.com/?p=2020445 ↩︎

  4. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/03/spain-tells-sam-altman-worldcoin-to-shut-down-its-eyeball-scanning-orbs/ ↩︎

  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/366961501_Utopia_Lost_-Human_Rights_in_a_Digital_World ↩︎

  6. https://www.techpolicy.press/digital-rights-in-the-caribbean-not-to-be-lost-in-the-eternal-darkness/ ↩︎

  7. https://noyb.eu/en/chatgpt-provides-false-information-about-people-and-openai-cant-correct-it ↩︎

  8. https://www.citationneeded.news/we-can-have-a-different-web/ ↩︎

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen