Blissful Contemporary Year! It’s been but one more wild and wacky race of a one year in the tech world: breakthroughs and disgraces, triumphs and catastrophes, cryptocurrencies and starships, the continuing upward push of utopian dazzling vitality and dystopian cyberpunk societies, and most of all, the continuing weirding of the total extensive world.
In other phrases it was but one more perfect one year for The Jons, the annual award which celebrates doubtful tech-associated achievements, named, in an scare-interesting match of humility, after myself. We’ve bought fairly a lineup for you this one year, of us. So let’s receive to it! With very limited extra ado, I present you with: the fifth annual Jon Awards for Dubious Technical Achievement!
THE CATLIKE FINANCIAL REFLEXES AWARD FOR LANDING ON YOUR FEET AFTER UNMITIGATED DISASTER
To Adam Neumann, who presided over the spectacular upward push and loads extra spectacular fall from grace of WeWork, which proudly launched its proposed IPO this one year and promptly saw most of its valuation (and its money) collapse in a sea of eyebrow-elevating reports about delusional irresponsibility and the merciless realities of loyal trade. Alternatively, give Neumann credit: reports could perchance like made him sound admire a potsmoking surfer dude who lived in a hallucinatory fantasyland, but — unlike his workers, whose dreams of IPO wealth were all true now and totally shattered — he managed to saunter away from the trade he drove virtually into the bottom with a reported $1.7 billion windfall.
THE EVERYBODY’S BEST FRIEND AWARD FOR INSPIRING NOSEBLEED VALUATIONS AND ASPIRATIONAL POSTERS EVERYWHERE
To Masayoshi Son, whose broadly announced dreams of a $108 billion Imaginative and prescient Fund II modified into the relative nightmare of one thing “a long way smaller” — but level-headed has his surreal, dreamlike stride decks to fall lend a hand on. Finally, “SoftBank works to comfort of us in their sorrow.”
THE WE MAY AS WELL JUST GIVE HIM A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR ELON DOING HIS ELON THING
To — clearly — Elon Musk, who in actuality had a in point of fact actual one year: Tesla stock bought ‘so excessive‘ it brushed the associated price at which he previously announced he would defend shut it non-public (he didn’t); SpaceX launched Starlink, a “very powerful deal“; and he was acquitted of defamation for calling a entire stranger a pedophile on twitter. OK, so he moreover announced Starship must reach orbit by this coming March, and smashed the Cybertruck’s allegedly unbreakable dwelling windows onstage at its unveiling, but level-headed, a accurate one year! Watch you in 2020, Elon.
THE IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T CONVINCE, TELL AN EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS TALE AWARD FOR RISIBLE SATOSHI NAKAMOTO CLAIMS
To Craig Wright, who has long claimed in the face of mocking industrywide disbelief to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, and especially for his claims that, now work with me right here, the keys 1 million of Satoshi’s bitcoin were build in a “Tulip Believe” by a protracted-deceased collaborator and will most seemingly be delivered to him by a “bonded courier” on January 1st 2020, i.e. just a few days from now. The reach to a decision he told this to was, unsurprisingly, spectacularly unconvinced, asserting “Dr. Wright’s demeanor did now not label me as somebody who was telling the true fact” and moreover reproached him for his “willful and adverse faith sample of obstructive habits.” You don’t assert.
THE DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, BUT ONLY IF THEY’RE ACTUALLY DEAD AWARD FOR LEAVING A TRAIL OF CRYPTOCURRENCY CHAOS IN ONE’S WAKE
To my fellow Canadian Gerald William Cotten, the founding father of QuadrigaCX, who it sounds as if stole and/or lost really all of his customers’ money, spending noteworthy of it on “luxury items and accurate property,” sooner than his loss of life in Mumbai last one year. “Nonetheless Jon,” you assert, “how does this quality for a 2019 Jon Award?” Since the many hundreds who lost money are now demanding an exhumation to search out out that the physique in Cotten’s grave is, really, Cotten. As for the surviving founder, he’s “a reported ex-con who served 18 months in a federal U.S. penal complicated for identity theft, monetary institution fraud and credit card fraud.” Is this the pause of this crazy story? …Well, presumably recede. Nonetheless on this planet of cryptocurrencies, which reliably provides us the most jawdropping Jons, who can assert for particular?
THE I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE BABY AND IT’S PRETTY CRAZY AWARD FOR EPITOMIZING OUR CYBERPUNK PRESENT
To Lil Nas X, a previously unknown bizarre dim American teenager who made a nation-entice tune with a beat he purchased for $30 from a Dutch producer, which sampled an imprecise 9 Depart Nails deep carve; recorded it in lower than an hour for $20; crafted a hundred memes to publicize it on a brand unique Chinese language-owned video-snippet social network, till it went viral courtesy of a Yeehaw Downside meme; then saw it hit first nation after which crossover success, and change into the longest-reigning Billboard No. 1 single of all time. Does it even receive extra postmodern cyberpunk than that? Lil Nas X, right here’s your world (neatly, and Billie Eilish’s) — we true dwell in it.
THE POWER TO DRIVE BABY BOOMERS COMPLETELY MAD AWARD FOR BEING SENSIBLY UPSET ABOUT THINGS
To Greta Thunberg, but one more teenager, who’s an offended advocate of doing one thing about native climate alternate and for some reason most steadily drives quite loads of of it sounds as if lucid of us, as neatly because the President of the US, totally insane, prompting them to stage ludicrous and deeply bizarre attacks at a sixteen-one year-feeble autistic girl. It’s in actuality mystifying, and but revelatory. Per chance they’re true upset that she’s so actual at Twitter?
THE SOMEONE MUST BE TO BLAME, THIS IS SOMEONE, THEY MUST BE TO BLAME AWARD FOR LASHING OUT IN THE WRONG DIRECTIONS
To the mass media, for the techlash: the backlash against tech by which they blame the tech trade now not only for its loyal sins and considerations, which could perchance be admittedly now not exhausting to search out, but moreover for really every little thing that’s spoiled with the enviornment’s political and monetary systems. Politics is by some skill the fault of Facebook, as a change of venal politicians and their skill to manipulate, er, the mass media admire a Stradivarius. Inequality is by some skill the fault of the tech trade, as a change of Metropolis / Wall Boulevard parasitism, regulatory capture, and, again, the politicians who in actuality write the prison guidelines which elevate out inequality. Again, the tech trade has accurate considerations — but the true fact that it has devoured the marketing and classifieds earnings that long propped up the media looks to like brought on in some other case sober and considerate journalists to instinctively knee-jerk blame it for each sick, whereas letting their loyal architects off lightly. Sadly I ache this one is going to be a perennial.
THE WHO NEEDS HUMAN FACES OR WORDS AWARD FOR SIMULATING THE DEEP INSIGHTS OF INTERNET DISCOURSE
To StyleGAN 2 and GPT-2, neural networks from Nvidia and OpenAI respectively, which generate totally convincing spurious human faces, and shut-adequate-for-the-Cyber net convincing spurious human comment sections, respectively. I really feel sure that somewhere accessible on the Cyber net, bots with StyleGAN avatars and GPT-2-sourced texts are already waging battle against one but one more in befuddling comment sections: battles which don’t like any pause, no point, and no room for any loyal humanity. The extra things alternate, eh?
THE POP GOES THE IPO AWARD FOR MAKING LOCKUP PERIODS MEANINGFUL AGAIN
To Slack, Lyft, and Uber, all of whom went public this one year and, no matter being extremely excessive-profile tech corporations, promptly saw their stock costs crater and defend there, whereas their most show cowl workers presumably saw their lockup duration reach and creep whereas closing resolutely underwater. All this whereas powerful, uninteresting tech corporations admire Google and Microsoft saw their stock climb to unique highs virtually each week. Per chance becoming a member of a rocket ship isn’t always this form of powerful opinion in spite of every little thing…
THE WHAT’S A FEW BILLION DOLLARS BETWEEN FRIENDS AWARD FOR JAM YESTERDAY, JAM TOMORROW, BUT NEVER JAM TODAY
To Ron Abovitz of Magic Leap, whose technology demos over the last decade were, by all accounts, in actuality breathtaking and mindboggling, but whose loyal shipped technology, no matter ten years and virtually $3 billion in funding, has been, by all accounts, deeply disappointing. Now Magic Leap is hemmorhaging excessive-profile board participants, signing over patents as collatoral to JP Morgan Hasten whereas desperately attempting to bewitch funding, and it subsequent headset is reportedly level-headed years away from start. Nonetheless respect, these demos were very just true.
THE A SINGLE SACRIFICIAL LAMB FRANKLY ISN’T ENOUGH AWARD FOR A DEEP AND SYSTEMIC CATASTROPHE
To Boeing and its 737 MAX debacle, by which, among a form of different shapely derelictions of foremost engineering responsibilities, well-known security capabilities were sold as profitable elective extras — and but it took now not one but two crashes, killing hundreds, for them to admit any considerations. Their CEO has resigned, but the company’s screw ups are clearly deep and systemic as a change of particular person; their once famously engineer-driven corporate custom is clearly no extra. Their instance of the decline of American capitalism in customary is form of moderately too on-the-nostril, but then, that’s 2019 for you.
Congratulations, of a type, to the total winners of the Jons! All recipients shall gain a bobblehead of myself made up as a Blue Man, as per the image on this post, which is able to seemingly change into coveted and increasingly extra precious collectibles. (And pointless to stutter, sometime subsequent one year they are going to alter into redeemable for JonCoin.) And, pointless to claim, all winners will be remembered by posterity forevermore.
1Bobbleheads shall only be disbursed if and when available and convenient. The eventual existence of stated bobbleheads is now not guaranteed or certainly even particularly seemingly. Now not legit on days named after Norse or Roman gods. All rights reserved, especially these rights about which now we like reservations.
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