It had been the very best of years, it had been that the worst of many the years , it had been the wokest years, it had been the most debatable of years, it had been the year of AI, it had been the year of scooters, and it had been the year of Big Tech victory, it had been the year of Big Tech scandals, it had been the year of Musk’s disgrace, it had been the year of Tesla’s redemption, it had been the year of shitcoin justice, it was certainly not the year of AR or VR, it had been the dumbest deadline it was the spring of stanning, it was the winter of wtf.
It had been, in short, annually tailor-made for The Jons, an yearly award celebrating tech’s more dubious achievers, named, in an awesome match of humility, after myself. So let’s get for it! With very little additional ado, I offer youthe next yearly Jon Awards for Dubious Technical Achievement!
THE FEET AND LEGS AND TORSO OF CLAY AWARD FOR SUDDEN REGRESSION TO THE MEAN
On Elon Musk, that in the last year moved from (in several eyes) “messiah who would don’t wrong” into “guy who’d paid a $20 million good and stepped down as chairman to be able to pay attention to the SEC regarding allegations of tweeted fraud; been sued for very publicly accusing a stranger of pedophilia with no proof; feuded with Azealia Banks; been roundly criticized for the conditions in Tesla’s factories; and been pilloried (however too, and to my mind more accurately, reluctantly praised) for his brand new Boring Tunnel. ” Don’t possess personalities, children.
THE BUT ON THE OTHER HAND THERE ARE ALL THOSE SHINY NEW ELECTRIC CARS AWARD FOR ATTEMPTED DOOMSAYING
Astonishingly, regardless of the last award, this one goes into the herds of bears who invested much of the year claiming that Tesla’s imminent doom and bankruptcy would become evident and incontrovertible any day now. The majority of the bears seem to have grown considerably more silent of late, probably because the Model 3’s generation speed has shrunk out of 1,000 a week at the beginning of the year to 1,000 daily of late. No mean feat on the part of Tesla employees.
THE YES BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS THE RUSSIANS KNOW IT’S DISINFORMATION AWARD FOR BAD OPSEC
On Donald Trump, that apparently proceeds to use a insecure iPhone which the Chinese and Russians listen in on. The good news? Officials have “assurance he wasn’t spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intellect he is shown and is not well versed in the operational details of secret or military activities. ” Put less diplomatically, the President of the United States doesn’t pay sufficient attention to briefings to possess any essential secrets to share. Nothing to worry about that! Trump reacted by tweeting a refusal, saying he just had a “rarely used government mobile phone” … in the iOS Twitter program.
THE YOU MUST ADMIT I WAS AT LEAST RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING BEING DIFFERENT NOW AWARD FOR BUBBLY BITCOIN PREDICTIONS
It’s too easy and clear to provide this award for John McAfee, that I suspect of really angling to get a Jon year following year. And because a believer that cryptocurrencies possess long-term significance , I’m not going to award anybody for their less-outlandish-than-McAfee medium-term customs. So this award goes into Bitcoin uberbull Tom Lee, that claimed Bitcoin would finish the year $15,000 … in the second half November. There’therefore a stage you have to respect; the stage where achievement becomes delusion.
THE SURE BUT IT’S A MORE CONNECTED KIND OF MISERY, EXPLOITATION, AND DISINFORMATION AWARD FOR DESTROYING THE GLOBAL VILLAGE IN ORDER TO SAVE IT
And of course Mark Zuckerberg, really, whose company has, in its zeal for connecting the planet, and its belief that this is necessarily and automatically a fantastic thing, amplified genocide, provided a platform for exploitation and disinformation that might have helped trick the Brexit referendum, and 2016 presidential election (both of which were admittedly so close that there were probably dozens of facets which “helped trick ” them) and can be increasingly widely viewed as a significant net negative on the world thanks to its business model of incentivizing “engagement” above all else. He’d be a deserving receiver, but this goes on to Sheryl Sandberg, to get epitomizing Facebook direction ’s thin-skinned tunnel vision wherein they mechanically suspect anybody who adores Facebook of using a bad-faith ulterior reason, if she “asked Facebook’s calling staff to investigate George Soros’s monetary interests in the aftermath of his high-profile attacks on technology companies. ”
THE PICK A HORSE ANY HORSE BUT LOOK JUST ONE HORSE AWARD FOR OXYMORONISM IN THE FACE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
To everyone — particularly journalists and media executives — who believes that the large social-media companies are too strong and that tech companies have to exercise more control over the dissemination of public language, and/or to everyone who says that the large social-media businesses shouldn’t ever censor while being totally conscious that they are already exercising control over the dissemination of public speech through their timeline algorithms. There are many, many copies of this specific award to go about.
(Note that you can find at least two consistent strategies here: one would be to become explicitly supportive of social media companies moderating language; another is to prefer non-algorithmic, non-amplifying, non-optimized-for-engagement, strict-chronological feeds)
THE COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE SPECTACULARLY OUT-OF-TOUCH COVEN OF CLUELESS OLD WHITE MEN AWARD FOR REMINDING US THAT SOMETIMES THE CURE IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE
To the members of the United States Congress, both houses, such as creating Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai appear flirty, friendly, sensible, warm, human, plugged-in, also in-touch together with the frequent man and woman, compared with their incredibly clueless question. Who will overlook “Senator, we sell advertisements,” and/or “Congressman, iPhone is produced by a different company”?
THE STREET FINDS ITS OWN DISUSES FOR THINGS AWARD FOR BOOTLEG URBAN RENEWAL
On Lime, Bird, and another scooter companies whose goods have spent that the year being thrown by the dozen to Lake Merritt in the center of Oakland, presumably together with the collective intent of turning that empty water to reclaimed land, just as downtown San Francisco is constructed on the carcasses of sailing boats in the 49er gold rush.
THE OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ TRONC TRONC TRONC AWARD FOR FINALLY GETTING THAT THE JOKE WAS ON THEM
To Tribune Publishing, until recently called Tronc, for depriving us of their unbelievably terrible name when they finally — finally! — chose to leave it in favour of something maybe not risible. A little silver second-place award belongs into Oath, the proprietor of TechCrunch, for thereby increasing to the peak of the “Worst Media Company Name” ranks.
THE SOMETIMES NOTHING IS A REAL COOL HAND AWARD FOR DOING NOTHING BECAUSE NOTHING WAS NECESSARY
On Twitter, that, when noted far-right wacko Laura Loomer handcuffed herself to Twitter’s NYC construction after she had been eternally banned by these for hate speech, then reacted by — brightly — doing nothing at all. They did not ask the police to eliminate her. They did not press charges. They ignored her completely. And Loomer went from “she won’t get rid of the handcuffs until CEO Jack Dorsey reinstates her accounts ” into “After a few hours of whining about the cold, Loomer finally requested to be taken out of the doorway. ”
THE COME ON NOW DON’T BE EVIL WAS A LONG TIME AGO AWARD FOR REDEFINING GOOGLEY
On Google, of course, for being made to come to terms with what certain appears from the outside just like a culture of pervasive sexual harassment with a massive employee walkout in precisely exactly the identical year its aims for a new censorship-friendly China search engine leaked. Look not to the trigram in thy brother’s attention, etc..
THE CENTRAL CASTING MAD SCIENTIST AWARD FOR BRINGING US THE DYSTOPIA WE DESERVE
He Jiankui, the self-funded doctor who reportedly brought us the planet ’s first two human babies genetically edited through CRISPR, without letting anything like an ethics review board, a well-considered benefit/risk ratio, the pre-existence of all well-established less-dangerous ways to accomplish the allegedly desired result, or whatever else stand in his manner. But then, if he had, this wouldn’t actually have captured the 2018zeitgeist, do it?
THE WHAT ARE THE NEW RUULES AWARD FOR MAKING NICOTINE MORALLY AMBIGUOUS AGAIN
On Juul, which has made a silly boatload of cash and more importantly made a lot of people seem very ridiculous since they moral-panic about vaping like it’s just like smoking, and others look just as silly as they moral-panic about that moral panic like vaping has been guaranteed on stone tablets to have no deleterious side effects at all. Where’s the nuanced centre? Ah, let’s not kid ourselves, it’s 2018, nobody cares about the nuanced center any more. Bring on the outrage!
THE LISTEN UP YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPER I WAS THE CEO OF A CYBERSECURITY FIRM AND THE PRESIDENT’S CYBERSECURITY ADVISOR I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW AWARD FOR NOT ACTUALLY KNOWING ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT HOW TO CYBER THE CYBER. CYBER!
To Rudy Giuliani, that actually had been the CEO of a cybersecurity firm (Cyber!) And really was that the president’s cybersecurity adviser (Cyber! Cyber!) And however, as shown by his own bewildering yet humorous accusations that one of his tweets was sabotaged by Twitter, does not really understand the Internet in any respect. Or, we may assume , the cyber. Cyber!
THE LOOK WE’RE ONLY A $30B COMPANY HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KEEP TRACK OF ALL THESE LITTLE DETAILS AWARD FOR FORCING PEOPLE TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS NEARBY
On Ericsson, who inadvertently disabled telephone service for hours to get tens of millions of people around the globe because it neglected to renew a (presumably TLS) applications certification utilized by its switching services ahead of its expiry. It is possible to get those for free and mechanically nowadays, btw. Never mind the cyber (Cyber!) Attackers; it’s malingering incompetence that will get us in the finish. Speaking of which …
THE WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE IMAGINED THAT SUCH A THING WOULD HAPPEN OR IF IT DID THAT WE WOULD RESPOND TO IT IN ALL THE WORST POSSIBLE WAYS AWARD FOR A REPERTOIRE OF PANICKED FLAILING INEPTITUDE WORTHY OF ARTHUR DENT
To the police at Gatwick university, who first shut down one of the busiest airports in Europe for nearly a day and a half throughout the pre-Christmas rush because there were reports of drones found over its runways; then stated they couldn’t possibly shoot down those drones for fear that the stray bullets might harm someone; subsequently conceded the possibility that there were no drones whatsoever (although it seems like there probably were); then detained a couple who was to be wholly innocent; subsequently reopened the airport with no resolution but that of the installation of an expensive new anti-drone system and the discovery of a single, untraced, ruined drone. This dithering paralysis raises several frightening questions. I’ve got two specifically. One: the people in control of Gatwick — again, one of Europe’s biggest and busiest airports — never completed any danger modelling / situation analysis / contingency planning at all? And two: how many minutes-rather-than-hours would this shutdown have lasted if it had occurred at a major airport , say, Texas, before the bullet-ridden carcasses of their drones in question had been hauled from the runway? I suppose we’ll never know. But it gives me a particular dubious pleasure to bequeath to Gatwick, an airport I have known and disliked for several decades, this season ’s Jon of all Jons.
Congratulations, of a type, to each of the winners of the Jons! All recipients will receive a bobblehead of myself composed as a Blue Man, as per the picture on this article, which will definitely become coveted and increasingly valuable collectibles. (And naturally sometime next year they’ll become redeemable for JonCoin.) And, obviously, all winners shall be remembered by posterity forevermore.
1Bobbleheads will only be distributed when and if accessible and convenient. The ultimate presence of stated bobbleheads is not guaranteed or really even particularly probable. Not valid on times named after Norse or Roman gods. All rights reserved, particularly those rights concerning which we have reservations.
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