Link tags: shit



How Google made the world go viral - The Verge

On the sad state of Google search today:

How did a site that captured the imagination of the internet and fundamentally changed the way we communicate turn into a burned-out Walmart at the edge of town?

Pulling my site from Google over AI training – Tracy Durnell

I’m not down with Google swallowing everything posted on the internet to train their generative AI models.

A principled approach to evolving choice and control for web content

This would mean a lot more if it happened before the wholesale harvesting of everyone’s work.

But I’m sure Google will put a mighty fine lock on that stable door that the horse bolted from.

Today’s AI is unreasonable - Anil Dash

Today’s highly-hyped generative AI systems (most famously OpenAI) are designed to generate bullshit by design. To be clear, bullshit can sometimes be useful, and even accidentally correct, but that doesn’t keep it from being bullshit. Worse, these systems are not meant to generate consistent bullshit — you can get different bullshit answers from the same prompts. You can put garbage in and get… bullshit out, but the same quality bullshit that you get from non-garbage inputs! And enthusiasts are current mistaking the fact that the bullshit is consistently wrapped in the same envelope as meaning that the bullshit inside is consistent, laundering the unreasonable-ness into appearing reasonable.

Generative AI: What You Need To Know

Generative AI: What You Need To Know is a free resource that will help you develop an AI-bullshit detector.

You can read all the cards on one page, print them out, or print to PDF.

Those meddling kids! The Reverse Scooby-Doo theory of tech innovation comes with the excuses baked in | Nieman Journalism Lab

Manufactured inevitability a.k.a bullshit:

There’s a standard trope that tech evangelists deploy when they talk about the latest fad. It goes something like this:

  1. Technology XYZ is arriving. It will be incredible for everyone. It is basically inevitable.
  2. The only thing that can stop it is regulators and/or incumbent industries. If they are so foolish as to stand in its way, then we won’t be rewarded with the glorious future that I am promising.

We can think of this rhetorical move as a Reverse Scooby-Doo. It’s as though Silicon Valley has assumed the role of a Scooby-Doo villain — but decided in this case that he’s actually the hero. (“We would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those meddling regulators!”)

The critical point is that their faith in the promise of the technology is balanced against a revulsion towards existing institutions. (The future is bright! Unless they make it dim.) If the future doesn’t turn out as predicted, those meddlers are to blame. It builds a safety valve into their model of the future, rendering all predictions unfalsifiable.

We Live In The Age of The Bullshitter ❧ Current Affairs

We also have a culture in which arrogance is rewarded rather than kept in check, and people can see that with enough shameless bluster you might become the richest person in the world or the president of the United States. There is no quick fix for the problem—if I offered one, I would be the very kind of bullshitter I strive to avoid being—but we at the very least need to recognize what it is we are trying to change. We are trying to create a culture of thoughtfulness and insight, where people check carefully to see whether what they’re saying is true, and excessively egotistical people are looked upon with deep suspicion. With time and patient effort, perhaps we can create a world in which the people who rise to the highest offices and reap the greatest rewards are not also the ones who are most full of shit. 

My experience at Modern Frontends Live |

I appreciate Hidde’s reluctance to participate in anything that looks like a pile-on, but in this case, it’s important to call out the bad behaviour so it doesn’t happen again.

The specific issues I’ve put in this post cross the line between honest mistakes and bad behaviour. They cross the line, because they consistute fraud (the livestream) and because they impact attendees, sponsors and speakers. The front-end community doesn’t deserve this, and I’m worried for people new to the industry, who get may assume this is normal or ok. It’s not normal.

Modern Frontends

More on that shitshow of an event that Jo wrote about, this time from Cassie.

My experience of Modern Frontends Conference - DEV Community 👩‍💻👨‍💻

I’ve heard from multiple people about how much of a shitshow this event was. Worth remembering in case they try to pull the same shit again.

Sans Bullshit Sans — Leveraging the synergy of ligatures

As part of my content buddying process, I am henceforth going to typeset all drafts in this font. I just tested it with this sentence:

We can leverage the synergy of a rich immersive user paradigm shift.

Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing - The Correspondent

A devastating deep dive into the hype of blockchain, written by Jesse Frederik and translated by Hannah Kousbroek:

I’ve never seen so much incomprehensible jargon to describe so little. I’ve never seen so much bloated bombast fall so flat on closer inspection. And I’ve never seen so many people searching so hard for a problem to go with their solution.

The Bullshit Web — Pixel Envy

There is a cumulative effect of bullshit; its depth and breadth is especially profound. In isolation, the few seconds that it takes to load some extra piece of surveillance JavaScript isn’t much. Neither is the time it takes for a user to hide an email subscription box, or pause an autoplaying video. But these actions compound on a single webpage, and then again across multiple websites, and those seemingly-small time increments become a swirling miasma of frustration and pain.

I agree completely. And AMP is not the answer:

Given the assumption that any additional bandwidth offered to web developers will immediately be consumed, there seems to be just one possible solution, which is to reduce the amount of bytes that are transmitted. For some bizarre reason, this hasn’t happened on the main web, because it somehow makes more sense to create an exact copy of every page on their site that is expressly designed for speed. Welcome back, WAP — except, for some reason, this mobile-centric copy is entirely dependent on yet more bytes. This is the dumbfoundingly dumb premise of AMP.

Password Rules Are Bullshit

And here’s another reason why password rules are bullshit: you’re basically giving a list of instructions to hackers—the password rules help them narrow down the strings they need to brute force.

Calling Bullshit

A proposed syllabus for critical thinking: Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data.

Our aim in this course is to teach you how to think critically about the data and models that constitute evidence in the social and natural sciences.

Practical tools and case studies are also provided.

Design Jargon Bullshit

Fodder for a Markov chain.

Our Incredible Journey

A collection of those appalling doublespeek announcements that sites and services give when they get acquired. You know the ones: they begin with “We’re excited to announce…” and end with people’s data being flushed down the toilet.

Titles are Toxic on Rands In Repose

Yes, yes, yes!

In Toxic Title Douchebag World, titles are designed to document the value of an individual sans proof. They are designed to create an unnecessary social hierarchy based on ego.

Bullshit –

Everyone has their bullshit. You can simply decide whose you’re willing to tolerate.