Welcome to the chaotic era

Good morning! What was once random is now chaotic, but that’s not a bad thing. Where is it? Let’s dig.

Isn’t it chaotic?

The technology used to make sense. The software appealed to those who sought rationality and order. Harlan Stenn, a coder who helps the world’s computers run on time, explains the attraction this way to The New Yorker: “I got very clear yes-or-no information about whether something was going to do the right thing, and for me, it was very peaceful and enjoyable.” One of the worst things you could say at Microsoft when Bill Gates ran the store was that a person or an idea was “random,” writes Protocol’s Owen Thomas.

It was great for baby boomers who grew up watching Spock berate Captain Kirk for being “very illogical.” But Generation X and their younger cohorts have their revenge. “Random” as a nerd slur gave way to “chaotic” as term of praise.

Go ahead, roll the dice. It’s a key Dungeons & Dragons lesson, a cultural touchstone for Gen X like Elon Musk.

  • The internet has changed the paradigm of technology to one of abundance. Suddenly there were more networks, more servers, and more code than any human being could quite grasp.
  • Netscape taught us that anything could always be in beta. Bugs are illogical, but so is waiting until you’ve squashed them all to release software to the world.
  • The art of software development has changed as it has become networked. Instead of typing the exact lines of code printed in a computer magazine, you linked libraries and leveraged APIs you barely understood. “Go fast and smash things,” said Mark Zuckerberg. So you took the site down? No problem, just roll it back!
  • TikTok hurts Facebook and Instagram because it makes less sense. Instead of seeing things your friends (and the brands you wish your friends could be) post, TikTok serves up… pure chance. Oh sure, there is an “algorithm”. But maybe the call is just to see something unexpected. At least the chaos makes you feel alive.

So chaotic is… well, maybe? This is another discovery that D&D players have made: you could be lawful good, like a paladin. He’s basically a cop in shiny armor, though.

  • The New York Times recently tagged Musk an “agent of chaos”. His reaction: What, like that’s a bad thing?
  • Musk, like other startup founders of the 90s, saw the internet as a chance to mend the broken artifacts of an irrational business world, be it offers Where online banking. He briefly trained as an engineer, but his approach throughout his career has not been to restore order. It’s been to throw more chaos on the issue, because, hey, it can’t be worse than the mess the baby boomers left us, can it?
  • Now he acts as the chief agent of chaos on Twitter. Imposing mass layoffs, requiring new features to be scheduled within a week, and making policy decisions on the fly in response to tweets may not be the most orderly approach. But it’s not like Jack Dorsey and the former Twitter board covered themselves in glory during their somewhat less irrational stewardship of the company. (Side note: Former Twitter chairman Bret Taylor is perhaps the closest we have to Spock, however good it did him and the company.)

Chaos as a strategy may actually be a rational response to a seemingly mad world. Gen Xers have always seen the world from the perspective of not having much to lose. “Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, honey,” antihero JD told Veronica on “Heathers.” Let’s be chaotic. It is the least bad alternative. Is it so random?

The best of protocol

Microsoft helped develop AI in China. Chinese AI helped build Microsoft. —Kate Kaye

  • Through decades of support, Microsoft has been a driving force in helping China become the AI ​​powerhouse it is today. Now, like the very idea of ​​an American company partnering with tech projects in China catches the attention of lawmakersnational security hawks and human rights advocates, Microsoft could be forced to make tough decisions about the thriving AI ecosystem it has fostered there. Read more: Are the United States and China really in an AI race?

After the Figma deal, the only thing that can stop Adobe is itself — Aïcha counts

  • Adobe still faces potential challenges in making the Figma acquisition a success, including Federal Trade Commission scrutiny, denial from designers suspicious of its history, and a difficult macroeconomic environment. But if Adobe can pull it off, it will only further strengthen the company’s unparalleled dominance among creative professionals.

The 2022 midterms will be a major test for TikTok —Lizzy Laurent

  • Ahead of the midterm elections, TikTok has come under scrutiny for its role in spreading misinformation and how influencers circumvent its advertising rules. But according to seven former employees of TikTok’s trust and safety team, the company may have an even more fundamental problem hampering its efforts to secure the midterm elections: high turnover among employees who are supposed to do this work.

Crypto oracles are a blockchain vulnerability no one is talking about — Tomio Geron

  • Data oracles, automated feeds that provide crucial price data to smart contracts and enable blockchain trading, are coming under increasing scrutiny for their role in recent hacks and vulnerabilities that industry’s reliance on them creates. They are also attracting more investment from VCs and big crypto players who see an opportunity amid these fears.

Holoride wants you to use virtual reality in your car —Janko Roettgers

  • For generations, children have wanted car trips to be shorter. Now Germany’s Holoride wants to break the curse of youthful impatience with VR headsets that turn car journeys into immersive gaming sessions and theme park rides. The company’s Pioneer bundle includes an HTC Vive Flow VR headset, gamepad and extra security strap, plus one year of access to the Holoride software catalog, for a total of 699 euros ($690).

Headhunters wonder where are all the Chief People Officers? —Allison Levitsky

  • Many of the extraordinary challenges of the past two and a half years have fallen on the shoulders of HR leaders. At the same time, executives and recruiters say there is a shortage of strategic, business-focused HR talent ready to take over as the next generation of senior executives.

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While technology can be a transformative tool for change, there must be a balance to ensure that we are not solely dependent on multilateral institutions to implement policies and standards, as authoritative regimes can easily reject these. initiatives. Instead, we need to have a holistic diplomatic approach that ensures technology diplomacy and collaboration can spread across various platforms.

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Margie D. Carlisle