👍 This week was good. Finally

Signal awarded with Best New App of 2021 by NASA | a forking bad time | The Big Society but for Misinformation.

👍 This week was good. Finally

Hello, please forget your awful week and enjoy this newsletter 💆‍♀️

Well would you look at that, this week was good 👍. Sure, it's hard to call any week 'good' these days but I decided to only pick stories that are funny/stupid. Let's give doom a break for just one second. Go bother someone else, doom.

This week, you can update your brain-matter with:

  • Twitter are trying to turn us into community police
  • In AWS vs Elasticsearch, AWS somehow achieve better optics
  • Some hot, unsolicited tips on how to be more efficient
  • A very quick explanation on the whole Reddit/stock market thing — just in case you missed it

🍴Okay well fork you then, I guess

Elasticsearch have STOPPED being open source because they are upset by how AWS is using them (because if AWS don't play fair, NO ONE gets to). Amazon have now forked their open distro of Elasticsearch, to keep it 'truly open'.

Elasticsearch has long been optimised to run easily on AWS — they were also distributed under the Apache License, which gives the user a lot of freedom. So just to clarify:

  • AWS offer Elasticsearch as service
  • Elastic (the company who own Elasticsearch) also — quite obviously — offer it as a service themselves.

While AWS's market share makes this is all rather daft, it does make sense. The thing that doesn't make sense is the grounds of Elasticsearch's complaint: "We have differentiated with proprietary features, and now we see these feature designs serving as 'inspiration' for Amazon".

Forgive me, for I am naive: is that not what... competition is? Sorry Elasticsearch, but wake up and smell harsh, putrid reality of the free market. Anyone is allowed to get inspired by anything and then basically copy it. That's why every social media platform has their own wet-fart version of 'stories'.

All this move has done is make it harder for people building their own truly open source software. Adam Shorland was in fact the one who brought this story to me, and had this to say about it:

"[the license change is] relevant for me and Wikipedia, as we only use true open source software, so we will probably have to use the AWS open source fork rather than the Elastic version of elastic search"

Adam Shorland, Tech Lead at Wikidata

🖋️ Dear Elasticsearch: if I had more social capital I'd use it to embarrass you. You are the underdog in this story but you've somehow made AWS look like the good ones — I truly commend you for this, well done.


👀 Come on, community, let's BIRDWATCH

Okay so Birdwatch is Twitter's answer to misinformation: "Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading and write notes that provide informative context."

Some observations on this idea:

  • What they've just described is a tweet. You can achieve everything they just described with more TWEETS guys, come on.
  • Notes are ranked, and the people making the notes gain reputation. These are just fancy words for likes and followers. I feel like all they've done is add another layer of complexity to what already happens on Twitter.
  • This sounds like something that David Cameron came up with. I thought the speaker circuit was paying him well enough.

Maybe I'm wrong and this will be like Wikipedia. When it initially emerged you had trouble trusting it's authority, but now it's the first thing you open when you're trying to prove someone wrong.

But what do I know. Tell me your thoughts — I would like to hear them.


💬 Pleasantries < efficiency

But also, how stupid this is > how stupid anything else has ever been. Some technologist, somewhere on the internet, decided to make a landing page out of someone's trash opinion from 2013.

What this website tells us to do:

  • Don't send a message on Slack that only says 'hello' — send a message that says 'hello and here is my question'
  • Because if you only say hello: "you're actually just making the other person wait for you to phrase your question, which is lost productivity (and kinda annoying)."

Grounded reality:

  • No one, ever, in all conceivable dimensions, has ever sat and waited for a Slack message.
  • This person, who doesn't know how normal conversations work, has created a social formula for all of us to use, and called it 'asyncronous communication' — this only happens to men who are never challenged or told that they are wrong.
  • Feel free to stick to your own standards, but do not tell others how to communicate in the name of efficiency. We are a society that is obsessed with efficiency at work — if you're only being efficient for your employer, you're doing it wrong. Be efficient in how many orgasms you can work around your job in a day.

💦 My summation: Do not waste energy 'saving time' in every granular aspect of work when you could use that energy to fuck or wank.


📈 Another little byte for your digital face hole

You may have noticed that a group of redditors have upset some financial institutions. The redditors are refusing to sell the shorted GameStop stock back to the much more in-charge capitalists, thus driving the price up and upsetting the rich. This tweet explains the technical side. Anyway, buy Nokia ✌️

Additional note before I hit send: yesterday Robinhood, a popular app among day traders (e.g. the people on reddit who are just people, not hedge fund managers), blocked all trading of GameStop's stock, making the price plummet, and making their app name very ironic indeed.


🕵️ Are you clever and observant?

Did you spot the stonking piece of misinformation in the subtitle of this very newsletter? As we know, spreading misinformation is how you get people to do things, e.g. delete WhatsApp and replace it with Signal. This person in India was smart enough to leverage the power of lies, and make improvements in their community. What have you done lately?


📣 If you ever have an idea for something that should be in Horrific/Terrific or if YOU want to be in it yourself, please tell me via email or tweet.