Bounty of bookmarks

This is my personal web directory; a way to do something with my browser bookmarks instead of hoarding them. There are two parts.

Linklog: over one thousand tagged and timestamped headlines

Around eight hundred are divided between the categories below as of late November 2023. The hard part was recalling why I wanted to keep some of them.

Why have both? Food for thought:



The religion of techno-optimism (11 December 2023) Tech billionaires are using faith to solidify their power

The Fediverse is Inefficient (but that's a good trade-off) — 8 November 2022: a farming analogy. In other words (this isn't a new idea): efficiency is the enemy of resilience. And capitalism demands efficiency today at the expense of being able to stay in business tomorrow. It's an inherently self-defeating attitude, you say? Bingo!

Why Everything is Suddenly Getting More Expensive — And Why It Won’t Stop (7 October 2021) Welcome to the Great Inflation — Or, Why We Have to Pay for the Hidden Costs of the Industrial Age

Data Firm Head: China Has Asked WHO to Let it Run Global Vaccine Passport System (1 April 2021) This is why green passports were a terrible idea: you set up a system with the best intentions (yeah sure), then a literal dictatorship ends up in charge.

Screen Time Cannot Be Worse Than My Dumb And Dangerous Childhood (26 January 2021) Whatever you do on a screen, you can’t light it on fire

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free (2 August 2020) I disagree with the author, who basically describes the problem from the opening line yet fails to see it, but the title became a mantra of sorts in the years since.

What Actually Happens When a Country Bans Abortion (16 May 2019) Romania went through this decades ago. The long term consequences became apparent a generation later, in the form of a demographic (and pension system) implosion.

The implausibility of intelligence explosion (27 November 2017) Exponential progress, meet exponential friction.

No One's Driving

(Added on .)

Via FreePost, I just found this article called The Modern World Has Finally Become Too Complex for Any of Us to Understand, the start of a series called No One's Driving. To quote the blurb:

Vast systems, from automated supply chains to high-frequency trading, now undergird our daily lives — and we’re losing control of all of them

In other words, the technological singularity is here, and it sucks. Instead of benevolent AI gods taking us to transhuman heaven, we got algorithms all the way down, unable to explain their decisions if they wanted to. And everyone is obeying without question, partly because we've grown dependent on them, but mostly because it makes us feel less responsible.

Enjoying life, eloi? Never mind being eaten by a morlock sooner or later. What happens when you simply fall through the cracks, right between two giant cogwheels spinning unsupervised, without emergency brakes?

(See also: The secret world of cargo ships, from 10 November 2013; this isn't new and shouldn't be surprising.)


Really old links that don't belong anywhere else.

Repair or Replace (1 September 2000) An engineer's adventures in paradise: Jack shares what he's learned from watching engineers make do in the Bahamas.