Artificial Intelligence Editorial The Street Finds Its Own Uses For Things

We don’t need AI to make art

Business Editorial Tampa Bay

What a difference a year makes!

A series of articles in Tampa Bay Business Journal from last year was titled 25 People to Watch in 2022, and Nuke Goldstein was one of them. He’s the CTO and one of the cofounders of Celsius Network, the exchange that mishandled its customers’ cryptocurrency and went bankrupt. (You can find more details in my infamous post titled If you’re going to Florida Bitcoin and Blockchain Summit 2022, YOU’RE AN IDIOT.)

To add extra failure to their mix, what happened with Celsius has since been relegated to footnote status thanks to FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s colossal crash and burn.

A year ago, we had three splashy players announce moves to Tampa Bay:

  1. Nuke Goldstein (again, see my post, If you’re going to Florida Bitcoin and Blockchain Summit 2022, YOU’RE AN IDIOT.)
  2. Dom Heller, whose company, Fast, imploded in a year
  3. And admittedly, we have yet to see whether Cathie Wood’s bold bets pay off. Her investment firm, ARK, relocated to St. Pete to much fanfare amidst announcements about Nuke’s and Dom’s arrivals. The financial services company Morningstar recently published a report saying that ARK has destroyed $1.3 billion in shareholder value over the past decade, and that’s before this year’s stock market slump. They are currently buying a lot of Bitcoin, along with stock in Coinbase and Tesla, whose prices are currently crashing with the great cryptocurrency crunch and Elon Musk’s Twitter clown show.

As bad as this news may seem, I’m compelled to remind you of a line that John Perry Barlow was fond of trotting out: “Bullshit is the grease on the skids of innovation.” Attention is a key element of building a tech hub, and the hype from our new Tampa Bay residents has helped shine a light on our local scene.

Current Events Editorial

…and just like that, Twitter rescinded the policy

“I’m so happy / ’cause today I found my friends / they’re on Mastodon…”

Mere hours ago, I posted an article title Twitter just banned links to many other social media services. Near the end of that article, I wrote:

Twitter might revoke the policy by the end of this week. It wouldn’t be the first time since Elon took charge that they did something rash, then undid it hastily.

(I added some additional emphasis to that first sentence.)

Never mind by the end of the week; they revoked the policy by the end of the day! At 9:50 p.m. EDT on Sunday, December 18, Molly White (@molly0xFFF on Twitter) tweeted:

As I keep saying: at Twitter, there is no plan, just knee-jerk responses to stimuli.

If you’re still using Twitter, ask yourself why.

And if you’re still working at Twitter and there isn’t something like an H-1B, medical insurance, or a much-needed contribution to the household income keeping you there, ask yourself why twice.

Current Events Editorial

Twitter just banned links to many other social media services

Two-panel graphic. Panel 1 has the text “Does your tweet have a link to something on these services?” followed by the icons for Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Nostr, Post, Tribel, and Truth Social. Panel 2 has the text “That’s a paddlin’”, featuring Jasper from “The Simpsons”, glowering and holding a paddle.

Earlier this afternoon U.S. Eastern time (UTC-5), while much of the world’s attention was on the World Cup — and in fact, while Elon Musk himself was in Qatar to catch the finals — Twitter announced a new policy prohibiting linking to anything on the following platforms, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Mastodon
  • Nostr
  • Post
  • Tribel
  • Truth Social

Nostr isn’t even a social media service, but a protocol that’s so new that the definitive site is its Github repo.

Because this is a Twitter story, there has to be a dumb twist: Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter, recently donated to the Nostr project. Once again, because this is a Twitter story, there has to be an even dumber twist: that Jack’s donation was in Bitcoin — 14 BTC, or $235,000 as I write this (it was $245,000 when Coindesk wrote the story about the donation).

What doesn’t Twitter allow anymore under the new policy?

The Promotion of alternative social platforms policy page says that Twitter will remove “any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs)” to the services listed above, or even any mention of your handle on those services, such as:

  • “follow me @username on Instagram”
  • “”
  • “check out my profile on Facebook –”

The policy also states that “technical or non-technical” workarounds, including “plaintext obfuscation” (including the classic “I’m so-and-so at instagram dot com”) is a violation of this policy.

What does Twitter still allow under the new policy?

The page is a little more vague about links that aren’t a violation of the policy, which are summed up as links to social media platforms that “provide alternative experiences to Twitter, and allow users to post content to Twitter.” Presumably YouTube falls under this category, as does LinkedIn. The page also says that cross-posting to Twitter isn’t a violation of this policy, but only because it it were, it would be nearly impossible to enforce.

What are the consequences of posting something that contravenes the new policy?

Jasper from “The Simpsons,” glowering and holding a paddle.

First, there are violations at the per-tweet level. For tweets that count as “an isolated incident or first offense”, they have the option of deleting the offending tweet or temporarily locking your account. Repeat offenses mean getting locked out permanently.

Then, there are those violations at the account level — that is, where you mention one of the forbidden services in your Twitter bio or account name. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I am in violation of this new policy:

Screenshot of Joey deVilla’s Twitter bio, which includes his Mastodon handle, and the URL for his Mastodon page,

The policy states that anyone who does this will have their account temporarily suspended until they remove any mention of the offending services. Additional violations will result in a permanent suspension.

It’s just more evidence that there is no plan, just knee-jerk responses to stimuli

From the haphazard way they’ve been managing their own staff to disasters like the Blue Check program to the “Apple is kicking us out of the App Store!” non-event to capricious account suspensions to this, it should now be quite evident that there’s no plan being executed here — just a seat-of-the-pants scramble based on whatever whim Elon happens to have at the moment. I feel terrible for anyone who’s still working there.

This is NOT the time for premature compliance; this is the time to seek better places to post

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you have a Twitter post or bio that points to something on one of the now-forbidden services. Before you change that post or bio to comply with the new policy, consider:

  • Twitter might revoke the policy by the end of this week. It wouldn’t be the first time since Elon took charge that they did something rash, then undid it hastily.
  • Do you really want to comply with such a policy?

My recommendations:

  • Stop feeding the beast. End your use of Twitter. Keep your account so that someone else doesn’t take your Twitter identity, but don’t use it.
  • Find better places to post. Use the social media services that meet your needs and that aren’t under the control of a raging narcissist whose id is out of control.
  • If you like long-form tweeting or “tweetstorming,” consider blogging. It’s a better medium for longer-form posts, and it gives you control over everything, from content to presentation, and it means you really own your content.
Current Events Editorial

Twitter’s new “official unofficial” motto

It might as well be their real motto now.


Marc Andreessen’s bad AI take

Screenshot of tweet by Marc Andreessen made on December 3, 2022: “AI regulation” = “AI ethics” = “AI safety” = “AI censorship”. They're the same thing.
Click to view the original, terrible, tweet.

From The Intercept’s article, The Internet’s New Favorite AI Proposes Torturing Iranians and Surveilling Mosques:

To AI’s boosters — particularly those who stand to make a lot of money from it — concerns about bias and real-world harm are bad for business. Some dismiss critics as little more than clueless skeptics or luddites, while others, like famed venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, have taken a more radical turn following ChatGPT’s launch. Along with a batch of his associates, Andreessen, a longtime investor in AI companies and general proponent of mechanizing society, has spent the past several days in a state of general self-delight, sharing entertaining ChatGPT results on his Twitter timeline.RelatedHow Big Tech Manipulates Academia to Avoid Regulation

The criticisms of ChatGPT pushed Andreessen beyond his longtime position that Silicon Valley ought only to be celebrated, not scrutinized. The simple presence of ethical thinking about AI, he said, ought to be regarded as a form of censorship. “‘AI regulation’ = ‘AI ethics’ = ‘AI safety’ = ‘AI censorship,’” he wrote in a December 3 tweet. “AI is a tool for use by people,” he added two minutes later. “Censoring AI = censoring people.” It’s a radically pro-business stance even by the free market tastes of venture capital, one that suggests food inspectors keeping tainted meat out of your fridge amounts to censorship as well.

As much as Andreessen, OpenAI, and ChatGPT itself may all want us to believe it, even the smartest chatbot is closer to a highly sophisticated Magic 8 Ball than it is to a real person. And it’s people, not bots, who stand to suffer when “safety” is synonymous with censorship, and concern for a real-life Ali Mohammad [a hypothetical higher-risk person that ChatGPT created as an example] is seen as a roadblock before innovation.

Current Events Editorial

Elon Musk isn’t Tony Stark — he’s Zapp Brannigan!

Think about it. With an unearned position as a hero to many on Earth, taking credit for the hard work of other people or fortuitous circumstances, a lack of concern for those working under him, and the id of a fourteen-year-old boy, it’s clear that the comic book character that best exemplifies Elon Musk isn’t Tony Stark, but Zapp Brannigan.

“Kif, I have just done a code review.
Inform the men!”