The Chaos of the Internet : SBF, JKS and more

Sometimes I see striking coincidences in things which have apparently no link. It helps me in writing (useless?) posts… here the chaos of the Internet became apparent again in a trial against a startup founder, in literature and in street art, three topics which are dear to me.

The trial against a startup founder is that of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). Of course there has been tons of papers about it including one of my favorite references, The New Yorker:
– Sept. 2023 : The Parent Trap. Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s family bubble.
– Nov. 2023 : Will Sam Bankman-Fried’s Guilty Verdict Change Anything?
as well as CNN in March 2024 : Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in federal prison

And of course this follows the scandals of Elisabeth Holmes or of Adam Neumann. There were other stories, even if less famous, like Cadence vs. Avant! or Stanford vs. Cisco (more here). Technology including the Internet has brought debatable things including crooks and I believe it is just an enlarged illustration of human nature, but it does not excuse anything…

Literature brings me back to my current fascination Jón Kalman Stefánsson (JKS). In my latest reading I found the following (that I translated thanks to the usual tools):

Sex is the most popular content on the Internet, yet very few people admit to watching pornography.
Ah, damn the Internet! If I remember correctly, you are a poet – have people like you managed to describe the phenomenon, are there poems that succeed in capturing this monstrosity, this divinity? I think I could benefit from this kind of poetry. My little Gunna says that only poems allow us to identify what constitutes the human essence.
In any case, you put your finger on the problem just now. The Internet. Do You Know What It Is Gunna asked me a long time ago, back when the world was just beginning to get a glimpse of what this web was. No, I said, I have no idea. The Internet is chaos, she said. Ah, ah, disorder, you are probably right. No, it’s not disorder, she corrected before quoting an old Greek book she was reading at the time. She spends her time reading and she always tries to make me benefit from it, as if it serves any purpose. In any case, this book explains that it was at the dawn of time that Chaos was born, and this Chaos was a kind of god or character. I forgot the details.
What Gunna wanted to emphasize about the Internet was that there was something mythological about it, it was both emptiness and the beginning of everything. Which was later verified. Is not it ? The Net is a bit like a new sky above our heads – and there are new underground worlds there too.
I was talking about the Net, this new sky, these new underground worlds. This is a radical change. So radical that, for the first time, man does not need to die to know what hell is since hell has reached us and is invading digital reality. The devil knows how to exploit technology. It seems that his domain has excellent connectivity.
Dante wouldn’t have minded that.

By accident, I discovered that one of the street artist I like, Infinipi has another name, Kaotica and he chose that name when, as a computer scientist, he entered the world of the Internet. For French readers, you can listen (soon) to his podcast here. Street art is not very far from Technology. Invader got inspiration from video games and then created one of most innovative Internet applications I have seen in the last ten years

Chaos, it is…

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