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Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart

4 months ago

Has anyone noticed what an absolute shitshow LinkedIn is?

More on Technology

Nitin Sharma

Nitin Sharma

13 days ago

The result of my side-hustle blog post with ChatGPT is remarkable.

It's free now.

Src: Pexels

Most content writers—including me—write about side hustles because they do well.

I wrote several articles on a profitable programming side hustle.

Later, I learnt about AI content-generating platforms like Jasper.ai and Copy.ai, which I thought were terrible because they required subscriptions and had bad content. Even I dislike automatic online posting.

Since ChatGPT is becoming more popular, I tried it. It's free now.

Note: I wasn’t compensated to write this piece by this tool. In other words, I don’t receive any payment from their founders. There is no affiliate link, and right now it is free to use. Also, ChatGPT can do a lot more than what I ever did.

Begin.

OpenAI account registration requires visiting the website (if you don’t have one). Just write anything into the chatbot and get a response.

Src: ChatGPT

First, I wrote about the top 10 2023 side businesses.

This came in seconds.

2023 is shaping up to be a year of growth and opportunity for entrepreneurs and side hustlers. With the rise of remote work and the growing gig economy, there are many income streams to consider launching in the coming year. Here are the top 10 income streams to launch in 2023:

  1. Virtual Assistant — The demand for virtual assistants is on the rise as more businesses move online. As a virtual assistant, you can offer administrative, technical, or creative services to clients remotely.

  2. Online Tutoring — If you have expertise in a particular subject, consider becoming an online tutor. There are many platforms that connect tutors with students looking for help with their studies.

  3. Freelance Writing — If you have a knack for writing, consider becoming a freelance writer. You can offer your services to businesses, bloggers, and individuals looking for content for their websites or social media platforms.

  4. Graphic Design — If you have a talent for design, consider starting a graphic design side hustle. You can create logos, banners, and other visual content for businesses and individuals.

  5. Social Media Management — Many businesses are looking for help with managing their social media accounts. As a social media manager, you can help businesses create and execute social media strategies to reach their target audience.

  6. Dropshipping — Dropshipping is a business model where you sell products without actually holding any inventory. You can partner with suppliers and ship the products directly to the customer on behalf of the business.

  7. Pet Sitting — If you love animals, consider starting a pet-sitting side hustle. You can offer your services to pet owners who need someone to take care of their pets while they are away.

  8. Home Cleaning — With busy schedules, many people are looking for help with cleaning their homes. As a home cleaning service provider, you can offer your services to help keep homes tidy and organized.

  9. Event Planning — If you have a talent for organization and planning, consider starting an event planning side hustle. You can offer your services to help plan and execute events for businesses and individuals.

  10. Online Teaching — With the rise of online education, there is a growing demand for online teachers. If you have expertise in a particular subject, consider becoming an online teacher and offer your services to students looking for personalized instruction.

In conclusion, 2023 is shaping up to be a great year for launching new income streams. Whether you are looking to start a virtual assistant business, become an online tutor, or offer home cleaning services, there are many opportunities to turn your skills and expertise into a profitable side hustle.

Better than most online side hustle posts, right?

Write about the top 10 programming side hustles to start in 2023.

I got this.

If you are a programmer looking to start a side hustle, 2023 is the perfect time to launch your own business. With the growing demand for software and app development, there are many opportunities for programmers to turn their skills into a profitable side hustle. Here are the top 10 programming side hustles to start in 2023:

  1. App Development — With the rise of smartphones and tablets, there is a growing demand for app development. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom apps for their needs.

  2. Website Development — Many businesses and individuals are looking for help with creating and maintaining their websites. As a website developer, you can offer your services to help design, build, and manage websites for your clients.

  3. Software Development — If you have expertise in a particular programming language, consider starting a software development side hustle. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom software solutions for their needs.

  4. Game Development — The gaming industry is thriving, and there is a growing demand for game development. If you have experience in game development, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom games.

  5. Data Analysis — With the rise of big data, there is a growing demand for data analysts. As a data analyst, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to make sense of their data and gain insights from it.

  6. Machine Learning — Machine learning is a rapidly growing field, and there is a growing demand for machine learning experts. If you have experience in machine learning, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to develop custom machine learning solutions.

  7. Cloud Computing — With the rise of cloud computing, there is a growing demand for cloud experts. If you have experience in cloud computing, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to migrate their applications and data to the cloud.

  8. Blockchain Development — Blockchain technology is gaining popularity, and there is a growing demand for blockchain developers. If you have experience in blockchain development, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to develop custom blockchain solutions.

  9. Artificial Intelligence — Artificial intelligence is a rapidly growing field, and there is a growing demand for AI experts. If you have experience in artificial intelligence, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to develop custom AI solutions.

  10. Virtual Reality — Virtual reality is an exciting and emerging technology, and there is a growing demand for VR developers. If you have experience in VR development, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom VR experiences.

In conclusion, 2023 is a great time to start a programming side hustle. Whether you are interested in app development, website development, or machine learning, there are many opportunities for programmers to turn their skills into a profitable business.

These two blogs show that AI can simplify blog authoring.

I asked some tough programming questions, and most were suitable.

The content may occasionally not be what we want, but it will almost always be very helpful to you.

Enjoy.

Waleed Rikab, PhD

Waleed Rikab, PhD

9 days ago

The Enablement of Fraud and Misinformation by Generative AI What You Should Understand

Recent investigations have shown that generative AI can boost hackers and misinformation spreaders.

Generated through Stable Diffusion with a prompt by the author

Since its inception in late November 2022, OpenAI's ChatGPT has entertained and assisted many online users in writing, coding, task automation, and linguistic translation. Given this versatility, it is maybe unsurprising but nonetheless regrettable that fraudsters and mis-, dis-, and malinformation (MDM) spreaders are also considering ChatGPT and related AI models to streamline and improve their operations.

Malign actors may benefit from ChatGPT, according to a WithSecure research. ChatGPT promises to elevate unlawful operations across many attack channels. ChatGPT can automate spear phishing attacks that deceive corporate victims into reading emails from trusted parties. Malware, extortion, and illicit fund transfers can result from such access.

ChatGPT's ability to simulate a desired writing style makes spear phishing emails look more genuine, especially for international actors who don't speak English (or other languages like Spanish and French).

This technique could let Russian, North Korean, and Iranian state-backed hackers conduct more convincing social engineering and election intervention in the US. ChatGPT can also create several campaigns and various phony online personas to promote them, making such attacks successful through volume or variation. Additionally, image-generating AI algorithms and other developing techniques can help these efforts deceive potential victims.

Hackers are discussing using ChatGPT to install malware and steal data, according to a Check Point research. Though ChatGPT's scripts are well-known in the cyber security business, they can assist amateur actors with little technical understanding into the field and possibly develop their hacking and social engineering skills through repeated use.

Additionally, ChatGPT's hacking suggestions may change. As a writer recently indicated, ChatGPT's ability to blend textual and code-based writing might be a game-changer, allowing the injection of innocent content that would subsequently turn out to be a malicious script into targeted systems. These new AI-powered writing- and code-generation abilities allow for unique cyber attacks, regardless of viability.

OpenAI fears ChatGPT usage. OpenAI, Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology, and Stanford's Internet Observatory wrote a paper on how AI language models could enhance nation state-backed influence operations. As a last resort, the authors consider polluting the internet with radioactive or misleading data to ensure that AI language models produce outputs that other language models can identify as AI-generated. However, the authors of this paper seem unaware that their "solution" might cause much worse MDM difficulties.

Literally False News

The public argument about ChatGPTs content-generation has focused on originality, bias, and academic honesty, but broader global issues are at stake. ChatGPT can influence public opinion, troll individuals, and interfere in local and national elections by creating and automating enormous amounts of social media material for specified audiences.

ChatGPT's capacity to generate textual and code output is crucial. ChatGPT can write Python scripts for social media bots and give diverse content for repeated posts. The tool's sophistication makes it irrelevant to one's language skills, especially English, when writing MDM propaganda.

I ordered ChatGPT to write a news piece in the style of big US publications declaring that Ukraine is on the verge of defeat in its fight against Russia due to corruption, desertion, and exhaustion in its army. I also gave it a fake reporter's byline and an unidentified NATO source's remark. The outcome appears convincing:

Worse, terrible performers can modify this piece to make it more credible. They can edit the general's name or add facts about current wars. Furthermore, such actors can create many versions of this report in different forms and distribute them separately, boosting its impact.

In this example, ChatGPT produced a news story regarding (fictional) greater moviegoer fatality rates:

Editing this example makes it more plausible. Dr. Jane Smith, the putative author of the medical report, might be replaced with a real-life medical person or a real victim of this supposed medical hazard.

Can deceptive texts be found? Detecting AI text is behind AI advancements. Minor AI-generated text alterations can upset these technologies.

Some OpenAI individuals have proposed covert methods to watermark AI-generated literature to prevent its abuse. AI models would create information that appears normal to humans but would follow a cryptographic formula that would warn other machines that it was AI-made. However, security experts are cautious since manually altering the content interrupts machine and human detection of AI-generated material.

How to Prepare

Cyber security and IT workers can research and use generative AI models to fight spear fishing and extortion. Governments may also launch MDM-defence projects.

In election cycles and global crises, regular people may be the most vulnerable to AI-produced deceit. Until regulation or subsequent technical advances, individuals must recognize exposure to AI-generated fraud, dating scams, other MDM activities.

A three-step verification method of new material in suspicious emails or social media posts can help identify AI content and manipulation. This three-step approach asks about the information's distribution platform (is it reliable? ), author (is the reader familiar with them? ), and plausibility given one's prior knowledge of the topic.

Consider a report by a trusted journalist that makes shocking statements in their typical manner. AI-powered fake news may be released on an unexpected platform, such as a newly created Facebook profile. However, if it links to a known media source, it is more likely to be real.

Though hard and subjective, this verification method may be the only barrier against manipulation for now.

AI language models:

How to Recognize an AI-Generated Article ChatGPT, the popular AI-powered chatbot, can and likely does generate medium.com-style articles.

AI-Generated Text Detectors Fail. Do This. Online tools claim to detect ChatGPT output. Even with superior programming, I tested some of these tools. pub

Why Original Writers Matter Despite AI Language Models Creative writers may never be threatened by AI language models.

The Mystique

The Mystique

10 days ago

Four Shocking Dark Web Incidents that Should Make You Avoid It

Dark Web activity? Is it as horrible as they say?

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

We peruse our phones for hours. Internet has improved our worldview.

However, the world's harshest realities remain buried on the internet and unattainable by everyone.

Browsers cannot access the Dark Web. Browse it with high-security authentication and exclusive access. There are compelling reasons to avoid the dark web at all costs.

1. The Dark Web and I

Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash

Darius wrote My Dark Web Story on reddit two years ago. The user claimed to have shared his dark web experience. DaRealEddyYT wanted to surf the dark web after hearing several stories.

He curiously downloaded Tor Browser, which provides anonymity and security.

In the Dark Room, bound

As Darius logged in, a text popped up: “Want a surprise? Click on this link.”

The link opened to a room with a chair. Only one light source illuminated the room. The chair held a female tied.

As the screen read "Let the game begin," a man entered the room and was paid in bitcoins to torment the girl.

The man dragged and tortured the woman.

A danger to safety

Leaving so soon, Darius, disgusted Darius tried to leave the stream. The anonymous user then sent Darius his personal information, including his address, which frightened him because he didn't know Tor was insecure.

After deleting the app, his phone camera was compromised.

He also stated that he left his residence and returned to find it unlocked and a letter saying, Thought we wouldn't find you? Reddit never updated the story.

The story may have been a fake, but a much scarier true story about the dark side of the internet exists.

2. The Silk Road Market

Ross William Ulbricht | Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The dark web is restricted for a reason. The dark web has everything illicit imaginable. It's awful central.

The dark web has everything, from organ sales to drug trafficking to money laundering to human trafficking. Illegal drugs, pirated software, credit card, bank, and personal information can be found in seconds.

The dark web has reserved websites like Google. The Silk Road Website, which operated from 2011 to 2013, was a leading digital black market.

The FBI grew obsessed with site founder and processor Ross William Ulbricht.

The site became a criminal organization as money laundering and black enterprises increased. Bitcoin was utilized for credit card payment.

The FBI was close to arresting the site's administrator. Ross was detained after the agency closed Silk Road in 2013.

Two years later, in 2015, he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms and forty years. He appealed in 2016 but was denied, thus he is currently serving time.

The hefty sentence was for more than running a black marketing site. He was also convicted of murder-for-hire, earning about $730,000 in a short time.

3. Person-buying auctions

The British model, Chloe Ayling | Photo Credits: Pinterest

Bidding on individuals is another weird internet activity. After a Milan photo shoot, 20-year-old British model Chloe Ayling was kidnapped.

An ad agency in Milan made a bogus offer to shoot with the mother of a two-year-old boy. Four men gave her anesthetic and put her in a duffel bag when she arrived.

She was held captive for several days, and her images and $300,000 price were posted on the dark web. Black Death Trafficking Group kidnapped her to sell her for sex.

She was told two black death foot warriors abducted her. The captors released her when they found she was a mother because mothers were less desirable to sex slave buyers.

In July 2018, Lukasz Pawel Herba was arrested and sentenced to 16 years and nine months in prison. Being a young mother saved Chloe from creepy bidding.

However, it exceeds expectations of how many more would be in such danger daily without their knowledge.

4. Organ sales

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

Many are unaware of dark web organ sales. Patients who cannot acquire organs often turn to dark web brokers.

Brokers handle all transactions between donors and customers.

Bitcoins are used for dark web transactions, and the Tor server permits personal data on the web.

The WHO reports approximately 10,000 unlawful organ transplants annually. The black web sells kidneys, hearts, even eyes.

To protect our lives and privacy, we should manage our curiosity and never look up dangerous stuff.

While it's fascinating and appealing to know what's going on in the world we don't know about, it's best to prioritize our well-being because one never knows how bad it might get.

Sources

Reddit.com

The Daily Beast

PYMNTS

Commons.erau.edu

The Sun

Investopedia

Startup Talky

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Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

5 months ago

Updates From Google For Content Producers What You Should Know Is This

People-first update.

Image credit: Shutterstock. Image edited in Canva

Every Google upgrade causes website owners to panic.

Some have just recovered from previous algorithm tweaks and resumed content development.

If you follow Google's Webmaster rules, you shouldn't fear its adjustments.

Everyone has a view of them. Miscommunication and confusion result.

Now, for some (hopefully) exciting news.

Google tweeted on August 18, 2022 about a fresh content update.

This change is another Google effort to remove low-quality, repetitive, and AI-generated content.

The algorithm generates and analyzes search results, not humans.

Google spends a lot to teach its algorithm what searchers want. Intent isn't always clear.

Google's content update aims to:

“… ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

Isn't it a noble goal?

However, what does it mean for content creators and website owners?

How can you ensure you’re creating content that will be successful after the updates roll out?

Let's first define people-first content.

What does "people-first-content" mean?

If asked, I'd say information written to answer queries and solve problems.

Like others, I read it from the term.

Content creators and marketers disagree. They need more information to follow recommendations.

Google gives explicit instructions for creating people-first content.

According to Google, if you answer yes to the following questions, you have a people-first attitude.

  1. Do you have customers who might find your content useful if they contacted you directly?

  2. Does your content show the breadth of your knowledge?

  3. Do you have a niche or a focus for your website?

  4. After reading your content, will readers learn something new to aid them in achieving their goals?

  5. Are readers happy after reading your content?

  6. Have you been adhering to Google's fundamental updates and product reviews?

As an SEO writer, I'm not scared.

I’ve been following these rules consciously while creating content for my website. That’s why it’s been steadily growing despite me publishing just one or two stories a month.

If you avoid AI-generated text and redundant, shallow material, your website won't suffer.

If you use unscrupulous methods to boost your website's traffic, including link buying or keyword stuffing, stop. Google is getting smarter and will find and punish your site eventually.

For those who say, “SEO is no longer working,” I dedicated the whole paragraph below.

This does not imply that SEO is obsolete.

Google:

“People-first content creators focus on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value.”

The official helpful content update page lists two people-first content components:

  • meeting user needs

  • best practices for SEO

Always read official guidelines, not unsolicited suggestions.

SEO will work till search engines die.

How to use the update

Google said the changes will arrive in August 2022.

They pledged to post updates on Google's search ranking updates page.

Google also tweets this info. If you haven't followed it already, I recommend it.

Ranking adjustments could take two weeks and will affect English searches internationally initially.

Google affirmed plans to extend to other languages.

If you own a website, monitor your rankings and traffic to see if it's affected.

Alex Carter

Alex Carter

6 months ago

Metaverse, Web 3, and NFTs are BS

Most crypto is probably too.

Metaverse, Web 3, and NFTs are bullshit

The goals of Web 3 and the metaverse are admirable and attractive. Who doesn't want an internet owned by users? Who wouldn't want a digital realm where anything is possible? A better way to collaborate and visit pals.

Companies pursue profits endlessly. Infinite growth and revenue are expected, and if a corporation needs to sacrifice profits to safeguard users, the CEO, board of directors, and any executives will lose to the system of incentives that (1) retains workers with shares and (2) makes a company answerable to all of its shareholders. Only the government can guarantee user protections, but we know how successful that is. This is nothing new, just a problem with modern capitalism and tech platforms that a user-owned internet might remedy. Moxie, the founder of Signal, has a good articulation of some of these current Web 2 tech platform problems (but I forget the timestamp); thoughts on JRE aside, this episode is worth listening to (it’s about a bunch of other stuff too).

Moxie Marlinspike, founder of Signal, on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

Moxie Marlinspike, founder of Signal, on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

Source: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2uVHiMqqJxy8iR2YB63aeP?si=4962b5ecb1854288

Web 3 champions are premature. There was so much spectacular growth during Web 2 that the next wave of founders want to make an even bigger impact, while investors old and new want a chance to get a piece of the moonshot action. Worse, crypto enthusiasts believe — and financially need — the fact of its success to be true, whether or not it is.

I’m doubtful that it will play out like current proponents say. Crypto has been the white-hot focus of SV’s best and brightest for a long time yet still struggles to come up any mainstream use case other than ‘buy, HODL, and believe’: a store of value for your financial goals and wishes. Some kind of the metaverse is likely, but will it be decentralized, mostly in VR, or will Meta (previously FB) play a big role? Unlikely.

METAVERSE

The metaverse exists already. Our digital lives span apps, platforms, and games. I can design a 3D house, invite people, use Discord, and hang around in an artificial environment. Millions of gamers do this in Rust, Minecraft, Valheim, and Animal Crossing, among other games. Discord's voice chat and Slack-like servers/channels are the present social anchor, but the interface, integrations, and data portability will improve. Soon you can stream YouTube videos on digital house walls. You can doodle, create art, play Jackbox, and walk through a door to play Apex Legends, Fortnite, etc. Not just gaming. Digital whiteboards and screen sharing enable real-time collaboration. They’ll review code and operate enterprises. Music is played and made. In digital living rooms, they'll watch movies, sports, comedy, and Twitch. They'll tweet, laugh, learn, and shittalk.

The metaverse is the evolution of our digital life at home, the third place. The closest analog would be Discord and the integration of Facebook, Slack, YouTube, etc. into a single, 3D, customizable hangout space.

I'm not certain this experience can be hugely decentralized and smoothly choreographed, managed, and run, or that VR — a luxury, cumbersome, and questionably relevant technology — must be part of it. Eventually, VR will be pragmatic, achievable, and superior to real life in many ways. A total sensory experience like the Matrix or Sword Art Online, where we're physically hooked into the Internet yet in our imaginations we're jumping, flying, and achieving athletic feats we never could in reality; exploring realms far grander than our own (as grand as it is). That VR is different from today's.

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9leHBvbmVudC5mbS9mZWVkLw/episode/aHR0cHM6Ly9leHBvbmVudC5mbS8_cD00MzM?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwjH5u6r4rv2AhUjc98KHeybAP8QjrkEegQIChAF&ep=6

Ben Thompson released an episode of Exponent after Facebook changed its name to Meta. Ben was suspicious about many metaverse champion claims, but he made a good analogy between Oculus and the PC. The PC was initially far too pricey for the ordinary family to afford. It began as a business tool. It got so powerful and pervasive that it affected our personal life. Price continues to plummet and so much consumer software was produced that it's impossible to envision life without a home computer (or in our pockets). If Facebook shows product market fit with VR in business, through use cases like remote work and collaboration, maybe VR will become practical in our personal lives at home.

Before PCs, we relied on Blockbuster, the Yellow Pages, cabs to get to the airport, handwritten taxes, landline phones to schedule social events, and other archaic methods. It is impossible for me to conceive what VR, in the form of headsets and hand controllers, stands to give both professional and especially personal digital experiences that is an order of magnitude better than what we have today. Is looking around better than using a mouse to examine a 3D landscape? Do the hand controls make x10 or x100 work or gaming more fun or efficient? Will VR replace scalable Web 2 methods and applications like Web 1 and Web 2 did for analog? I don't know.

My guess is that the metaverse will arrive slowly, initially on displays we presently use, with more app interoperability. I doubt that it will be controlled by the people or by Facebook, a corporation that struggles to properly innovate internally, as practically every large digital company does. Large tech organizations are lousy at hiring product-savvy employees, and if they do, they rarely let them explore new things.

These companies act like business schools when they seek founders' results, with bureaucracy and dependency. Which company launched the last popular consumer software product that wasn't a clone or acquisition? Recent examples are scarce.

Web 3

Investors and entrepreneurs of Web 3 firms are declaring victory: 'Web 3 is here!' Web 3 is the future! Many profitable Web 2 enterprises existed when Web 2 was defined. The word was created to explain user behavior shifts, not a personal pipe dream.

Origins of Web 2

Origins of Web 2: http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

One of these Web 3 startups may provide the connecting tissue to link all these experiences or become one of the major new digital locations. Even so, successful players will likely use centralized power arrangements, as Web 2 businesses do now. Some Web 2 startups integrated our digital lives. Rockmelt (2010–2013) was a customizable browser with bespoke connectors to every program a user wanted; imagine seeing Facebook, Twitter, Discord, Netflix, YouTube, etc. all in one location. Failure. Who knows what Opera's doing?

Silicon Valley and tech Twitter in general have a history of jumping on dumb bandwagons that go nowhere. Dot-com crash in 2000? The huge deployment of capital into bad ideas and businesses is well-documented. And live video. It was the future until it became a niche sector for gamers. Live audio will play out a similar reality as CEOs with little comprehension of audio and no awareness of lasting new user behavior deceive each other into making more and bigger investments on fool's gold. Twitter trying to buy Clubhouse for $4B, Spotify buying Greenroom, Facebook exploring live audio and 'Tiktok for audio,' and now Amazon developing a live audio platform. This live audio frenzy won't be worth their time or energy. Blind guides blind. Instead of learning from prior failures like Twitter buying Periscope for $100M pre-launch and pre-product market fit, they're betting on unproven and uncompelling experiences.

NFTs

NFTs are also nonsense. Take Loot, a time-limited bag drop of "things" (text on the blockchain) for a game that didn't exist, bought by rich techies too busy to play video games and foolish enough to think they're getting in early on something with a big reward. What gaming studio is incentivized to use these items? Who's encouraged to join? No one cares besides Loot owners who don't have NFTs. Skill, merit, and effort should be rewarded with rare things for gamers. Even if a small minority of gamers can make a living playing, the average game's major appeal has never been to make actual money - that's a profession.

No game stays popular forever, so how is this objective sustainable? Once popularity and usage drop, exclusive crypto or NFTs will fall. And if NFTs are designed to have cross-game appeal, incentives apart, 30 years from now any new game will need millions of pre-existing objects to build around before they start. It doesn’t work.

Many games already feature item economies based on real in-game scarcity, generally for cosmetic things to avoid pay-to-win, which undermines scaled gaming incentives for huge player bases. Counter-Strike, Rust, etc. may be bought and sold on Steam with real money. Since the 1990s, unofficial cross-game marketplaces have sold in-game objects and currencies. NFTs aren't needed. Making a popular, enjoyable, durable game is already difficult.

With NFTs, certain JPEGs on the internet went from useless to selling for $69 million. Why? Crypto, Web 3, early Internet collectibles. NFTs are digital Beanie Babies (unlike NFTs, Beanie Babies were a popular children's toy; their destinies are the same). NFTs are worthless and scarce. They appeal to crypto enthusiasts seeking for a practical use case to support their theory and boost their own fortune. They also attract to SV insiders desperate not to miss the next big thing, not knowing what it will be. NFTs aren't about paying artists and creators who don't get credit for their work.

South Park's Underpants Gnomes

South Park's Underpants Gnomes

NFTs are a benign, foolish plan to earn money on par with South Park's underpants gnomes. At worst, they're the world of hucksterism and poor performers. Or those with money and enormous followings who, like everyone, don't completely grasp cryptocurrencies but are motivated by greed and status and believe Gary Vee's claim that CryptoPunks are the next Facebook. Gary's watertight logic: if NFT prices dip, they're on the same path as the most successful corporation in human history; buy the dip! NFTs aren't businesses or museum-worthy art. They're bs.

Gary Vee compares NFTs to Amazon.com. vm.tiktok.com/TTPdA9TyH2

We grew up collecting: Magic: The Gathering (MTG) cards printed in the 90s are now worth over $30,000. Imagine buying a digital Magic card with no underlying foundation. No one plays the game because it doesn't exist. An NFT is a contextless image someone conned you into buying a certificate for, but anyone may copy, paste, and use. Replace MTG with Pokemon for younger readers.

When Gary Vee strongarms 30 tech billionaires and YouTube influencers into buying CryptoPunks, they'll talk about it on Twitch, YouTube, podcasts, Twitter, etc. That will convince average folks that the product has value. These guys are smart and/or rich, so I'll get in early like them. Cryptography is similar. No solid, scaled, mainstream use case exists, and no one knows where it's headed, but since the global crypto financial bubble hasn't burst and many people have made insane fortunes, regular people are putting real money into something that is highly speculative and could be nothing because they want a piece of the action. Who doesn’t want free money? Rich techies and influencers won't be affected; normal folks will.

Imagine removing every $1 invested in Bitcoin instantly. What would happen? How far would Bitcoin fall? Over 90%, maybe even 95%, and Bitcoin would be dead. Bitcoin as an investment is the only scalable widespread use case: it's confidence that a better use case will arise and that being early pays handsomely. It's like pouring a trillion dollars into a company with no business strategy or users and a CEO who makes vague future references.

New tech and efforts may provoke a 'get off my lawn' mentality as you approach 40, but I've always prided myself on having a decent bullshit detector, and it's flying off the handle at this foolishness. If we can accomplish a functional, responsible, equitable, and ethical user-owned internet, I'm for it.

Postscript:

I wanted to summarize my opinions because I've been angry about this for a while but just sporadically tweeted about it. A friend handed me a Dan Olson YouTube video just before publication. He's more knowledgeable, articulate, and convincing about crypto. It's worth seeing:


This post is a summary. See the original one here.

Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike

Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike

6 months ago

10 Years of Trying to Manage Time and Improve My Productivity.

I've spent the last 10 years of my career mastering time management. I've tried different approaches and followed multiple people and sources. My knowledge is summarized.

Great people, including entrepreneurs, master time management. I learned time management in college. I was studying Computer Science and Finance and leading Tanzanian students in Bangalore, India. I had 24 hours per day to do this and enjoy campus. I graduated and received several awards. I've learned to maximize my time. These tips and tools help me finish quickly.

Eisenhower-Box

I don't remember when I read the article. James Clear, one of my favorite bloggers, introduced me to the Eisenhower Box, which I've used for years. Eliminate waste to master time management. By grouping your activities by importance and urgency, the tool helps you prioritize what matters and drop what doesn't. If it's urgent, do it. Delegate if it's urgent but not necessary. If it's important but not urgent, reschedule it; otherwise, drop it. I integrated the tool with Trello to manage my daily tasks. Since 2007, I've done this.

James Clear's article mentions Eisenhower Box.

Essentialism rules

Greg McKeown's book Essentialism introduced me to disciplined pursuit of less. I once wrote about this. I wasn't sure what my career's real opportunities and distractions were. A non-essentialist thinks everything is essential; you want to be everything to everyone, and your life lacks satisfaction. Poor time management starts it all. Reading and applying this book will change your life.

Essential vs non-essential

Life Calendar

Most of us make corporate calendars. Peter Njonjo, founder of Twiga Foods, said he manages time by putting life activities in his core calendars. It includes family retreats, weddings, and other events. He joked that his wife always complained to him to avoid becoming a calendar item. It's key. "Time Masters" manages life's four burners, not just work and corporate life. There's no "work-life balance"; it's life.

Health, Family, Work, and Friends.

The Brutal No

In a culture where people want to look good, saying "NO" to a favor request seems rude. In reality, the crime is breaking a promise. "Time Masters" have mastered "NO".  More "YES" means less time, and more "NO" means more time for tasks and priorities. Brutal No doesn't mean being mean to your coworkers; it means explaining kindly and professionally that you have other priorities.

To-Do vs. MITs

Most people are productive with a routine to-do list. You can't be effective by just checking boxes on a To-do list. When was the last time you completed all of your daily tasks? Never. You must replace the to-do list with Most Important Tasks (MITs). MITs allow you to focus on the most important tasks on your list. You feel progress and accomplishment when you finish these tasks. MITs don't include ad-hoc emails, meetings, etc.

Journal Mapped

Most people don't journal or plan their day in the developing South. I've learned to plan my day in my journal over time. I have multiple sections on one page: MITs (things I want to accomplish that day), Other Activities (stuff I can postpone), Life (health, faith, and family issues), and Pop-Ups (things that just pop up). I leave the next page blank for notes. I reflected on the blocks to identify areas to improve the next day. You will have bad days, but at least you'll realize it was due to poor time management.

Buy time/delegate

Time or money? When you make enough money, you lose time to make more. The smart buy "Time." I resisted buying other people's time for years. I regret not hiring an assistant sooner. Learn to buy time from others and pay for time-consuming tasks. Sometimes you think you're saving money by doing things yourself, but you're actually losing money.


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