Trust and Nearly Blog Birthday

Hello Lovely Black Phoebe Readers!

Happy Sunday to you all. In eight days this blog will turn 20 years old! Twenty! Yikes. Nearly old enough to drink in the US.


I will have to think up some way to celebrate that does not include a 2003 style rain of DHTML confetti…

Regardless if you generally like or don’t like Thomas Friedman’s writing, he does have a very good opinion piece in the NY Times this week on America and China, trust in the digital age, and some musings on AI.

America, China, and a Crisis of Trust :

Attending the China Development Forum — Beijing’s very useful annual gathering of local and global business leaders, senior Chinese officials, retired diplomats and a few local and Western journalists — reminded me of some powerful old truths and exposed me to some eye-popping new realities about what’s really eating away at U.S.-China relations.

Hint: The new, new thing has a lot to do with the increasingly important role that trust, and its absence, plays in international relations, now that so many goods and services that the United States and China sell to one another are digital, and therefore dual use — meaning they can be both a weapon and a tool. Just when trust has become more important than ever between the U.S. and China, it also has become scarcer than ever. Bad trend.

A few thoughts from me, whether you agree with Friedman’s thesis or not, there has been a definite erosion in the world in the last twenty years, not just in politics, but also as the internet has grown from a small fun little space of strange websites into a huge black hole of time, energy, and attention to about ten or so corporate websites/apps.

Be it the decapitation of Twitter via a narcissistic man-child with too much cash at the ready or the role out of neural networked apps who built their ‘knowledge’ by scraping the web in the name of A.I., the world appears to be both large unfathomable, unstoppable force all the while the thing that was unstoppable ten years ago is nearly in wreckage.

What happens if A.I. is not the beast that devours? What if it is just another tech hype? How is your crypto-coin doing? Still blogging like it is 2005? Etc.

I would rather see all of us work on building trust than letting large entities, be they nations or corporations, devour it.

To that end, have a nice article from Volcano Cafe on how Islands are built and disappear all the time: The secret lives of volcanic islands

Let’s not let our relationship with China go Hunga Tunga. Let’s build some trust again, on both sides.