Bonum Certa Men Certa

Storm Brewing Over the Future and Nature of the Internet

TikTok Surpasses Google, Facebook As World’s Most Popular Web Domain

Summary: Subsidies for Web giants (and shareholders of such giants) will run out; what will happen to the Internet when this inevitably happens?

If one goes by (relies on) reports and accounts of corporate media, "cryptocoins" (a misnomer) are doomed and therefore anything blockchain-related is doomed too. Never mind if one is merely a subset of the other. If one goes by reports and accounts of corporate media, it also seems increasingly likely that Twitter (as a business) will collapse completely and Facebook won't manage to 'evolve', even if it rebrands as "Meta" and pushes VR under a new buzzword. About a year ago it became apparent that toxic TikTok had exceeded (in terms of the number of requests) Web giant Google. TikTok is accessed from a lot of countries, including places where Facebook is banned. It seems unlikely that TikTok is the future; it's more of a passing fad. Some American politicians already promote bills to block TikTok entirely.

Nat Friedman Advisor to FTXTo a lot of people, the above things (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, TikTok) aren't Web sites but "apps". It is noteworthy that mobile devices with "apps" have long outnumbered desktops and laptops, which means that Microsoft fell behind not only on the Web but also in the "installed base" sense.

The recent collapse of FTX had a 'ripple effect'. Various other companies that sold so-called "cryptocoins" perish and fold. Along with them: NFTs, "web3" (whatever that actually is!), and various other cargo cults hugged and shilled by charlatans and one-time frauds [1, 2, 3].

At the moment we fully utilise IPFS, Gemini, IRC, and the Web. We explore some other protocols too, maybe Tor will be next (Onion address).

United States Government Debt - November 2022 Data - 1942-2021 HistoricalFor a number of years --- if not well more than a decade already -- a lot of companies operated in a bubble, backed mostly by debt. We were meant to assume some companies were worth trillions of dollars even though they were occasionally operating at a loss. Twitter almost always operated at a loss and the same is true for ClownFlare. The state of the Internet and the Web is not sustainable because the companies that currently dominate it don't necessarily profit from it; some rely on US government subsidies/bailouts, fattening shareholders of failing companies like "Meta" at the expense of taxpayers (not something that will last forever; in the latest month on record, US national debt grew by over $300,000,000,000; yes, in just this one month, causing inflation to spiral out of control). With plausible rumours of impending "big" layoffs at Microsoft (not to mention Amazon, HP, Intel, Facebook and so on) we're probably at the cusp of major shake-ups. What comes next? Too hard to tell, almost impossible to guess, but as newsrooms report many more layoffs (many included in Daily Links yesterday, including CNN and Gannett) it's essential to stay vigilant. Things are going to change.

"Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, declared a profit of $4.5 billion in 1998; when the cost of options awarded that year, plus the change in the value of outstanding options, is deducted, the firm made a loss of $18 billion, according to Smithers."

--The Economist, 1999

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