It was the best of years, it was the worst of years, it was the wokest of years, it was the most problematic of years, it was the year of AI, it was the year of scooters, it was the year of Big Tech triumph, it was the year of Big Tech scandals, it was the year of Musk’s disgrace, it was the year of Tesla’s redemption, it was the year of shitcoin justice, it was definitelynotthe year of AR or VR, it was the dumbest timeline, it was the spring of stanning, it was the winter of wtf.
It was, in short, a year tailor-made for The Jons, an annual award celebrating tech’s more dubious achievers, named, in an awe-inspiring fit of humility, after myself. So let’s get to it! With very little further ado, I give you: the fourth annual Jon Awards for Dubious Technical Achievement!
(The Jons 2015) (The Jons 2016) (The Jons 2017)
THE FEET AND LEGS AND TORSO OF CLAY AWARD FOR SUDDEN REGRESSION TO THE MEAN
To Elon Musk, who in the past year went from (in many eyes) “messiah who could do no wrong” to “man who has paid a $20 million fine and stepped down as chairman in order to settle with the SEC regarding allegations of tweeted fraud; been sued for very publicly accusing a stranger of pedophilia with no evidence; feuded with Azealia Banks; been roundly criticized for the conditions in Tesla’s factories; and been pilloried (though also, and to my mind more accurately, tentatively praised) for his new Boring Tunnel.” Don’t have heroes, kids.
THE BUT ON THE OTHER HAND THERE ARE ALL THOSE SHINY NEW ELECTRIC CARS AWARD FOR ATTEMPTED DOOMSAYING
Surprisingly, despite the previous award, this one goes to the herds of bears who spent much of the year claiming that Tesla’s imminent doom and bankruptcy would become obvious and indisputable any day now. The roars of the bears seem to have grown much quieter of late, probably because the Model 3’s production rate has rocketed from 1,000 per week at the start of the year to 1,000 perdayof late. No mean feat on the part of Tesla employees.
THE YES BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS THE RUSSIANSKNOWIT’S DISINFORMATION AWARD FOR BAD OPSEC
To Donald Trump, who apparently continues to use an insecure iPhone, which the Chinese and Russians listen in on. The good news? Officials have “confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities.” Put less diplomatically, the president of the United States doesn’t pay enough attention to briefings to have any important secrets to share. Nothing to worry about there! Trump responded by tweeting a denial, saying he only had a “seldom used government cell phone” … from the iOS Twitter app.
THE YOU MUST ADMIT I WAS AT LEAST RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING BEING DIFFERENT NOW AWARD FOR BUBBLY BITCOIN PREDICTIONS
It’s too easy and obvious to give this award to John McAfee, who I suspect of actuallyanglingfor a Jon year after year. And as a believer that cryptocurrencies have long-term importance, I’m not going to award anyone for their less-outlandish-than-McAfee medium-term beliefs. So this award goes to Bitcoin uberbu