Notes on the future

How developer copilots, no-code, and app-generating LLMs might impact product development
Some software engineers are worried about AI taking their jobs. Some SaaS founders are excited for cheaper R&D costs, while others are fearful of the new market entrants this will empower. Today, we explore the potential impact of developer copilots, no-code, and app-generating LLMs.
Public health departments need to address healthy information consumption
In much of the world, industrialisation has led to the abundance of calories, often in very unhealthy forms — a novel state for a creature that is accustomed to subsistence. This has posed serious challenges for society (e.g., how do we provide large populations of people with healthy food?) and individuals (i.e., how do I eat healthy food in reasonable amounts when millions of years of evolution has instilled a nature of scarcity into me, that drives me to consume all I can find?). Growing up in the 1990s, the golden age of the fad workout plan and diet, the public debate regarding the dangers of junk food was prominent. The parents of many kids in my generation changed their attitudes towards sustenance significantly throughout our childhoods. Abundance, while positive in so many ways, comes with challenges.
Could Australia sink into the technologically-enabled authoritarianism of its undemocratic rivals?
On August 25th, Identify and Disrupt passed both houses of the Australian parliament with support from both major parties, just one day after it was first debated. Officially dubbed Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021, the bill empowers the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) with three new and egregious powers when investigating federal crimes, or state crimes with a "federal aspect".
On the short-sightedness of the privacy apathists
Many people say they don't care about what data Big Tech is collecting on them. "I've got nothing to hide" is a common explanation for this. But, just because you're comfortable with the ways your being tracked today doesn't mean you will be in the future, when more data points are available for aggregation.
Big Tech: Choosing the right problems to solve
I talk a lot about regulation. But, let's put this aside for a minute. Let's talk about what Big Tech _should_ do. Not just for shareholders (though their needs should obviously be a priority), but for the broader technology ecosystem.
Banning Big Tech acquisitions could be a disaster for innovation in the US
Last week, House lawmakers announced their bipartisan legislative agenda to regulate Big Tech, led by Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline. This agenda consists of five bipartisan bills tackling Big Tech from multiple angles. While some proposals seem fair (i.e., updating filing fees for mergers for the first time in two decades), others, as is often the case with tech regulation, will likely come with unintended consequences.
Google's moat in search
Google has been a focal point in the ongoing Big Tech anti-trust conversation, having achieved what many describe a monopoly in general search. Their defence? The "competition is one click away".
Digital advertising monopolies and user privacy
Big Tech in-fighting has highlighted the tension between privacy and digital marketing. While I'm undecided on where we should draw the line, here is a summary of how I see the current situation.
Thoughts on the Australian Government's draft news media and digital platforms mandatory bargaining code
For ones success at the expense of the other, should the automotive industry have been forced to subsidise the horse and carriage industry? As ridiculous and anti-progress as this sounds, this is essentially what the Australian Government's draft news media and digital platforms mandatory bargaining code argues. Earlier this year, the Australian Government requested the ACCC to address the alleged "bargaining power imbalance" between news media businesses and Facebook and Google. The resulting proposal is incredibly misguided, big-government hypocrisy from the small-government Liberal party and should alarm Australian residents and businesses previously under the impression that the parliament, and not News Corp, was the highest governing body in the land.