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It’s The Jons 2015!

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Merry Christmas! 2015 was a truly great year in technology, bringing us self-driving electric cars, reusable orbital rockets, the rise of precision gene editing… and some lesser achievements. Since nothing of interest will happen in the next four days, I have decided to jump the gun; today I announce my annual dubious achievement awards, named, in a fit of awe-inspiring humility, after myself.

And so, with little further ado, heavily inspired by The Sids, I give you the eleventh thirteenth eighty-seventh first annual Jon Awards for Dubious Technical Achievement! Not yet as prestigious as The Crunchies, true. But give ‘em time.

THE FOOT-IN-MOUTH-AND-KNIFE-IN-HAND AWARD FOR MALAPROPIC ONTOLOGY

To Sean Rad of Tinder, for saying “sodomy” when he meant “sapiosexual,” and then, in the very same interview, personally attacking a journalist rather than her work.

THE I KEEP TELLING YOU I’M NOT CREEPY WHY WON’T YOU BELIEVE ME AWARD FOR PANOPTICONISM

To the FBI, the NSA, Britain’s GCHQ, and pretty much every other government agency out there.

THE S.E.C. AIN’T NUTHING TA FUCK WIT’ AWARD FOR PUBLIC SERVICE

To Martin Shkreli, for inadvertently doing us all a favor, by highlighting the insane regulatory incentive structure of the American pharmaceutical industry.

THE WE ARE ALL SATOSHI NAKAMOTO AWARD FOR DISTRIBUTED CONSENSUS

To Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, for releasing their Bitcoin XT fork into the wild over the objections of the majority of Bitcoin core developers. “Consensus is hard,” indeed.

THE JACOB TWO-TWO AND THE HOODED FANG AWARD FOR INEFFICIENT MARKETS

To Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google, for concealing 2015’s “sub rosa bear market.”

THE GOOD GOING, GOING, GONE AWARD FOR FAIR MARKET VALUE

To the board of Good Technology, for snubbing an $825 million cash offer and selling for half that six months later. To BlackBerry. Oh, the indignity.

THE I WOULDN’T MIND SO MUCH IF YOU WEREN’T SO BORING AWARD FOR INDUSTRIAL GENTRIFICATION

To the privileged “pretty people” flocking to the tech industry purely because it has become the new aspirational finishing school for the upper-middle-class, and who seek to avoid risk and perpetuate the status quo, rather than use technology as an engine of change.

THE SEX IS BAD MMKAY AWARD FOR NEO-VICTORIANISM

To pretty much anyone who funds or provides anything, for continuing to treat all sex-tech as part of the unspeakable untouchable porn industry.

THE DR. GOLDENKEY, OR, HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BACK DOOR AWARD FOR INFORMED TECH POLICY

To Hillary Clinton and the editorial board of the Washington Post, for requesting a “Manhattan Project” for encryption surveillance that would presumably result in a “secure golden key.”

THE NOW TRIPLE LUTZ THROUGH THIS FLAMING HOOP WHILE HEAPSORTING AWARD FOR HIRING CRITERIA

To any company who still relies primarily on traditional whiteboard interviews for recruiting. That’s so twentieth century. Please, people, get with the program.

THE PEOPLE ARE MOST HILARIOUSLY THEMSELVES WHEN YOU GIVE THEM A MASK AND 140 CHARACTERS AWARD FOR CULTURAL COMMENTARY

To Startup L. Jackson, Swift On Security, and Bored Elon Musk. Long may you reign.

THE JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE MOBILE-FIRST DOESN’T MEAN I WANT YOUR STUPID APP AWARD FOR PETTY ANNOYANCES

This one goes out to Yahoo!, for having been particularly bad at nagging users to download apps rather than access their mobile web sites. Things seem to have gotten marginally better over the last few months, but be advised, Yahoo!, I’m watching you.

THE I CONTINUALLY CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHIT BUT IN A GOOD WAY AWARD FOR CONSCIOUSNESS EXPANSION

To the seemingly–hopefully–endless supply of left-field technological weirdos who continue to be awesomely ridiculous, and ridiculously awesome.

Congratulations, of a sort, to the winners of the Jons! All recipients shall receive a bobblehead of myself made up as a Blue Man, as per the image on this post,1 which will doubtless become coveted and increasingly valuable collectibles. And, of course, all winners shall be remembered by posterity forevermore.


1Bobbleheads shall only be distributed if and when available and convenient. The eventual existence of said bobbleheads is not guaranteed or indeed even particularly likely. Not valid on days named after Norse or Roman gods.