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Engineer, startup founder, investor, and writer

benwerd

benwerd

benwerd

ben@benwerd.com

werd.eth

 

An Open Letter to Mr. Mark Zuckerberg: A Global Call to Act Now on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Science

"We do not believe that the methodologies seen so far meet the high scientific standards required to responsibly investigate the mental health of children and adolescents. Although nothing in the leaks suggests that social media causes suicide, self-harm, or mental illness, these are serious research topics. This work, and the tools you are using should not be developed without independent oversight. Sound science must come before firm conclusions are drawn or new tools are launched. You and your organisations have an ethical and moral obligation to align your internal research on children and adolescents with established standards for evidence in mental health science."

[Link]

 

I'm explicitly going out of my way to source engineers as inclusively as possible, to try and build a team that is representative of the people they build software to support. I'm really glad to have support in doing that. It's shocking how many people think it's not important.

 

One day I want to do a reverse Slack and start building an enterprise SaaS tool but end up with a really rad massively multiplayer game universe.

 

A mysterious threat actor is running hundreds of malicious Tor relays

"Since at least 2017, a mysterious threat actor has run thousands of malicious servers in entry, middle, and exit positions of the Tor network in what a security researcher has described as an attempt to deanonymize Tor users. [...] at one point, there was a 16% chance that a Tor user would connect to the Tor network through one of KAX17’s servers, a 35% chance they would pass through one of its middle relays, and up to 5% chance to exit through one."

[Link]

 

New Study on NFTs Deflates the "Democratic" Potential for the Medium

“Ten percent of NFT buyers and sellers make as many transactions as the remaining 90 percent, it found, suggesting high concentration in the NFT marketplace. This statistic suggests that decentralized marketplaces have given way to more specialized platforms, which have come to occupy similar roles as gallerists and brand names in the non-crypto economy. The study also revealed that the average sale price of three-quarters of NFTs is just $15; meanwhile, only 1% of NFTs sell for over $1,594.” This seems like a pretty standard power law distribution, which I’m not sure why crypto would be exempt from.

[Link]

 

How Donald Trump Could Subvert the 2024 Election

"Only one meaningful correlation emerged. Other things being equal, insurgents were much more likely to come from a county where the white share of the population was in decline. For every one-point drop in a county’s percentage of non-Hispanic whites from 2015 to 2019, the likelihood of an insurgent hailing from that county increased by 25 percent. This was a strong link, and it held up in every state." A well-reported, frankly terrifying story.

[Link]

 

This Swiss Firm Exec Is Said To Have Operated A Secret Surveillance Operation

"The co-founder of a company that has been trusted by technology giants including Google and Twitter to deliver sensitive passwords to millions of their customers also operated a service that ultimately helped governments secretly surveil and track mobile phones, according to former employees and clients."

[Link]

 

I’d love to verify my vaccine status on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It would be great to give people the confidence that I care about not giving them a life-threatening disease. Is anyone working on anything like this?

 

Somewhat regretting my decision this morning to recommend that the entire upper management team at my company watch popular UK sitcom Peep Show

This is why it's important to have your coffee BEFORE the meeting starts

 

Does anyone have great suggestions for experiential holiday gifts?

(Not objects and not digital objects, but things that you can experience and ideally remember forever.)