• Failed Writer’s Journey: Do Artists Have An Obligation To “Confront the Darkness”?

    Cole Haddon (who you should be reading if you have an interest in how art is made) asked the question in this title to both a group of professional artists and in his chat. The actual phrasing of the question was this: In a world that feels increasingly unstable, where so many struggle to hold…

  • Can Carbon Capture Help Climate Change? Or What we Should Fund Instead of AI

    A few weeks ago, the Verge had an article about a huge new carbon capture plant opening Iceland. The article itself is not especially unique, but it did remind me that our tech priorities have been warped by an over-reliance on Silicon Valley and its cadre of VC funders. No one with an ounce of…

  • AI’s Consent Problem

    OpenAI’s newest chat bot has a voice that sounded suspiciously like the voice of actor Scarlett Johansson. This was clearly intentional — Sam Altman, the leader of OpenAI, tweeted “her”, a reference to the movie in which Johansson plays an AI that several people fall in love with. It turns out, however, that OpenAI was…

  • Pettiness in the Mouse House: A Short Review of Disney Wars

    This is an older book, released in 2005 at the end of Michael Eisner’s twenty year run as CEO of Disney. I picked up Disney Wars, by James B. Stewart (side note: why do so many non-fiction writers include their middle initial or name on their books? Is there some obscure Author’s Guild rule mandating…

  • The Price of Algorithmic Engagement

    The New York Times has an article about how people who run businesses focused on products for children Instagram place ads designed to attract women, they instead had their ads seen mostly by men. And of course, by men with a history of sex crimes. This is almost inevitable given that the algorithms are designed…

  • Failed Writer’s Journey: I Do Not Want an Investor, I Want An Economy That Works for Authors (and Everyone Else)

    So this newsletter has been making the rounds a bit, and it strikes me as looking for a solution in the wrong place. Griffin’s basic argument is that investors would be better for authors than publishing house because publishing houses have too much power with respect to authors. They keep too much of the profit,…

  • I Am Perplexed: A Short Review of The Mimicking of Known Succeses.

    I do not understand why I enjoyed The Mimicking of Known Succeses. The plot hinges on information you are not presented with until near the point at which that information becomes the solution. The main romance feels forced, not organic, and the mystery itself is short and leaves many flapping loose ends. But I really…

  • I Wanna Tweet Like Common People Do

    Jack Dorsey has officially left the board of Bluesky, letting the world know via a rambling interview. In that interview, Dorsey inadvertently highlights the anti-equality, ant-liberty view of too many of our tech overlords. The interview is bog-standard, right-wing fantasy. Dorsey is leaving the board of Bluesky because, basically, it moderates. Or, at least, moderates…

  • Failed Writer’s Journey: It’s Okay Not to Write on Schedule

    A shorter entry this week as I am recovering from a health scare late last week. I am feeling better, thank you, but have a fair number of unpleasant tests to get through to discover the root cause. (As an aside: pay attention to what your body and loved ones are telling you. You’ll live…

  • Can Industries Survive Business Schools?

    I believe business schools and what they teach have reached a point where it is almost impossible to run a business successfully on their terms. This is mostly spit balling. It offers little in the way of rigorous data to back up its contentions, which I know is a weakness. But I am not an…