Month: July 2023

  • Humanities vs. STEM. Again. Enough.

    You cannot make me appreciate poetry. I realize to many that makes me an uncouth philistine, and of course such a sweeping statement is only honored in the breach. I am sure if pressed I would find poems I enjoyed (W.H. Auden’s “Stop the Clocks” actually comes to mind as I write this, for example.…

  • Torn Photos and Rage: What Sinead O’Connor Taught Me

    I could not believe what she’d done. I didn’t even like Saturday Night Live very much. I was watching it specifically for her, for her brilliant voice and fierce lyrics. I’d loved the rage and the storm of The Lion and the Cobra album. I’d loved even more the fury and the restraint of I…

  • Rocky Wirtz, Leadership, and the Death of Accountability

    Rocky Wirtz is dead. He passed on the evening of July 25th after a short illness. He is arguably the best modern owner of the Blackhawks and responsible for its most heinous failing. Mark Lazarus at the Athletic has an excellent column detailing Wirtz’s legacy and if you have a subscription, I recommend it fully.…

  • Capital Risks Nothing Compared to Labor

    As I write this the WGA and SAG-AFTRA remain on strike with the producers’ organization refusing to come back to the table to negotiate. The producers’ organization has responded to the actors listing how the producers have failed to respond reasonably to their demands with a counter point document. It is mostly handwaving and spin,…

  • As I have mentioned before, I am writing a historical fiction novel set in 1520s Nuremberg about a woman trying to keep her father’s clockmaking shop in her hands while also advancing the state of early modern prosthetics. Think Hangman’s Daughter crossed with Radium Girls. I chose Nuremberg at that time because it is a…

  • Biden Admin AI Regs Show US Disfunction

    The Biden Administration recently announced a set of “commitments” by some of the top players in so-called generative AI to “protect” people from the potential damages that AI can do to society. The are pretty much going to be useless because the US is mostly a broken a polity. The regulations themselves are entirely voluntary.…

  • Telephone Switch Automation Not the Happy Story Vox Wants It to Be.

    Dylan Matthews has an … interesting take on a new paper that demonstrates how the automation of telephone switches affected telephone switch operators and, most intriguingly, the cohort of people who would have been expected to be operators in the next working generation. Matthews seems to think that the paper is a good story about…

  • On the Quasi-Problems with Data, AI, Publishing and The Way Forward

    This is likely to ramble a bit, so grab some snacks. I have been mulling over this excellent episode of the Publishing Rodeo for a couple of days now, trying to put my finger on why it rattled around my head so. https://open.spotify.com/embed/episode/1lMUiKqG7PSlJjx7LoOHkU If you do not listen to the Publishing Rodeo and you have…

  • The Banality of Judicial Corruption

    The amount of judicial corruption we accept has reached almost comical levels. You may be thinking of Supreme Court Justices accepting expensive vacations or private flight. Or having their ward’s education and their mom’s home paid for by people with business in front of the court. Or having their aides getting Venmo’s money form lawyers…

  • A Brief Writing Life Interlude: On Not Getting an Agent

    A while ago I wrote about attempting to get an agent for a novel. It has been a while and so far nothing but rejection and silence. It has been more than three months since the latest round went out, and based on the guidelines for the agents I sent them to, silence means rejections.…