Month: September 2023

  • Should Short Selling Be Banned: A Review of Money Men

    Before the review: yes, I did spell copyright as copywrite in the entirety of Monday’s newsletter. No, I have no idea why I have a weird mental block on that word. Apologies for the error. Money Men by Dan McCrum is an older book, about a year and a half now, telling the story of…

  • AI “Art” Is Not Like Photography

    Since a US district judge ruled that AI art was not copywrite-able (the ruling is a touch more complex than that, but let that go for the moment since the practical effect is to ban copywrite on AI created art.), people who wish to replace paying artists to make art with AI art have been…

  • There’s No Crying in AI Regulation

    As I get older, despite Churchill’s supposed wisdom, I find myself getting more and more radical about most subjects. From civil rights of all kinds to capitalism to labor rights to the bloody loser point in hockey, I am more and more in favor of maximalist solutions. I think this is in part because we…

  • The Writing Life’s Discontents: A Review of End Credits by Patty Lin

    I really enjoyed this book. Lin, a writer for multiple hit, and not so hit, television shows, has written a book about her life in writing and how largely terrible it was. The book is a blast. Lin, who wrote for Friends and Freaks and Geeks, among other shows you have probably never heard or…

  • Magic Toasters and You: UK Flubs AI Regulations

    The UK regulators have come out with proposed regulations and they are half-hearted to be charitable: Companies making foundation models should follow seven principles. That includes making sure developers and businesses that use these models are accountable for the output that consumers are given, ensuring broad access to chips and processors and the training data…

  • Death and Crypto Lies: A Review of Number Go Up

    I keep finding myself writing the wrong kind of book review. Or at least, I keep finding myself writing the kind of book review that I do not think is entirely fair to the author. Because I should be recommending Number Go Up by Zeke Faux (who, by the way, has the single best name…

  • America Has No Bottom. Or Why It’s So Hard for the Media to Call Trump A Loser.

    Trump is a loser. A massive, massive loser. Has been for most of his life. This is not an opinion; it is a fact. He inherited his money. He failed at most of his businesses. He had to have his dad bail out his casino in a fashion that was almost certainly illegal — a…

  • Life With an Amazon Scribe

    This may read a little weird given what I wrote on Monday, but I really like my Amazon Scribe. Yes, Amazon is in fact a monopoly doing terrible damage to the country. But so are most companies, and even the ones that aren’t monopolies are far from perfect. There are no easy outs in late-stage…

  • The EFF and the Fantasy of the Marketplace of Ideas

    The Washington Post has an excellent piece on a group of people who have chased one of the worst troll farms across the internet, playing whack-a-mole with it in an attempt to stop it from getting people physically hurt. You should read the story, because it is remarkable. But I am not here to talk…

  • Amazon Apparently Deliberately Destroyed Genre Magazines to Enrich Itself

    This behavior should be illegal, and I will discuss how it can be controlled in a little bit. But Amazon appears to have deliberately destroyed genre magazines in a bid to control their distribution for its own benefit. Mobsters could not have done this better. The Verge article, unsurprisingly since the Verge editors are almost…