Failure As An Option
Prove to me you are a human, and then we'll talk.
Most People won't try stuff that they know they will totally suck at.
For me it's dancing. Dance like so many other human endeavors seem to be well simulated by A.I. now, (on-screen at least) but dance used to be considered an exclusively human sport. It's fair to say that A.I. likely danced better than me well before A.I. was even a thing; But if you live in the simulation, do we need real dancers anymore?
Pleading with the A.I. right before it replaces you on the dancefloor seems a tad bit foolish. We should feel a touch ashamed when we can no longer generate an original thought, or pop a move glued to our screens. The new robot beats us to the Discotheque to spin off some sweet moves. Today, writing a Dear John Letter to a GPT may be the wrong way reconcile your right to dance. (See also Kevin Bacon).
Shouldn't we just let the machines decide?
It turns out human proof is getting tougher to find. Petitions, are generally penned to convince people of something which one could not be taken for at their word. Whether you consider yourself well informed, or are a generic sceptic, There is a maddening emergence of gullible fucks in this world. They run parallel to smarter and smarter artificial intelligence, so it's no wonder we were duped by tech to stay home and stare at screens, buy stuff, and forfeit our fancy moves for an occasional twerk.
Most people will buy any story and buy any product if influenced to do so (on-line). This is largely owed to aspiring to be something which we are not -- While The same baseline humans may require convincing to just try a new food. Meanwhile the flotsam and jetsam of mediocrity merely clutter our path to extinction? It would seem the game has already been lost, before we woke to protest.
Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us?
One rung up the listless ladder, clings the self-described sentient humans, who may have tired of fast-fashion, botox, Ozempic., and the corollary Social Media pressure to "be like" someone else. In the 0.0 cult, we won't despair our dashed aspirations, because they were simply unrealistic., e.g. 0.0.
This second tier species still subscribe to Magazines, and (gasp) Newspapers, They may have season tickets to theater, opera, and may even read hard-cover books before bed. The latter complain about the same shit as the former, but believe that their complaints are well reasoned and self evident. The tide of blasé beige who we swim against daily, are standard issue skeptics. Whereas both groups seem to await an extinction event, which nobody wants to discuss; The third group thinks they can outsmart the monster -- Don't they always (See also Jeff Goldblum)
Mid course Refresher of irrationally simplified even nasty General Categories:
A. The zombie army cleaning their AR's awaiting instructions from their Orange-In-Chief.
B. The other half is reading the paper, and Considering their environmental harm.
C. A splinter tech faction writes a rhetorical letter to their own Computer for mercy.
Pop Quiz: Are we prepared to fail magnificently?
Most of us seem unfazed by the hot topic of Advanced A.I.'s new world order, except of course for those who wrote the code. So is this like Oppenheimer and the "A" Bomb? one of history's holy shit moments. Meanwhile, Today's Most over-worked media catch-word is: "Unprecedented". (See also Trumps first indictment, tra-la-la!)
Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?
Me, I'm ready, (I think) for cleverly written A.I. Dramas, and Books, and Jokes, and Blogs, and News. No screenwriter will ever get bored, or get writer's block; so episodes will go on forever, and ever. Fade to "White Lotus" 2035 in Space.
A.I. driven wall street bets, and A.I. fueled political fires have been burning for a long time. Sure, nobody loves when A.I. hacks their Email, their identity, nor their bank account, but nobody will need email if friendly A.I. fields every question, and replies to every text.
Self assured dictators will soon consult A.I., to make their next strategic move, as the ancient Oracle of Delphi once used Facebook to plan your weekend?
"Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? "
Ok Wait! Stop! What?... This was actually written in the "Open Letter" signed by Elon Musk.
You can conserve water while our common ground smolders, but shouldering the blame to date for a divisive split falls largely upon a Gen-1 A.I. called Social media. Sorting people into silos is what social media billionaires got rich from. Perhaps we will all be played against each other by our smarter A.I., as we have since the ancient times when Google and Facebook ran amok with our shopping lists, venomous Twitter rants, and tasteless Take-out food. But there is also a chance that better A.I. would consider a broader swath of data, than the captive format it uses now which keeps America blindfolded & bickering.
There is a human element missing from our Selfish-America-Game which makes people seem so despicable, yet is it really Group A's fault that they lack free will?
From the first flick of a pinball, sinking past both flippers without a bounce -- You know.
By the third swallowed ball, holding your quarter you think, 'Bad luck', 'The table isn't level'?..
'Both'? Dastardly! -- The dark art of predictable placement is the handmaid of Social Media. Hell, choice left the building circa 2002. What makes a country of has-been celebrity-crazed narcissists so un-appealing, and un-inspired? It's not our collective inability to enjoy ourselves as built, -- But not knowing why we are miserable that is concerning. (coveting what we don't have is A.I. v.1).
...And perhaps it's our reticence to change our minds which keeps us hovering over the abyss of human entropy. For our acute void of free thought, we can blame our laziness and the "information age". Today, some of the same people who have testified to Congress that their Platforms are "safe", and "fair", are warning us against a smarter version of the game they built... the one unshaped by them.
"Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones?"
Today the Musk-siah, and The Venerable Woz, wrote a petition asking if we would all mind just pumping the brakes on this treacherous new road to A.I. Their "Open Letter" (a petition) claims that the world is just not quite ready for full frontal robot, at least without some curbs built-in to stay the course, and to keep us out of the gutter. Psssshh! Paaleeeze!
"Implement a set of "shared safety protocols for AI development", which would be overseen by "independent experts".
Me, I was an average bowler, I drive like a teenager, I'm likely a bad kisser, and a far worse dancer, and yet I have no interest in dating an A.I. (as yet), so I think I'm safe.
A few months ago, I got a Roomba mis-delivered to my house, and I promptly sold it unopened on Ebay. I'm not ready for robots in my home, and I think I'm also not ready to be pen-pals with the GPT thingy, let alone tantric machine-language android love. (see also Cobol aka (/ˈkoʊbɒl, -bɔːl/; an acronym for "common business-oriented language")) My utter lack of technical expertise further underscores why I'm not yet a signatory of the "Open Letter" to the great and Powerful A.I.
Failure has always been one of your options, perhaps not your Plan B, but always lurking.
I really don't know, but it is a real lark to hear pundits preach around the A.I. crisis, at schools and universities. Last week a dumb-shit cosigner said that advanced A.I. is nothing more than "Word Processing Program", or "... um-like Spell Check", or perhaps like that One HP12c Calculator you used in Trig, and Calculus in the 90's
The funny thing that Androids, Advanced A.I., and Narcissists all have in common is a complete lack of shame. This is why one should peek under the hood of lord Tesla, to find what Musk's ulterior motive may be to petition all of Humanity against advancing A.I. right at this moment. I am of course a bad judge of people, and I don't know much about anything else... But as sure as squirrels enjoy pizza, I know that Musk could give two shits about your particular robot love affair with Chat GPTxxx, or about Google doing your Math Homework. There is something deeper in his code, which should be sniffed out. Like Pizza?
Is it that his Car's Autopilot, Dogecoin Farm, and several of his startups are about to be hacked by a nearly sentient server with evil urges somewhere in New Zealand?
The letter accuses AI labs of being "locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy" powerful tech.
Remember that game where we taunted "Bloody Mary" in a dark bathroom vanity, where kids frothed up a flash of evil by chanting some spooky words over and over and over..? Well, This is how I view Open Letters to Artificial Intelligence.
You get all prickly and spooked when you hit send, because you are still unsure as you let it fly, whether this thing is real. You are also a bit frightened, all cooped up in the WC, whether you will get out alive. Bloody Mary as a conjuring of evil is quite pagan, and so is the Internet. Neither give a shit about you, nor your well being... But then neither do parties to this petition to slow Advanced A.I. Now we are all worked up about bringing this forward? Why did you bring 'it' to the party in the first place.
When billionaire bad boys riding through tik-tok on fantasy-fiction unicorns warn you against "That Other Firm's Product"... you'd have to be skeptical.
Shall We Slow the Fuck Down, or Is that Even Possible? And what about Adversaries?
Not another fucking digital pandemic.
My A.I. would prefer that we all just sit back, relax, and enjoy pathetic English dubbed selections from your Netflix Queue, (these btw have bum-fuck nothing to do with your actual film tastes). While we wait for V.5 to work out its own bugs. (Currently my A.I. thinks I'm a heavier white, diabetic, female, whose into cats -- and at least three criteria are wrong). Could toxic A.I. (I said that first BTW "Toxic A.I.) push us all closer, and away from our stupid fucking silos?
GPT Generative Pre-trained Transformers. (your welcome)
Objectors to an "Open Letter" against Advanced A.I & GPT, say that (perhaps) there is nothing to be concerned about , except (perhaps) fear itself.
One professor says we should teach around this technology, and learn to embrace it, and we see it in our rearview like the lightbulb, or the word processor.
The very same day someone shot up yet another school. We cannot blame madness or rage directly on advanced A.I. We can lay a bit of the blame upon our information age's antisocial media fertilizing people with the other form of bullshit. The Older version of A.I. alienated generations from dialog, contact, and humanism. Exchanging a tribal civic selflessness, with the selfish gene of vengeance and despair.
Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?
So what's to be scared of? In light of how things have been running, a bit of regulation, or the whiff of it seems reasonable, right? I'm not sure how you get on such a star-studded guest list of brilliant signatories to a document written like a 9th grade business pitch (also a poignant talisman of dread...) -- Most of these bellicose, narcissistic, and filthy rich co-signers are far from mainstream. I'm sure I don't fit this cliché -- But it smells like a hail-mary (bloody mary) from a wealthy pageant whose last breaths fought tooth & nail to keep regulators out of their books, their projects, and their taxes, until it was too fucking late.
And now for some dance music... Please do not watch me dance to this.
Josh Edelson//Getty Image
Donald Trump Is Going to Burn It All Down to Save Himself
Even an objective press should recognize that, objectively, he is a true threat who has flipped his lid.
By Charles P. Pierce
PUBLISHED: MAR 24, 2023 Esquire Magazine
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the former president* of the United States is a dangerous fcking lunatic and he's decompensating quickly. Read this goddamn thing, it's the kind of stuff that makes people change subway cars.
It no longer matters whether or not he's playing a role or playing everyone for fools. He knows what his more dangerous devotees actually hear when he starts raving like this. It no longer matters whether or not he's doing all this out of abject terror of being hauled before the bar in two states and the District of Columbia. Even quaking on his golden throne, he can still bring the temple down on his own head. Especially since the entire Republican Party is lending him its support. And he knows it, too, because he won't shut his digital gob.
Trump post on Truth Social on March 23.
"What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?...Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truely hates the USA!"
Not even the fundamental incoherence, the random capitalization, or the laughably bad spelling matter any more. An ungrammatical death threat is still a death threat. Not all dangerous lunatics can write like Ted Kaczynski.
If it wishes to save itself, the entire system must devote itself to the task of getting this guy out of public life forever. Every criminal prosecution should hit the afterburners. Every civil suit must proceed apace. The Democratic Party should dedicate itself, body and soul, to hanging this decrepit bag of poison around the neck of every Republican, local and national.
If you have Republicans on your town council, they must answer for him as surely as his congressional acolytes and enablers must. His name should be a political curse for generations to come. This is going to require people in my business to unshackle themselves from some of the more staid norms and customs of the tribe. This is a time for plain-speaking, with as much contempt and derision as we can muster. All the chips are falling, and we should take as a guide-star the principles articulated by William Lloyd Garrison when he launched The Liberator in 1831.
I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.The time for moderate alarms is long past.
CHARLES P. PIERCECharles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has three children.
A Good Egg
Today I got a note taped to my door. It said simply, "No one will love you like Jesus".
And... of all of our friends, and strange neighbors -- I couldn't place who the sender may have been. I pocketed the mystery, and told my wife later that evening that I thought I should begin to refer to myself in the third person like the great detective Hercule Poirot, who often describes overlooked facts at the Scene of the Crime with phrases like, "Poirot could plainly see that our killer would miss the detail of the letter in a dwindling fire". Naturally my wife thought I was nuts, and begrudgingly but indulgently asked me hyperbolically, "(and),...Why will you be referring to yourself in the Third Person forthgoing?" So, I explained that, "With all the lunacy of pronouns these days, taking back sovereign command of language was tasked to every story teller, and that It may also make me seem more interesting. (I also was thinking about the mystery of the "Jesus Note" And wondered if perhaps thinking like one of literature's best detectives, couldn't hurt to uncover the sender). So from now on, I could use my own name instead of saying "I would like to order the Walleye", I would say, "Monsieur will have the Walleye"... Perhaps this snazzy literary convention would command authority, sharpen my language skills, and even help to expose the mystery of the Person who'd taped the note to my door.
What is the Messiah's Favorite sport?
In spite to the smoldering intellectual fire I've surely become -- From today forward I will identify as a compelling (smart) Belgian Detective, and solve these mysteries.
There was of course the possibility that Jesus him<them>self placed that note -- But to what end? Was I to find this phrase inspirational? I mean if Jesus wanted to reach out, could they not have texted, rang the bell, or just shown themself in?
I thought about the mystery phrase "No One will love you like Jesus", its holy type font, plain paper, and even their choice of cellophane tape -- And I thought this was all standard issue Jesus-grade office supplies. (modest, efficient, effective). Whereas in my heart, I thought the better of this note having been the hand of God -- I knew that deep fakes were everywhere, and that the Lord being quite clever, needn't troll "Truth Social" with A.I. generated deep fake clips to reach me. Jesus does after all identify as the Messiah right?
As a kid I thought it odd each time someone at Church would mention "The Mystery of Life". I recall contemplating this strange "mystery" phrase repeated throughout a service as antithetical. What was "the mystery", when will it be solved. We all seemed quite textural, and tangible. Does this "mystery" make the Pastor, Priest, or Rabbi, a detective?
If everyone sees Life as a mystery, then aren't we all detectives like Scooby and Shaggy, or Fred and Daphne? What about Velma?
What of the Mystery Machine? Was this slick Custom Van, the vessel of the big mystery of life? A Tardis? I coveted a carpeted custom van when I was a kid, but we drove a rusty station wagon. Today I still covet a Chrysler Pacifica, but cant afford one.
Today I thought that while it may be true that Jesus could 'love me the best'..., I'm sure he says that to everyone, by way of encouragement -- but it's a nice thought.
Jesus. #TheRealMessiah, has a shit-ton of Instagram followers.
So the very next day, I'd considered what Agatha Christie's great detective Poirot would say on the matter, "The Little Grey Cells" ...and I began to think like I was a smart detective, while keeping a Shaggy self-image affixed in my head.
"No one will love you like Jesus" ...At least those girls in college would leave me alone the next morning.
As far as great minds go, I knew that mine had already fizzled, and could use a resurrection. But this is why I soon drifted off topic to thinking about God, The Lord's favorite food, (should he be dropping by again), The Messiah's favorite book, beverage, game -- And even contemplated Jesus' favorite sport -- which segued me to an obvious, serene, and even sleepy sport one could command atop fluffy cloudscapes, and I arrived at Golf.
I thought that If Jesus were hanging around just before the holiday, wouldn't he be out Golfing, rather than dropping hints at my door?
"The Messiah Prefers to golf".
And what about this sport, Golf? Would it be one of his proudest accomplishments, or recanted as a wasteful backdrop for non-church weddings, sipping bourbon, smoking cigars, and generally running out the clock on humanity at large?
Popular as it may be, Golf is a rather elitist sport, meant to burn up time away from family, and so it follows that Jesus may have preferred a more condensed common-place sport such as Soccer or Surfing. Which is why I then tried to think a bit harder like the Great Detective to reason what sport Jesus would be hungry for, when he rolled away the stone.
Hunters: 96.4% white 55.7% male
PGA Golfers: 91% white 96% male
Popes: 99.99999% white 100% male
By the numbers More women Hunt, than men that Golf, but women don't factor much in the liturgy. In spite of our less advantaged population finding 140 acres per Golf course to be an abhorrent waste of land and resources... only 5,440,960 acres of nitrogen dumping algae blooming closely cropped grass is dedicated to Golf.
Golfers do blow nearly 2.81 Billion on new clubs and shoes each year, when they all know in their heart that practice & fitness would shrink their strokes, literally, and caring for themselves would please Jesus. What will not save a mediocre golfer's soul is a fatter sweet-spot on a new driver the size of a cantaloupe.
Americans alone spent $902,356,259. just for "legal" hunting tags in 2020. And although I doubt that Jesus would have completed the Colorado Hunter safety course, he is also not likely an avid hunter. One may assume shooting all the shit your Dad invented would be bad press.
Jesus, (the one who left me the nice note) shared lessons of love, and reconciliation, Jesus invented so many modern conveniences like: "Reply All" "Gender Neutral Bathrooms" (Thanks Velma), and as many mysteries, like "Marshmallow Peeps" "NA Beer", and "Line Dancing".
So as amateur detective, in the "Mystery of Life" I feel it fair to assume that the Jesus wrote me that note, ...likely not be a Gun Owner -- but would perhaps prefer a line caught trout with pasta when he next visits.
Myself, not being an avid Golfer, and being clumsy on the pitch, I'd prefer to imagine my own personal Jesus (who is prolly pretty good at every sport BTW), was reaching out just to let me know that with Easter break right around the corner... he'd make time for me, should I wish to hook up in Morocco, or Nicaragua for a long weekend with some tasty waves.
"The Mystery of Life" and "The Good News" (strange concepts when I was young) -- Later unsurprisingly I'd learned that major mythology, fables, leaders, & religions regularly repurposed resurrections to re-kindle their base. History shows that just as modern churches are often built upon pagan temples, (good real-estate will always be changing hands in dispute driven by religion) -- Pagan-esque fables also proudly featured resurrections throughout history, but the award for The Most Staying Power goes to Christians for using Resurrection as "good news" for millennia. I'd have to say that if you are ever really tanking on social media, you should be super careful how you and your friends arrange your resurrection stunt.
The Easter Bunny seems to also come and go, and I'm sure Jesus Knows that I am not a practicing Catholic, and a shit detective... but because I do live beside a massive Basilica -- I've checked my door several times for notes. I've compulsively combed through the mail, and still... nothing more from Jesus.
I may never solve the "Mystery of Life", nor even this simple note; ...so I scrounged up some paper, a pen, and tape, and Today I left a note on the front door of the neighboring church, that said,
"J.C., Thanks for your note, P.S. Monsieur has Good Friday off, if you're free to surf."
He's Going the Distance...
Leave your 44 cm bar at home and No one gets hurt.
If I were to say that I am "All for Inclusion" -- That would be a lie. I do (of course) always welcome a good argument on "diverse" topics, but I generally draw the line on Biology.
More specifically the Biodiversity of Bullshit. In cycling events there are a few hard rules we agree to follow to keep things safe, and 'fair'. When athletes sign up for amateur races, they have to sign a waiver, stating that they won't sue the sponsors if they crash. They also generally tell the truth about their age, and gender so they can compete somewhat fairly against other people in far better physical condition, but with similar birthdates and chromosomes.
And May the Better Man Win
These are reasonable social constructs which make participation in an event exciting, and worth the entry fee.
Wherever you reside on the totem pole of ability -- It is generally only your fault that you didn't medal, or (gasp) didn't finish (DNF).
What happens when you sign up for the men's elite category 46-55, and with a reasonable chance of success in your age range, you are beaten outright? No trophy, No medal, No prize money... Just roll your bike off the course, and onto your hitch-rack -- Start your engine, and seek consolation in a cheeseburger.
"He's Going the distance... He's going for Speed"
It is fine to feel upset. It's understandable to feel disappointment..., but it's your own dumb-shit fault for thinking you could ever win against a woman, right?
You are 5-foot 2-inches, 101 lbs, of lean muscle, who worked the better of two years training for this race. Two weeks ago the race organizers mailed you your race number, and today it's pinned and ready to get filthy. You signed up for this Elite Women's race 6 months ago, having tracked great successes winning 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, and 1st in your last five races, and you know statistically that you stand a great chance of winning this one. Before the gun goes off, you sweat the starters at the line whom you have raced against many times, but now (today) beside you is a 219 lb, 6-foot 2-inch 40-something man in a pink bunny-skull body-suit smiling coyly at you like a gay bartender from the love-boat, and smelling quite ripe.
Your pulse quickens, and your ears get hot... Your initial thought is to second guess you are in the right race time. It's 2:00. This is the right slot.
Then you blush, and your mouth goes dry. You are surrounded by your people, true... you know many of them, and you have raced against several you see now, and then there is this dude who's nut-sack is straddling a 58 centimeter bike beside you. He is sporting a Three-o'clock shadow, adjusting a barrette before adjusting his helmet.
Cheater's Pre-Race Checklist:
'He won', is all that repeats in your pounding head. Your eyes go to pin-holes, your heart throbs, and your face heats crimson. A dark mute tunnel-vision besets as you stand beneath this fucker at the podium. Second Place. Your family and friends in front of you fractal into a kaleidoscope of broken shards.
"He Won the Women's race today"
" Thomas went from “a total beginner to the elite level in just 5 years.”
In response to the criticism, Thomas wrote on Instagram on Thursday that “my two best friends are just as strong as me, I just happened to have a better day on that particular day. They will assuredly beat me at future races.”
Last week, Hannah Arensman, a 35-time winner on the national cyclocross circuit, said in an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court that she retired from her sport when she finished in fourth place between two male-bodied “transgender” athletes at a competition (via the Supreme Court of the United States):
I have decided to end my cycling career. At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category in December 2022, I came in 4th place, flanked on either side by male riders awarded 3rd and 5th places. My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race.
Additionally, it is difficult for me to think about the very real possibility I was overlooked for an international selection on the US team at Cyclocross Worlds in February 2023 because of a male competitor.
Moving forward, I feel for young girls learning to compete and who are growing up in a day when they no longer have a fair chance at being the new record 20 holders and champions in cycling because men want to compete in our division. I have felt deeply angered, disappointed, overlooked, and humiliated that the rule makers of women’s sports do not feel it is necessary to protect women’s sports to ensure fair competition for women anymore.
Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.