A worry about the future of blogging.
David French: “I’d argue that the more politically engaged you are, the harder it is to avoid bespoke realities. The most politically engaged of us are going to spend a disproportionate amount of our spare time perusing political media, much of it online. And each algorithm will notice our political preferences and try to feed us content that matches those preferences.”
I wrote about what strikes me as a very odd comment by Scott Alexander.
I wrote about what, until I can find a better term, I’m calling conceptual Marxism.
A lovely collection of Christmas writings, edited by my colleague-of-many-years Lee Ryken.
Bob Dylan is playing geographically appropriate covers.
As a counterpart to my post this morning about musical demos, see Richard Gibson’s brief essay on notebooks and unfinished novels.
I wrote about why musical demos are so often better than the finished product. One of the most common effects of modern musical production is to make songs and performances sound worse.
Nick Heer: “None of this made the web better for people. This formula of insubstantial content already reeks of something generated by a system rather than written by people, and that was true before any of it was machine-produced.” Machines are learning to write “like people” from people who already write like machines.
Wikipedia: “The tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 by excavators led by the Egyptologist Howard Carter, more than 3,300 years after his death and burial.” I had no idea Carter was that old when he made his great discovery. Young folks: Don’t let death, burial, and the passage of three millennia prevent you from realizing your dreams!
Neil Gaiman, as quoted by Cal Newport: “people are leaving [social media]. You know, Twitter is over, yeah Twitter is done, Twitter’s… you stick a fork in, it’s definitely overdone. The new Twitters, like Threads and Bluesky… nothing is going to do what that thing once did. Facebook works but it doesn’t really work. So I think probably the era of blogging may return and maybe people will come and find you and find me again.”
If you don’t shut up I’m gonna give you such a
Why I’m inclined to think that the chance of achieving any restraint on AGI development is nil.
A brief explanation of how, when I teach a class, I try to have a structure and a story.
Matthew Butterick: “If AI companies are allowed to market AI systems that are essentially black boxes, they could become the ultimate ends-justify-the-means devices. Before too long, we will not delegate decisions to AI systems because they perform better. Rather, we will delegate decisions to AI systems because they can get away with everything that we can’t. You’ve heard of money laundering? This is human-behavior laundering. At last — plausible deniability for everything.”
The one constant for us at Thanksgiving: butternut squash and leek soup. Anything else I can skip, but there would be violent protests if I didn’t make this.