Sidewalk with apartment buildings on the left side and cars parked on the right

Chairs and a lamp

Sunset across a parking lot

Friday morning at the library

Laptop and travel mug on a desk

Unwishing Well by The Reds, Pinks and Purples

I have enjoyed nearly every album this band has put out, so I was happy to see that they have a new one today. Unfortunately, I kind of hate this album. It is—as far as I know—their first album with lyrics and my friends, this is not a change for the better. Are they deliberately trying to make a Morrissey album? Because that is what this one sounds like. Actually, more like Morrissey on muscle relaxants.

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🔗 AI’s Ostensible Emergent Abilities Are a Mirage

Indeed, as he and his colleagues Brando Miranda, a Stanford PhD student, and Sanmi Koyejo, an assistant professor of computer science, show, the perception of AI’s emergent abilities is based on the metrics that have been used. “The mirage of emergent abilities only exists because of the programmers' choice of metric,” Schaeffer says. “Once you investigate by changing the metrics, the mirage disappears.”

🔗 Humane’s AI Pin Wants to Free You From Your Phone - The New York Times

For music, the device currently works only with Tidal, an unpopular music streaming service.


Some people still like to visit websites with a browser. From a laptop.

This is completely ridiculous: I was going to say that someone at the Times must have decided that they only need to appeal to people browsing the site via their phones. Then I realized that this design is probably intended to make going to their web page in a browser (where ads and data-collection can be blocked) as miserable an experience as possible in the hope that I will be more likely to finally give in to their incessant pop-up nags to use their app instead.

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🔗 Columnists and Their Lives of Quiet Desperation

Other columnists are gifted with a fountain of ideas, but all of their ideas are bad. Thomas Friedman is the Platonic Ideal of this type: taken seriously by important people and utterly full of shit. Will smart phones change the Middle East? Thomas Friedman will most certainly coin a phrase to answer that question, and his answer will be wrong. This sort of columnist is actually malicious, but hard to uproot. The world is full of overconfident but not smart people, and they must have their champions, like everyone else.

A reminder about how much of politics really is personal

I was talking with someone yesterday about local politics when the topic of one of our legislators at the federal level came up. As it turns out, person I was talking with (who shares my political affiliation) absolutely cannot stand this legislator (who is also of the same political affiliation). I was not terribly surprised, as it goes back to something this legislator said early in their political career. A lot of people were upset about it and much political hay has been made out of it in the years immediately following the kerfuffle.

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