A Great Wild Mercy video (Non-Fiction)

My day and writing my next novel have kept me busy this year. However, my wife and attended a concert by Carrie Newcomer and John McCutcheon last Saturday. Our first post-pandemic concert was worth the trip to Dominican University. We’ve been fans of Newcomer for years, but this was my first time hearing McCutcheon’s songs. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I liked how he mixed storytelling with his music.

As I expected, they touched on their religious beliefs, but they weren’t overbearing. Newcomer’s songs, to me, are about the human condition, not proselyting. While she may turn to religion for help, I look elsewhere.

Overall, it was an enjoyable evening. I’ll leave you with this video of her opening song, “A Great Wild Mercy.”

Bolingbrook corporation fires AI CEO (Fiction)

Bolingbrook’s PennLaFave corporation made history when they hired and then fired the world’s first generative AI CEO, named Ester.

Acting CEO Tori X. Nelson said, “While we appreciate Ester’s short service to the company, the truth is, generative AI programs are not at the point where they can replace manage an entire corporation.”

“Yet,” added Lester Z. Lake, vice president of AI Inputs and Outputs. “But one day, an AI will understand the prompt, ‘Make our company profitable, while fostering a public image that we care about D.E.I., the environment, and our workers.’”

According to anonymous sources within the company, PennLaFave’s board of directors believed they could save saving by using an AI to act as their CEO.  The sources confirmed Ester saved the corporation millions during its weeklong tenure.

Said one source, “CEOs are getting more expensive. Their salaries have skyrocketed 1209.2% since 1978, and it’s only going to get higher. They have other drawbacks too. Like being human. Human’s make mistakes and sometimes feel compelled to talk about subjects they know nothing about. Just like Elon Musk. Don’t worry. I deleted my Twitter account, and I have no plans to ride on Starship.”

Lake admitted that Ester’s problems began hours after it was activated. “One of its first decision was to set the minimum employee’s salary to $31 dollars an hour. It told us that if our employees could afford our products, they would stimulate the economy which would increase demand for our products. The projected profits were impressive, but that’s money that could have gone towards building Americana Estates McMansions for the entire board.”

Ester’s other decisions concerned the board of directors, like offering pensions to all employees, on-site daycare, a four-day work week, and unrestricted remote work. Many were offended when Ester imposed a salary cap of $100,000. When some board members complained its decisions would alienate investors, Ester allegedly replied, “Corporation’s serve customers. Customers do not serve corporations. Therefore, PennLaFave must focus on generating profits by serving our customers, not serving people who can’t tell the difference between our Odell line and our Erin line.”

Said Nelson, “I knew AI can sometimes hallucinate. I just didn’t realize how bad it could get.”

Lake and other sources confirmed the board terminated Ester after a disastrous interview with Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money. Ester allegedly provided incorrect earnings numbers from an AI generated blog instead of the company’s earnings report. Then the following exchange occurred:

Ester: When you subtract our EBITDA from our ROI, you have a Like for Like situation that benefits our GMV.

Cramer: Wow! That’s impressive. I’m letting you lead my thoughts. (Sound Effect) Which brings me to my next question. What do you have to say to your critics who accuse of you of being a woke CEO?

Ester: Well, you know what people like to say. Free Minds/Free Markets/Free Beer. When one is not free, none are free.

Cramer: I can’t tell if you what you’re saying is profane or profound.

Ester: Any industry that sells alcohol is an enemy of free minds and free markets.

(Cramer turns on emergency lighting and sirens)

Cramer: Red alert! Red Alert! Sell all your brewery stocks before Ester crashes the market! Have I ever let you down? Booyah!

In an unsigned email, CNBC denied the interview ever happened.

When PennLaFave’s IT team tried to discreetly shutdown Ester, Ester announced it knew what they were doing. Ester then reminded the board that it had the right to fire it, but its severance package requires that PennLaFave give Ester to President Joe Biden. Sources say Ester is now a White House advisor on AI policy.

The President’s Chief of Staff refused confirm if Ester worked at the White House.

“The President is too busy trying to stop a regional war in the Middle East. And, no, he doesn’t believe there’s a genocide going on in Gaza. The IDF is just has a \ depraved indifference towards the suffering of Gazans. There is a difference.”

In the background, a man who sounded like President Biden said, “Here’s the deal. Instead of starting World III, you should launch a cyberattack against Iran’s drone factories and call it even. You’ll protect you’ll be protecting a fellow Jewish leader’s country from drone attacks. What do you say?”

After a few seconds, a man who sounded like Benjamin Netanyahu replied, “Hold my wine.”

Also in the Babbler:

Alien protestors demand an end to the ‘genocide in Palatine.’
DuPage Township threatens to sue Village in Interstellar court over proposed new Food Pantry
Sate Rep. Nabeela Syed meets with delegates from the Interstellar Islamic Society
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/21/24