We have lost Janelle Shane in the Meta-verse

You may already be familiar with the very fun person whose writing includes the book, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You. She tests AI networks by training them on large samples of certain kinds of writing, then takes a look at the output when they try to reproduce such things. In the olden days of 3 or 4 years ago, the “writing” was extremely short. AI couldn’t manage much in the way of good grammar, so things spun off the rails very quickly if you asked for even 5 words in a row. As a result, much of the fun she originally shared on her blog consisted of things like AI-generated names for hypothetical metal bands. Later there were song titles. Still later things got longer, although that worked best when working with very predictable data sets, like AI-generated recipes.

But as time has gone on, the AI networks with which Shane experiments have gotten more capable, and she has finally decided to go full meta. She asked an AI network to generate a blog post for her own blog by training it on her past blog posts. The very first one was quite sharp:

Welcome to AI Weirdness! In today’s blog post, I wondered what would happen if I trained a neural net to generate numbers in the range [-1,1].
As you might expect, the neural net started generating numbers that were more than a little odd: 0.9286401128496419 0.06491227721694329 0.9879906435756054 0.745677946535383 0.679450170988766 0.1065339560745793 -0.2977483969426606 0.05673549481890381 0.4304206725753945 0.7544217043730188 -0.8960721608636865 0.7224255864247317 -0.2139997613483644 0.0295771285597738 0.619233475195753 0.05578493537857566 -0.630712498931699 -0.0506476255464803 0.3256973044703828 0.0988207888549295

Isn’t that one awesome? I mean, when I saw “-0.6307…” I just knew it was going to be hysterical, and then it ended “…31699” and I just completely lost it. OMG 2 FUN-E! 

Yet now I am left with the tragic notion that in the future, I will never know whether a post on Shane’s blog was written by her with a bit of AI output placed where she consciously chose to put it, or written by the AI from scratch. I have lost Shane to meta-space. Make sure you go and get your last look at her blog before Skynet takes over.


Allen Ginsberg Was Only Momentarily Accomplished

So, on Saturday I was writing about Sen Harris and how Newsweek is shocked, SHOCKED to find racism on its editorial pages.

In doing so, I may have mentioned the poet who wrote this:

Come on come on kiss my full lipped, wet tongue, eyes open-
animal in the zoo looking out of a skull cage-you
smile, I’m here so are you, hand tracing your abdomen
from nipple down rib cage smooth skinn’d past belly veins,

along muscle to your silk-shiny groin
across your long prick down your right thigh
up the smooth road muscle wall to titty again-

Come on go down on me your throat
swallowing my shaft to the base tongue
cock solid suck-
I’ll do the same to your stiff prick’s soft skin, lick your ass-
Come on Come on, open up, legs apart here this pillow
under your buttock
Come on take it here’s vaseline the hard on here’s
your old ass lying easy up in the air- here’s
a hot prick at yr soft mouthed asshole- just relax and let it in-
Yeah just relax hey Carlos lemme in, I love you

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Defend the USPS

It’s not entirely clear to me, but I think that if the USPS hasn’t received bailout and election support funding, then that means these folks haven’t received enough phone calls.

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A Prelude to a Criticism

So I have something coming up on Monday. It’s a bit different from the usual fare around here, though I hope still relevant. As a cryptic introduction, I thought I’d quote a few reviews of Allen Ginsberg’s book, Mind Breaths from the site GoodReads. None of these will be featured or even quoted in Monday’s piece, but still, reading them might prove interesting:

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There is too much, let me sum up (Edited!)

So, recently there has been a ton of great content on FtB, and you may very well have missed some of it. I’m here to make sure it doesn’t stay missed.

First, I had intended to schedule this for later so that my Newsweek post could remain my top article for a little longer. If you missed that, please do read it here.

But now let’s get to the good stuff, the stuff I’ve been waiting to share. First, YEMMYnisting‘s Yemisi Ilesanmi has a post up telling  us that it’s “Time to get uncomfortable” that coincides with themes of recent BLM actions and speeches. “Denial of racism is itself a racist act,” she tells us:

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Newsweek Shocked to Find Racism In Its Establishment

Remember that Newsweek editorial saying that the first Black woman on a national ticket wasn’t really a citizen?

Yeah, apparently Newsweek’s top management got a bunch of internal pushback from the people that actually produce the product without which they’d go immediately bankrupt: the writers. Under threat of not having anything to sell and therefore no money, which would, presumably, not be the happiest outcome for the shareholders, Newsweek brass decided it was time for a walkback so that they could defend their decision, admit that they maybesortaprobly wouldn’t make the same decision in the future, acknowledge that Harris is an actual American human being, and hold their heads high that they have been good and reasonable throughout this trying time:

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Senator Harris and the no good, terrible … yeah, whatever.

There are a lot of articles and even lists (and, yes, listicles) about Senator Kamala Harris’ worst actions and decisions, primarily as a prosecutor in San Francisco and the Attorney General of California. Let me be quite clear: I hate a number of things that Harris has done and a number of positions she’s taken in the past.

THAT SAID: when you’re considering all the bad crap in one of those lists, consider that it is, quite literally, harder for women of color to get elected in the USA than for a white man with the exact same resume and political positions. A LOT harder. You can only rock the boat so much and still be electable because of the way the USA’s plutocratic electoral system operates. Black skin rocks the boat. Being female rocks the boat. Being a woman rocks the boat. That leaves Harris dramatically less leeway to rock the boat with her actions or positions and still get elected. She has to take conventional positions on a number of issues to get to the position where she might be considered as a VP candidate.

In other words, white men are allowed to be more liberal and still get elected than black women are.In other, other words, you would never have gotten a VP-candidate Harris if Harris had not taken those positions that we progressives so roundly criticize.

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Tuffy the Snowflake (Content Warning)

Was a hateful, hurtful soul.

No, seriously folks, I don’t get a lot of hate mail, but I do get some occasionally and I just got the most delightfully horrifying piece of violent thuggery that I’ve ever had sent to my FreethoughtBlogs comment queue.

It was sent to me by someone calling themselves “Tuffy”, and if you choose to read it, be forewarned: there’s the racism and some more racism and violent fantasies before mixing it up with some anti-semitism, more violence, the racism again, and oh, the direct threats. But what makes it worth posting is that this snowflake is responding to my post about how BLM in Portland won some valuable if modest concessions. And boy, did the idea that BLM has made some progress towards creating a society in which Black lives matter really upset the poor, widdle Tuffy. (I kid you not, that’s the actual screen name they chose.) There’s really no other way to say it but that this Tuffy is the most precious, delicate snowflake in the whole intertubes. He is just foot-stompin’ mad:

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Yes, again…

A while back there were fuckers who tell us that one drop of non-white blood ruined a person’s whiteness and disqualified her from participation in society and government.

All over the US political right today you have fuckers who tell us that one drop of non-Black blood ruins Kamala Harris’ Blackness and disqualifies her from participation in society and government.

You know, it’s very, very weird, but I think these are the same, god damned fuckers.