The context doesn’t matter

It is said that there are times we laugh because we dare not weep. The times right now are shockingly serious, though as serious as all this is, there’s plenty that Trump gives us to laugh at. So here I’m going to share a quote from today’s public appearance by Hair Furor. Trump actually said this, as part of some press-conference answer that he thought would actually help him. Of course, the context doesn’t even matter. This is just for the lulz:

Yesterday somebody asked me a question and I gave an answer, but always in the form of corruption.

 

Unintentional Humor: Codeword Trump

From an article on Raw Story, we get this information about the phone call from Trump to Zelenskyy:

A former Trump administration official has confirmed to Politico that White House did place transcripts into the codeword system.

After Trump made false claims about his conversations with Mexican and Australian leaders in 2017, someone from the White House leaked the official transcripts. After that was when the White House took the unusual step to block anyone from having access to the call transcripts, according to the former Trump official.

“I don’t think the person who leaked those was ever really discovered,” the former official told Politico. “So there was a decision to tighten the restrictions for those who had access to those transcripts.”

According to another former Trump National Security Official cited by Politico, “it would be unusual to put transcripts in the code word system.”

But according to the whistleblower, senior White House officials intervened to “‘lockdown’ all records” to try and get them out of the general access to anyone in the White House. They did so because “of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain,” the whistleblower claimed.

… wait for it …

[Read more…]

For Your Enjoyment: How do you solve a problem like The Donald?

Apropos of nothing, I happened to dash this off today:

He’s got a favorite word, it’s “Me!”
His list of values starts with Greed.
He grabs any woman’s ass
Thinks gold leaf equals class
And underneath his toupee
you’ll find half an idea per day
He loves the bible so much he made a golden calf!

He never shows up for briefings
His intellect is surreal
He’s always insulting or grifting
Save when you bring the child his Happy Meal™!

I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
The Donald’s not an asset to the world…

Gorka and Miller still think he’s good,
and looks fine in a starched white hood!

[Read more…]

AI Sportsball: Release the Kraken!

One or both of my readers my remember my long time fondness for the work of Dr. Janelle Shane, an optical physicist who delights in exploring the capabilities and limitations of neural networks – computer systems that attempt to identify what certain words or images have in common and then generate novel members of the inferred set. While she has used neural networks for many delightful things, this week she has literally used it to release the Kraken!

[Read more…]

Feminist Perversions: Sea Shanty Edition

Right then. A little while back Cat Mara on WeHuntedTheMammoth came up with the idea of WHTM-themed sea shanties:

[W]hat would a blog’s comment section be but a mutual admiration society? Why else would people come here and leave comments if they didn’t like the other people doing so? One could just lurk, or read the articles posted on the main page passively through an RSS reader. It’s not the Army. We didn’t enlist; we weren’t pressganged…

At least I wasn’t. If David approached any of you in a seedy waterfront bar and said, “aaar, I be formin’ a blog and be in need of trusty hands to work the bilge in the comments, will ye take me shilling?” you’d tell me, right? Are there shanties? Tell me there are shanties!

[Read more…]

The Zebrafish Go To Eleven

One or both of you may already know about https://aiweirdness.com. It’s a site of GARGANTUAN fun, run by Janelle Shane (Ph.D., I presume, though the site only mentions her Ph.D. studies. It doesn’t specifically say she received the degree and I know too many people who are ABD). Her day job is in optics research (probably playing with lasers, because don’t all those optics researchers play with lasers? Don’t they?), but in her spare time she

train[s] neural networks, a type of machine learning algorithm, to write unintentional humor as they struggle to imitate human datasets.

She’s done quite a lot of this from her places of residence and work, located on the occupied territory of the Arapahoe nation. She’s had computers create heavy metal band names. She’s had them write backstories for Dungeons & Dragons characters. Perhaps most successfully, she’s had them create names for racehorses (most successfully because racehorse names never make any sense, so it’s pretty difficult for a computer to foul up the task). She even attempted to go against type and have a neural network write intentional humor in an experiment where she fed the neural network the text of a large number of jokes and then had the network output its own. The results were NOT fractal. On one level of analysis, the results were clearly predictable. Yet on another level of analysis that clearly did not hold true:

What did the new ants say after a dog?
It was a pirate.

On the other hand, I feel the neural network might have paid me a compliment and/or summed up the inevitable aftermath of every single Jurassic Park movie:

What do you get when you cross a dinosaur?
They get a lawyers.

Important safety tip: Don’t cross the dinosaurs.

“But wait!” you exclaim if you have developed object permanence. “Wasn’t this all supposed to be about zebrafish?”

Why yes, astute reader. This post was and is all about zebrafish. You see, the most recent effort by Dr. Shane was to train networks to take the title of a list and the first few items on a list and then complete the list. For instance, in Olympic events, the 9th place medal is the Sigil of Destruction. Still, that’s better than finishing 11th and getting City Pollen. Shane also experiments with cake ingredients and anniversary gifts, but there is nothing the neural nets love so much as animals. Indeed it gleefully listed its favorite animals, if I am not gratuitously anthropomorphizing. (Fact Check: I am gratuitously anthropomorphizing.) Here you have the favorite animals of neural net GPT-2:

1. Giraffes
2. Maize
3. Polar Bears
4. Pigeons and Giraffes
5. Cats and Warthog
6. Javanese Canines
7. Tiger Teeth
8. Black Swans
9. Alligators
10. Basilisks

and, of course, number

11. Zebrafish

 

 

 

Calvin & Hobbes: Still Relevant

In the ongoing catastrophe in which we live, one week away from no-deal Brexit, TERFs ignoring how humans actually interact with other humans, the majority of the US denying climate change as they blindly follow fossil-fuel based energy companies off the cliff, the work of Bill Watterson is still frightfully relevant:

[Read more…]