The more I dig into generative AI, the more fascinated I get…and the less practical use I see, and this is apart from ethical, legal, and environmental concerns. If there is indeed a “there” there as I suggested last week, it’s mostly broken, and possibly unfixable without changing paradigms.

Started rebuilding my personal website, which is currently pure HTML/Markdown processed with CodeKit, to Zola, mostly with an eye toward more controllable long-form blogging. (We’ll see if it actually happens or not, of course…)

I have an article I’m puttering around with exploring “Claude-Author”, a professed AI novel writer that caused a hullabaloo earlier this week. Spoiler: it does not write well. It does not write well at all.

I have a set of techie peers enthusiastic about generative AI to the point of ignoring/dismissing the myriad of legitimate, possibly unsurmountable concerns about ethics and legality, and a set of creative peers hostile to any suggestion there could ever be even a little bit of “there” there.

Working on a new novella is helping me solidify what I’d like my creative writing app to be able to do and where it might be able to bring something new to the table. I’m also becoming convinced that explicitly excluding GPT tools is now a market differentiator.

Did we learn nothing from the Bixby Button?

www.theverge.com/2024/3/26…

I just realized what 99% of AI-generated illustrations make me think of:

BAEN BOOK COVERS

I will eventually write the article on generative AI that I have been thinking about for months, but so far I have just been collecting browser tabs for it.

I’ve been noticing more AirPods Max on this trip—at the airport, but also just outside, on transit, etc.—than any other kind of over-the-ear headphones. Suspecting they’re a lot more successful as a product than I thought.

Just encountered another rare example of an App Clip out in the wild, to pay a tab at an Irish pub with a QR code and Apple Pay. I wish these happened more often!

Finished reading This Is How You Lose the Time War. Turns out this book everybody said was really good was really good! Who knew. 📚

Starting a new programming project is often a Catch-22 for me: I don’t feel like I can start coding until I have some idea of the UI in mind, but I won’t have a real idea of the UI until I start coding. (And while for two decades “programming” has meant “web” for me, this is a real macOS app idea.)

I’ve still kept my electronic library card from California, because I’m not sure Florida libraries are allowed to lend out books anymore.

Hmm. I thought, “Maybe I should try to get a technical writing gig with a software company I love,” but nearly all of those are tiny indies. I have no idea if any of them would be open to having a contract technical writer edit/improve their existing docs, and cold calling is not my forte…

Whether you think Apple’s new Vision Pro is the coolest or the stupidest product ever, or fall somewhere in between (hi), Nilay Patel’s excellent review at The Verge will give you more to think about.

Me: While I have a pretty big financial “safety net,” I am unemployed now, so I should avoid unnecessary expenses. Also me: Ooh, this is a pretty weather app, and only $15 a year!

I’m always surprised by “airport food is always terrible” jokes/comments made after, oh, 2005 or so. Most major airports have solid food, coffee, even beer and cocktail options. The secret is layovers long enough for table service, so you’re not rushing for sad fast food.

By nearly all accounts, Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon” is terrible, but Drew Margary’s review in SFGATE is truly award-worthy.

Apparently generative AI is either a job-destroying scam with no redeeming qualities pushed by capitalists and their stooges, or the most amazing invention since fire, only objected to by luddite haters. Eventually I will write an article titled “GPTs: eh, whatever” and everyone will hate me.

I think this is not only the first haircut I’ve gotten in several years (!), it’s the first time I’ve had hair this short in at least a decade.

A selfie of a new shorter, but still almost shoulder length, haircut

Pixelmator Pro seems to get all the love, but Flying Meat’s Acorn has always fit the way my brain works a lot more—and it really is very powerful as a Photoshop alternative.

As a tiki nerd desperately looking for silver linings in being stuck in Florida, I am unreasonably excited about Don the Beachcomber’s return.

A pointed commentary from the Duke University Library system: “Why We’re Dropping Basecamp”.

Swapping my modded Keychron Q3 keyboard for my Matias Mini Tactile Pro for a while. I really wish Matias would update their physical designs, or better yet, make versions of their switches compatible with de facto standards—this is still just an unparalleled feel. (If ridiculously loud.)

While I’m comfortable reading recipes off an iPad for cooking, my mom manifestly is not, so I tried out Mela’s recipe printing last night. Unsurprisingly, it’s just as pretty as its on-screen display—and much nicer than most “print views” from recipe sites.