ArtLung: Joe Crawford's personal website. 2024.

Notas del viernes

En realidad mi español no es muy bueno. Pero es un buen título. Y es bueno practicar español. But English is my best language so I shall endeavor to do that.

I signed a petition about San Clemente beaches yesterday and was glad to do it. I think about the beach a lot and go as often as is practical. I went yesterday after a drought of several days. I’ve had cold symptoms and was only really strong enough to do programming work, so I took it easy on beach. Going yesterday was wonderful, even if it was short.

I liked James’ post about automatic creation of image collages. I suspect code like this will help me if I get to doing object detection on my own huge corpus of images of the beach and toy robots.

Cat and Girl’s comic Facts aren’t feelings made me guffaw. The way it uses the word “whimsy” reminds me of my own embrace of whimsy in the year after my mother’s death. To whit: go hard at whimsy. Be goofy. It’s the way to survive. The toy robot collection is about that.

This past week I learned about the British Post Office scandal, in which people were convicted of stealing because of accounting software bugs. (via Mark Sutherland who mentioned it in passing in last weekend’s morning’s IndieWeb event). I learned the term “moral crumple zones” a few weeks ago and this certainly is that. When computers fail, someone must be blamed. Ultimately someone must be held responsible. All the more reason we ought to understand what computers do.

This is also an implicit dig at LLM-based software that we have no idea how it works. If we get a result from something, we ought to be able to audit how it got to that result. If we don’t then it’s indistinguishable from magic. Financial accounting is not magic.

I am considering adding some kind of emoji reactions to posts and comments here. I am skeptical. But if I do it it’ll be using things like this and this.

Matt Haughey wrote Embrace The Weird and it was inspiring. It’s in the tradition of other favorite aphorisms from people I have an esteem for, most particularly Bruce Sterling’s “Follow Your Weird” from “The Wonderful Power of Storytelling” Computer Game Developers Conference, March 1991 (San Jose CA), which I stashed some time back here.

Follow your weird, ladies and gentlemen. Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace your nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, “woo the muse of the odd.” A good science fiction story is not a “good story” with a polite whiff of rocket fuel in it. A good science fiction story is something that knows it is science fiction and plunges through that and comes roaring out of the other side. Computer entertainment should not be more like movies, it shouldn’t be more like books, it should be more like computer entertainment, SO MUCH MORE LIKE COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT THAT IT RIPS THROUGH THE LIMITS AND IS SIMPLY IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE!

“Woo the muse of the odd” is another quite good one but I don’t ever really think of that one.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro” is from Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas book.

We can't stop here, this is bat country.
Incidentally, we can’t stop here, this is bat country

Additionally, I am a big fan of AAAFNRAA, which I blogged on June 9, 2001 and is still stuck on me, along with Frank Zappa.

AAAFNRAA — Anything, anytime, anywhere, for no reason at all.

Admittedly, maybe whimsy has been with me all along, and what I needed to do after my mother’s death was remember that it was with me.


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