There must be something in the air!
Several blogs that have had longterm ‘unreachable’ status in my RSS reader have shown signs of life this week. I’ve seen 3 accidental ‘Hello Worlds’ pass by as blogs have been reactivated/updated with the Twenty Twenty-Two theme.
One of the blogs was a very good friend from home when i was growing up – who I haven’t seen in years. I DM’d them straight away on Instagram with “Blog!”.
It transpires they are sick of Instagram and Twitter. They read a lot of newsletters and remembered how much they enjoyed blogging in the 00’s. So thought they’d fire up wordpress and get back on it.
In the early 2010’s they did a photo-a-day with a little diary/microblog caption for about 800 days straight. When Instagram became ‘the platform’ for photos, they moved their practice over there and built a sizeable audience. But over the last few years, their own post rate and the engagement has dropped off. If no one is paying attention – then things might as well get posted to the wider web.
Our conversation then drifted into a discussion about how they have been using the Internet – mostly since lockdown. Vertical video/tiktok/shorts/swipe mechanism has taken over all our apps and our lives. They said that they lacked the self control and feel uneasy about the thing. The remedy (they feel) is to have a blog.
Hank Green recently posted the keynote/talk he was supposed to give at Vidcon
It’s about “How the transition to swipe-based video products has upended the online video creator economy and has resulted in a loss of value for both platforms and creators that will never be fully regained.”
I really appreciate that Green calls out the Swipe UX for what it is:
He despite the talk being short, he goes into detail about how swipe mechanics are really bad for creators. Ultimately it’s about attention.
2 years ago when I made a 301 about TikTok I said the “action of video skipping is in many ways more important than the content.” And added that ‘Discernment’ is the core skill that needed to be cultivated in order to make the most of these apps.
2 years on – now that the same UX has been rolled out to almost every platform – my mind is changing.
I’m not sure discernment is at all possible. I agree with Green that the swipe based mechanic is a net negative design pattern and is bad for everyone except the platform. Perhaps we should agitate for UX freedom – I’d love to be able to remove shorts from apps homes screens.
If you give in to temptation, they suck you in. It really is like drugs – or gambling/addiction. Strong words.
Speaking of blogging I’ve been threatening to go back to Tumblr for years. But I’ve finally made the move.
Follow me or add my Tumblr to your rss https://thejaymo.tumblr.com/
I’ve been making really poor (high) quality memes that make me laugh. I’ve been using CLIP + VQGAN and then using a little template to put the text on. (click the images to see the full sets)
My LIZARD ! memes were the product of a very stupid conversation I had with Eve late at night. So it was nice that they (along with some other pull quotes from my writing about AI/Prompts) got a mention in this fantastic essay ‘Magic Notebooks’.
The essay is well worth your time and a very good overview primer on ‘the discourse’ around this technology.
Prompt artists are developing a grammar, a xeno-language for communicating with the mathematical entity and collaborating with it to achieve the desired result.
It pairs well with this recent article from Max (@deepfates) on similar prompt related subjects I’ve been in the garden with.
Magicians deal with the mirror world as well, though they contact it through other means. Scrying mirrors, shamanic trances, and ceremonial rituals are all different ways to blur the boundary between this world and the world of language, the imagination. Prompticians use the lens of a language model, instead of their own ability to simulate worlds, but we can learn much from magic.
Magical techniques and beliefs differ around the world, but the actual practices can be grouped into five branches: sympathy, scrying, sending, summoning and syzygy. Each has its own lessons for the prompt artist.
In 1974 on the PLATO mainframe system there was a 32-player 3D networked first person space flight simulation game.
The Ministry Of My Own Labour
- Calls with a couple of cool projects!
- Call with Julian and NFL crew about ‘Last Week From the Future’
- Wrote 5k words on worlds this week. Still behind my self imposed schedule tho 🙁
- I owe loads of people email 8-(
Dipping the Stacks
To exclude the question of the extra-physical as we approach and attempt to define AI and other predicaments of current life, is to leave us as the blind men describing an elephant.
Shein’s rare speed to market creates upwards of tens of thousands of new data points, giving the company even more market intelligence about what it should make next.
The rest of the world should not have to know the name Bari Weiss
‘The Long Tail’ was supposed to boost alternative voices in music, movies, and books—but the exact opposite happened
One might argue that the activation of the birdsong system during sleep is evidence that zebra finches were dreaming of singing their song.
Permutation City by Greg Egan is absolutely chock full of amazing sci-fi ideas. The book is as fresh in 2022 as it must have felt in 1994 when it was first published.
The book is an exploration of transhumanism, electric universe physics, MUDs etc. Really fantastic.
Thats all I’ve read this week. (it was a long book!)
thejaymo.net Spotify Playlist
It’s been a minute since I last listened to Forests. Singapore based midwest emo lads Forests have followed up 2019’s “spending eternity in a Japanese convenience store“ with “Get In Losers”.
This new album is even more singalong than Forests two previous outings.
Check out the song Saint Loser and you’ll get the idea within the first 10secs.
Huge anthems, tongue in cheek songwriting over math rock riffs. They absolutely hit the sweet spot every time! with every song!
I wouldn’t say that there is anything *new* sonically from Forests on this record compared to previous records.
However, this album is chock full of confidence. 3 albums under their belt, Forests have become the band I suspect they always thought they could be.
Really hope they tour in the UK soon. Fucking love these lads.