My week of Monday 22 to Sunday 28 May 2023 was wonderfully productive, but I can’t tell you much about it yet. So here’s an old photo of a weevil, and some links to Interesting Things.
Yes, my major achievement was finally lodging my tax paperwork for the 2015–2016 financial year. I probably shouldn’t make such a bit deal of it, but with five more years to go, having made this significant advance is reassuring. At least I’m good from 2021–2022 onwards, at least as far as filing the paperwork goes.
I know the weather has been cold at night, but the fox has still not been seen. I’m starting to get concerned for his health, Oh wait, we’re going to kill him anyway.
- Not one of mine, and I wasn’t involved in the production apart from some vague advice and setting up the hosting, but my client Lockstep has launched Making Data Better. There’s a trailer up now, and the first full episode will appear on 1 June.
- Digital developments from Canberra 37. We now know that some the people responsible for robodebt might face a corruption inquiry, and that ChatGPT is being used for stupid things. Also, SAP is expensive but hey we also knew that.
- And from Lockstep and just edited by me, DVP/Update 01: Launching the Data Verification Platform at Identiverse 2023. Technically it’s being launched at the same time as Identiverse, because reasons, but for 95% of you the distinction will be meaningless.
You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.
Videos, Photos, Media Appearances, Corporate Largesse
None of these things. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here’s some more typically Musky action.
- Investigator Seth Abramson has put together a magnificent 149-tweet thread that catalogs Elon Musk’s failings, lies, and political goals. To save you going to Birdland, here’s a Threadreader link to the whole thing, and one to the Internet Archive.
- “Inside Twitter’s failed Space launch: How a decimated team and shrinking server capacity rained on Ron DeSantis’ parade.”
- Elon Musk’s Neuralink gets FDA approval for study of brain implants in humans, so that’s going to be interesting.
- Twitter accused of responding ‘to tyrants quickly’ but ignoring Australian government.
- ‘Massive’ Tesla data leak reveals thousands of alleged safety complaints.
- Twitter quits EU disinformation code: commissioner, because apparently that’s a thing you can do.
- Fake images of Elon Musk kissing ‘robot wives’ are sweeping social media.
- And finally, Elon Musk Shares Fake Voltaire Quote Actually From Neo-Nazi. Because of course he did.
To repeat, I’ve been thinking of doing this list as a weekly 10-minute podcast that has the internal title Musk Watch but in fact would use the title Rhymes with Sasquash. Would you be interested?
And in other news:
- “A lawyer representing a man who sued an airline relied on artificial intelligence [ChatGPT] to help prepare a court filing. It did not go well.” And here’s a blog post with more detail: Lawyer cites fake cases invented by ChatGPT, judge is not amused.
- Think you can land a plane? We put average people to the test. Nearly a third of Americans reckon they could land an airliner all by themselves. Turns out that’s not the case.
- AI writing assistants can cause biased thinking in their users.
- Thought experiment in the National Library of Thailand, explaining why ChatGPT and its ilk are essentially useless. “It is good at spitting out plausible sounding text, in different styles. But, as always, if this text makes sense it’s because we, the reader, are making sense of it.”
- If you’re the type of person who’d watch 50 minutes on The abridged history of Computer Display Tech then this is the video for you. If you’re familiar with this stuff, however, you’ll have to cope with him saying “X Windows” when he means X Window.
- More accessible is J Draper’s lovely little explainer, Why We Can’t Do Plays Like Shakespeare Anymore. It also explains the origins of the term “drag queen”.
- And finally, I really enjoyed this full set from American stand-up comedian Greg Warren, The Salesman. Who could imagine you could do so much material about peanut butter? One of his previous shows was titled Where the Field Corn Grows and it’s also excellent.
The Week Ahead
This week I will continue be busy with client work, and everything else will be pushed into the background. One client, Lockstep, is introducing their Data Verification Platform model at the Identiverse 2023 conference in Las Vegas. And for another client, we’ve reached the final states of integrating their subscription paywall with a new CRM system, due to go live very soon.
On Sunday, at least, I’ll pop down to Sydney for lunch with a co-conspirator (yes that one).
- NEW: TimeGhost TV’s D-Day 24 Hours, online, 6 June 2023. This is a 24-hour livestream covering the D-Day landings in real time. Yes, I will attempt to watch the whole thing live. It starts at 0000 hours Central European Time on 6 June, which for me is 0800 AEST on 6 June. Is anyone I know watching it too?
- World Gin Day, 10 June 2023. This will just be a small social thing with friends after the podcast recording, but you might like to organise a gathering of your own. Because, you know, gin.
- The 9pm Public House Forum 8 livestream and recording, 24 June 2023 at 12.30pm (TBC). To stay informed you should be on the mailing list.
- NetThing Internet Governance Forum, Brisbane and online, 28 August 2023 (TBC).
[Photo: A Botany Bay diamond weevil (Chrysolopus spectabilis), aka the sapphire weevil, photographed at Bunjaree Cottages on 23 May 2021. Even though I have a lovely new camera thanks to my generous supporters, I’ve found less time for everything lately so I’ve been digging out older images from time to time.]