Posts in: Education

I think the reason so many of us in the language business are rightly worried about fAI (fake AI, aka Language Thingies) is because they can replace us. Not you, you’re special, but all those other talentless jokers—where’s that fork, cuz they’re done.

I do take some solace in the fact that this infatuation with fAI productivity will generate an information landscape with ever increasing amounts of bullshit. This will promote EVERYONE to the role of Quality Assurance Analyst in some sense, whether they want to be one or not. And with that promotion comes all the demands of resilience to tedium and arcane expertise that the role requires. Which will be discovered to be more difficult to fake than many had assumed. And so a new value proposition comes into view: “Can you tell me if that is worth the time?” rather than “Can you write something that is worth the time?”. Essentially, an editor, rather than a writer; oh, and a relevance ninja, and a fact ax, and…

Well…sure, you can take an umbrella into the shower with you, but…uh…maybe explain again what you mean by dry?

Just Noticing

I’m just noticing that a lot of my ground truth on matters internetty is based on the proposition that the internet is on a continuum with other means of individual creative expression; internet, tv, movies, radio…(skip ahead, brother)…live voice, our bodies. And that it is also this way with tools of individual education, certainly. But (ding!) others may see the thing differently. Perhaps as primarily a token game platform, or a herding mechanism.

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Don’t shoot yourself in the foot just to prove them wrong about the gun being loaded.

Oysters and champagne taste better than mac n’ cheese and flavor-aid, sure—unless one is actually hungry, and then it doesn’t matter, one eats. And if you think about it, if one actually isn’t hungry, well then, how can it really matter what one is eating, taste being what it is? ❡ As a sidenote I should point out that although I don’t care for flavor-aid, mac n’ cheese is quite delectable. Oysters and champagne, however, is like having someone’s expensive cold as an appetizer.

Here’s another questionable framework with a lot of cultural clout, although it does not yet have a catch phrase.

The rich have and enjoy what the middle class wants and works for while the poor envy and hate them.

It almost exceeds grammatical physics to fit that much bullshit into one sentence. Yet, look underneath so many messages for this meta message, and you will find it.

Reject expectation and affectation,
they exasperate in explanation,
embrace instead reflection on aspiration,
both in body and imagination,
therein—clarity and rejuvenation.

From Distinctly Leaden and Overwrought – Misuse of the EmDash over the Centuries, A. Thistlemitten, 2023

I’ll put it this way: If one is unhappy, not only is one entitled to do something about it, one is required to, for everyone else‘s sake, and also one’s own. And being both alive 😀 and free enable one to do this. It’s kind of a whole package.

Do people even know what ‘inalienable‘ means?
Have we thought about it lately?

It means My understanding is there exist rights embodied by individuals that cannot be ceded even by the individuals themselves. Not that one should not, mind you, but that one cannot alienate one’s self from them; one cannot give one’s life away, nor sell one’s freedom, nor relinquish one’s discovery of happiness on, and in, one’s own terms. Nor can anyone else, in one’s name or otherwise.

This is the view expressed in our DoI. Expressing this understanding seems important to do in the historical moment. It might be fundamental to our intuitions about mental health, fairness, authority—just all manner of considerations.

It sounds positively anarchic until one sees the responsibilities underlying it all. We are stuck with our rights.