Links for the week of December 12, 2022

A lot of people are talking about the new algorithmic “chat bot” that will, according to some, herald the end of the humanities as we know them. And while I have found some super interesting things that the chat-bot can do with “simple” prompts, it is quite interesting to reverse engineer some things that you might take for granted. More to come on this as I tinker.

The link that I will suggest is that StackOverFlow has added a new, temporary, policy directly about the use of Chat GPT stating that, among other things, the requirement for citations and the ability of the community to judge how accurate the answer responded to the query posted is core to this action. It is this latter part that is most interesting to me: persons with subject matter expertise may interpret the initial question (stimulus) and suggest what the requestor really wanted to know with this line of inquiry. See Metaphoric and Metonymic knowledge by Roman Jacobson and his influence on Lacan and Barthes. Chomsky too, for a delicious connection with Hot Skull below.

And while I tend to avoid Canadian politics, I will suggest that the fact that Canadian business people actively sought and received public COVID aid and then didn’t spend it for its intended purpose of employment is pretty fucked up. I appreciate this type of reporting from Jacobin.

I finished two television series this week, both well worth the time. The first is Mike White’s White Lotus, season 2. Review on Jacobin here that I found after reading above mentioned article about corruption. White Lotus is filled with lots of great characters and the scenery in Sicily was awesome with Mount Aetna in the background as in my screenshot below. I am excited for season 3. And hope to see more of Jack from Essex who, like the son in Season One, remains hopeful although broken. Will Greg make an appearance in season 3? Portia? I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival!

As I explained to a colleague, what I loved the most about White Lotus was that the initial episode (the beginning) was the end of the story but I was constantly amazed at how things that I assumed were true as the story progressed only appeared that way because of how I initially interpreted key scenes from that first episode. Great storytelling that showed many of my own biases and affectations with various herrings strewn about. It certainly kept me entertained.

And TIL that the writer, Mike White, was on the US reality tv show Survivor.

The White Lotus Season 2 – Mount Aetna spewing lava

The second series is Hot Skull from Netflix Turkey. I loved the back drop of Istanbul. A virus spread by speech that drives people into confusion and stupor? Certainly intriguing. It was in the first or second episode where they mention Noam Chomsky and fitting this pandemic along with an ambitious leader exploiting the crises for his own self aggrandizement is a recipe for success.

Hot Skull