Thinking with my LLM* v.1 – Benjamin, Sloterdijk, and Harman

*apologies to Gerhard Richter who I stole this from. His work Thinking with Adorno is quite close to a form of analysis that I practice. An un-coercive gaze that builds on, among others, Walter Benjamin, Bruno Latour and Graham Harman. 

Drawing connections between Walter Benjamin’s notions of looking and seeing in “The Arcades Project” and Graham Harman’s aesthetics of art, while incorporating elements of Peter Sloterdijk’s concept of spheres, can yield an intriguing perspective on the relationship between perception, aesthetics, and the formation of social and cultural spheres.

In “The Arcades Project,” Benjamin explores the phenomenon of flânerie, the act of strolling and observing the cityscape, particularly the 19th-century Parisian arcades. Benjamin emphasizes the significance of attentive looking and seeing, as the flâneur engages with the urban environment and becomes attuned to the hidden meanings and historical layers embedded within it. This mode of perceptive engagement, for Benjamin, unveils the dialectical interplay between past and present, as well as the social and cultural forces shaping the urban experience.

On voit un chiffonnier qui vient, hochant la tête,
Butant, et se cognant aux murs comme un poète,
Et, sans prendre souci des mouchards, ses sujets,
Epanche tout son coeur en glorieux projets.*

*Charles Baudelaire: ‘Le Vin de Chiffonniers’ (‘The Ragpicker’s Wine’). As an aside, Philip Guston’s artwork post-Marlborough is deeply connected to Benjamin’s visual thinking, especially in the forms and stories of the suicide of his father, a “ragpicker”.

Benjamin, extending the Freudian imperative through the aesthetics of the gaze, implicates visualization as a form of “empathy with the exchange value itself”, absorbing an underlying dynamic tension between various notational modes of perspective, i.e. spherical and linear ontologies. Baudelaire’s flaneur demands a visual space later filled by, amongst other things, cubism.

Harman’s aesthetics of art, rooted in his object-oriented ontology, introduces a perspective where artworks possess their own withdrawn essence or allure. According to Harman, art objects, such as paintings or sculptures, have a hidden depth that eludes full comprehension or immediate access. Aesthetic encounters with art involve a form of sensual engagement where the viewer and the object enter into a unique relationship, unveiling new perspectives and opening up possibilities for understanding.

By linking Benjamin’s notion of attentive looking and seeing with Harman’s aesthetics of art, we can perceive a parallel in their emphasis on a nuanced engagement with the world, where the act of perception becomes a transformative encounter. Just as Benjamin’s flâneur scrutinizes the urban landscape, the viewer of art becomes an active participant in the aesthetic experience, probing the depths of the artwork and engaging in a dialogue that extends beyond the immediate perceptual realm.

In this context, Sloterdijk’s concept of spheres becomes relevant. Spheres, as conceptualized by Sloterdijk, represent enclosed spaces that shape human existence and foster particular social and cultural dynamics. Artistic encounters, influenced by Benjamin’s attentive looking and Harman’s aesthetics, can be seen as moments of sphere formation. The viewer, the artwork, and the surrounding context coalesce to create a temporary sphere, an experiential space where new meanings emerge, and shared interpretations are forged.

This Sloterdijkian sphere of artistic encounter allows for a collective engagement with art, where individuals come together within a shared sphere of perception and interpretation. It is within these aesthetic spheres that cultural and social values, ideas, and identities are negotiated, challenged, and constructed.

By linking Benjamin’s notions of looking and seeing, Harman’s aesthetics of art, and Sloterdijk’s concept of spheres, we can explore the interplay between perception, aesthetic experience, and the formation of social and cultural spheres. These connections highlight the transformative potential of art and the profound impact it can have on the formation of collective meaning and understanding.

Walter Benjamin and Digital Storytelling


This text explores the intersection of data ethics and data literacy and the role of data storytelling in the digital era. The author draws an analogy between photography and data, highlighting their potential to challenge dominant cultural narratives or perpetuate oppressive systems of power. The importance of critical thinking and data literacy skills to approach both photography and data storytelling with a critical eye is emphasized, along with the significance of ethics in data storytelling. The author argues that ethical considerations are essential in data storytelling, as data can be misused, misrepresented, or distorted. Finally, the importance of data quality and integrity is highlighted, and the consequences of unethical data storytelling are discussed.

The Art of Data Storytelling: The Intersection of Data Ethics and Data Literacy

I just finished reading a book on visual culture by Walter Benjamin, a European philosopher and cultural critic from the early 20th century. His work from almost a century ago was about photography and its place as a tool for storytelling in the “modern world”. I felt compelled to blog about how data plays that same role in the digital era. Notes that I had taken from Benjamin’s published and secondary works seem particularly relevant and they guide my account below. For Benjamin, photography was both a tool and the content for modernity, much how data has assumed that role today. Many of the same important ethical considerations that was raised by Benjamin are relevant today.

Walter Benjamin, photography and modernity

Benjamin’s use of photography to illustrate his ethical position was complex. He recognized both the potential of photography to challenge dominant cultural narratives and to give voice to the marginalized, as well as its ability to perpetuate oppressive systems of power. By using photography in his writing, Benjamin was able to articulate a nuanced ethical position that emphasized the importance of resisting oppressive social structures while challenging dominant cultural narratives.

One analogy between data and photography is that data can be thought of as the “raw material” of information, in the same way that photographs can be seen as the “raw material” of visual representation. Just as a photographer captures an image and then develops and manipulates it to create a final product, data can be collected, processed, and analyzed to create meaningful information.

Similarly, just as a photograph can capture a specific moment in time and convey a particular perspective or interpretation of reality, data can provide a snapshot of a particular phenomenon or aspect of the world. Both photography and data can be used to document and communicate information, and both can be subject to manipulation and interpretation depending on the perspective of the person creating or analyzing them.

Additionally, like photography, data can be used for both positive and negative purposes. Photography can be used to capture beautiful images, convey powerful messages, and expose social injustices; however, it can also be used to perpetuate harmful stereotypes or to invade people’s privacy. Similarly, data can be used to drive innovation, inform decision-making, and advance scientific understanding. However, it can also be used to perpetuate discrimination, violate individual rights, and reinforce power imbalances.

Benjamin, writing over a century ago, believed that storytelling was a powerful tool for communicating and interpreting the world around us. He argued that storytelling was a way of making sense of the world, and that it had the ability to reveal hidden truths and challenge dominant narratives. From Benjamin’s perspective, what we call data storytelling could be seen as a way of revealing the hidden truths within complex datasets and challenging dominant narratives. In our case, narratives about immigration, settlement, and integration.

Anna Rosling Ronnlund has an amazing TED Talk on this titled See How the Rest of the World Lives, Organized by Income, showing photographs of where people live. There is a geography and a history – a time and a space – to inequality that, when seen, conveys additional contextual data that tables and charts and numbers cannot capture. The standardization of data is maintained through “common object” photography. The same items are photographed for all interactions, bed or the children’s toys, for example.

Photography, data and storytelling ethics

An analogy between photography and data storytelling is that both are powerful tools for communication and can be used to convey complex information in a compelling and accessible way. Just as a photograph can tell a story and capture the essence of a moment or a scene, data storytelling can use visualizations, narratives, and other techniques to communicate the insights and meaning behind data.

In photography, the composition, lighting, and framing of an image can all contribute to the message and emotion conveyed. Similarly, in data storytelling, the way that data is visualized, organized, and presented can all influence how the story is perceived and understood.

Both photography and data storytelling can have a significant impact on the audience. A powerful photograph can evoke strong emotions and spark action, while a compelling data story can inform decision-making and inspire change. Both photography and data storytelling can also reveal important insights and perspectives that might otherwise go unnoticed.

However, it’s also important to note that both photography and data storytelling can be subject to manipulation and interpretation, that’s why critical thinking and other data literacy skills are important. Just as a photograph can be edited or cropped to change its message or impact, data can be selectively chosen or presented to support a particular narrative or agenda. Therefore, it’s crucial to approach both photography and data storytelling with a critical eye and a willingness to question assumptions and biases recognizing that data storytelling also raises important ethical considerations, particularly when it comes to the privacy and security of the individuals represented in the data.

The significance of ethics in data storytelling is paramount. Without ethical considerations, data can be misused, misrepresented, or distorted. Data storytelling can shape public opinion and inform government policy. However, in some cases, data can be manipulated to serve political or other personal interests.

Data Quality and Integrity

The integrity of the data used in data storytelling is essential to ensure ethical decision-making. It is vital to ensure that the data used is accurate and reliable, free from any manipulation, errors, or biases. Data should be collected, stored, and analyzed in a transparent and accountable manner to maintain its quality. Its governance has never been so important.

The Impact of Unethical Data Storytelling

The consequences of unethical data storytelling can be severe. Misleading data can lead to policy decisions that are not in the best interest of the public, or worse, policies that harm specific groups. In the context of immigration policy, using data that is biased or unreliable can result in discriminatory policies or decisions. For instance, if data is manipulated to support a narrative that certain groups are less deserving of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, this could result in policy decisions that are unfair and unjust

Data Storytelling as a Tool for Engagement

Data is a valuable resource for policymakers, but simply presenting data is not enough to effectively engage with the public. To make data meaningful and relevant, policymakers need to transform data into stories that are relatable and engaging. This is where data storytelling comes in, a practice that combines the analytical rigour of data analysis with the creativity of art. By presenting data in a narrative format, data storytelling can help create an emotional connection with the audience and make the data more accessible. However, it’s important to note that data storytelling isn’t just about making data more interesting, but also making it more informative and accurate. By combining the power of storytelling with data analysis, data storytellers can make policy issues accessible and engaging to a wider audience.

The Art of Data Visualization

Data visualization is a critical component of data storytelling, and it is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Data visualizations allow policymakers to convey complex information in a way that is intuitive and easily understandable. However, not all data visualizations are created equal. Effective data visualizations must be visually appealing, easy to read, and accurately represent the data. In the context of immigration, settlement, and integration data, effective visualizations can help policymakers communicate the impact of policy decisions on real people’s lives.

As Walter Benjamin wrote, storytelling is a never-ending source of information about ourselves and the world. Data visualization can be seen as a form of storytelling that can communicate complex data in a simple and engaging way. By weaving a narrative into data visualization, we can create an emotional connection with the audience and provide them with a memorable experience.

One example of the power of storytelling in data visualization is the data-driven storytelling project by the New York Times called “The Upshot”. This project combines data visualization with storytelling to create a powerful tool for understanding complex issues such as climate change and political polarization.

Another example are the data visualization projects by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group. One of the especially compelling ones is called “Say Their Names”, that uses data visualization to tell the stories of victims of police brutality in the United States. By combining data with storytelling, this project has created a powerful tool for raising awareness and advocating for change. Check that out here:

Data visualization is a critical tool for understanding complex data and communicating insights to decision-makers. By following best practices and incorporating storytelling, we can create powerful visualizations that empower people to make data-driven decisions. However, it is essential to be aware of the challenges in data visualization and take steps to address them to ensure that the visualization is reliable and effective. And not just this, but it is important to embrace the art of data visualization as a means to preserve and communicate knowledge to future generations. Benjamin again, “Every image of the past that is not recognized by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably.”

This is our story. These are our stories.

Our Responsibility

Policy researchers and data scientists have a moral obligation to ensure ethical data storytelling. The collection, analysis, and interpretation of data should be done with the utmost care, transparency, and accountability. This includes using reliable sources of data, ensuring that the data is analyzed in a manner that is free from bias, and presenting the data in a manner that is accessible and understandable to policymakers and the public.

Moreover, policy researchers and data scientists should engage with stakeholders and communities to ensure that the data is representative of the population it seeks to describe. This includes consulting with community leaders, advocates, and organizations to ensure that the data reflects the lived experiences of those affected by government policies.

The ethical considerations of data storytelling in government policy-making are of utmost importance. Policy researchers, analysts, and data scientists have a moral obligation to ensure that the data used is of high quality, transparent, and accountable. The impact of unethical data storytelling can be severe, resulting in policy decisions that are discriminatory, unfair, and unjust. It is important to ensure that the stories we tell are based on accurate data and do not reinforce harmful stereotypes or biases. Our responsibility is to ensure that data storytelling is done ethically, transparently, and accountably to uphold the public’s trust and confidence. There is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism. We must be careful to use data storytelling to advance positive change rather than perpetuate harmful narratives.

More places that don’t exist!

I am now much more efficient at wasting my time in midJourney. ChatGPT to the rescue. I am using a modified prompt generator that, in this case, is photography specific. The outline was from the message board and I forgot to note the user but much respect. I will make another post with my prompt generator that blends artists together.

A view of the Peace Tower in Ottawa that doesn’t exist.
The CN Tower in Toronto from a perspective that doesn’t exist.
Süleymaniye Mosque, er… you get the point.
Act like an Pulitzer Award winning documentary film photographer using poetic and beautiful composition techniques. Please write without wordwraps and headlines, without connection words, back to back seperated with commas:

[1], [2], [3] {daylight}, [4], [5] {Hassleblad}

replace [1] with the subject: "building schematic"
replace [2] with a list of detailed descriptions about [1]
replace [3] with a list of detailed descriptions about the environment of the scene
replace [4] with a list of detailed descriptions about the mood/feelings and atmosphere of the scene
replace [5] with a list of detailed descriptions about the camera brand / cameral model / lens / aperture / film type and sensor resolution details

Your output should be a complex prompt for an AI-based text to image program that converts a prompt about a topic into an image. The outcome depends on the prompts coherency. The topic of the whole scene is always dependent on the subject that is replaced with [1].

always end the prompt with "--ar 16:9"

don't use any line breaks

Very important, limit yourself to 80 words.

What I’m reading this week – March 20th edition

Modern: Genius, Madness, and One Tumultuous Decade That Changed Art Forever. ISBN: 9781615198672

I am really enjoying this book. The genesis was my exploration of art at the close of the long war in 1945, the parallels with this earlier age are quite stunning. I am reading now about how form and representation were on the top of the minds of artists in the wake of the colourful les fauves movement and how this quest for form in the early period from 1890-1910 takes a “perspectival” turn with cubism. Many of these early thoughts by Braque seem to be top of mind for Guston in the late 1960s as he “returns to form” with his Marlborough show. As many of you know, I put “return to form” in quotation marks since I do not see this as fundamental as many of his contemporaries did.

In Modern, art dealer and auctioneer Philip Hook takes readers through the most exciting, frenzied, and revolutionary decade in art history—1905 to the dawn of World War I in 1914—and the avant-garde artists who indelibly changed our visual landscape. Through vivid accounts and expert guidance, Hook illuminates how these new works of art came to be and how shocking they were, exploring the various movements of Fauvism, Expressionism, Primitivism, Symbolism, Cubism, Futurism, and Abstract art that burst forth in dizzying succession. Through interviews, anecdotes, and insight into the lives of Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, Kandinsky, Malevich, Klimt, Schiele, Munch, and nearly two hundred other artists, Hook reconsiders the decade from a series of fresh angles, providing a unique and captivating look at the birth of modernism. Those interested in art history, art collecting, and the lives of artists will not be able to put this down.

Blending the old and the new

A friend thought that the photos that I had taken at the Shawville Mine looked like Ansel Adams and while flattered, I’m not letting it go to my head.

I scanned in one of the Provia 120mm images and then loaded it into midJourney –v 4 with the prompt “Ansel Adams” and got the second image. I have been blending styles and find it remarkable that both the image and the prompt are seen here especially in the composition and the use of striations.

Mamiya RB67 scan from film
MidJourney –v 4: image + “Ansel Adams”

And here is an artist blend that I am re-doing in version 5 of Cy Twombly and Egon Schiele. Some just don’t work but some of the Philip Guston blends are sublime! Unfortunately I can’t get the mid-20th century artist Francis Bacon, it always defaults to his historical namesake.

Prompt –v 5: art by Cy Twombly and Egon Schiele

Recent ML/AI updates – What a week!

Wow. Quite the week for AI and machine learning stuff. Not only did MidJourney release version 5 but also ChatGPT-4!

Knolling MacBook Pro in MidJourney v5

Stanford Alpaca: installing a local version of a LLM is literally on the horizon. Being able to query a specific local user-defined dataset has implications that I can’t even comprehend.

Google AI: the announcement of the PaLM API allowing the integration into all of the online Google tech like Google Sheets!

Anthropic launched Claude which can summarize, and collaborate on a “safer” platform than ChatGPT.

Nvidia Conference – AI Event March 20-23rd.

Finally, Microsoft launched 365 co-pilot which, like Google AI, is to be integrated into all MS products so you can ask for things like audio notes from earlier meetings!

Nodes and Edges in Language Modelling in ChatGPT

To better understand prompt engineering, I thought that it was useful to show an example of nodes and edges. Providing these in a clear and concise way really amplifies the content that is outputed.

Two samples, just a regeneration of the original request to show the slight but sometimes important differences.

Text input: Convert this text into nodes and edges: Philip Guston was born in Montreal in 1913. He was a founding figure in the mid-century New York School, which established New York as the new center of the global art world. In 1967, Guston moved to Woodstock, New York. He was increasingly frustrated with abstraction and and began painting in a personal, cartoonish manner.


  • Philip Guston
  • Montreal
  • New York School
  • New York
  • Global art world
  • Woodstock
  • Abstraction
  • Personal cartoonish style


  • (Philip Guston) was born in (Montreal) in 1913.
  • (Philip Guston) was a founding figure in the (New York School), which established (New York) as the new center of the (global art world).
  • In 1967, (Philip Guston) moved to (Woodstock), (New York).
  • (Philip Guston) was increasingly frustrated with (abstraction) and began painting in a (personal cartoonish style).


  • Philip Guston
  • Montreal
  • 1913
  • New York School
  • New York
  • Global art world
  • 1967
  • Woodstock
  • Abstraction
  • Personal style
  • Cartoonish style


  • Philip Guston was born in Montreal in 1913.
  • Philip Guston was a founding figure in the mid-century New York School, which established New York as the new center of the global art world.
  • The New York School established New York as the new center of the global art world.
  • In 1967, Guston moved to Woodstock, New York.
  • Guston was increasingly frustrated with abstraction and began painting in a personal, cartoonish manner.

Why art history is important when thinking about data

The historiography of data refers to the study of the history of data, including its origins, development, and use over time. This field of study encompasses the history of data collection, storage, analysis, and dissemination, as well as the cultural, social, and political context in which data has been used. It also includes the study of the different ways data has been represented, stored and managed over time, as well as how data has been used to inform decision-making, knowledge production and to shape the way we see the world.

The historiography of data can be traced back to the early days of computing, when data was primarily used for scientific and military purposes. “Data” prior to this was predominately book keeping. Works like Inventing Accuracy shows how data and metadata evolved. Data on missile accuracy rates, ranges, or circular error probabilities (CEPs) across different periods of time was the “data stuff” that made up the Cold War. Weapons technology and their delivery was the focus of both the politics and the economy of these decades leading to spin off technologies like the cell phone, personal computer and the internet itself.

As technology progressed in the 1960s and data storage and processing capabilities improved, data became more widely used in various fields, including business, government, and society at large. With the advent of the internet and the proliferation of digital devices, data has become an integral part of daily life, and its collection, storage, and analysis have become big businesses.

The study of the historiography of data also includes the examination of data’s impact on society, such as how it has been used to shape public policy, influence elections, and impact individuals’ privacy. There has been a growing interest in the field of late, with scholars and researchers across various disciplines, such as history, sociology, computer science, and information studies, exploring different aspects of the history of data.

Visual representation and the historiography of data are two fields of study that are deeply interconnected. Both are concerned with understanding how information is presented, stored, and interpreted, and both have a profound impact on our understanding of the world around us. In this post, we will explore the academic connection between these two fields and how they interact with each other and how this interaction implicates art history.

In the field of visual representation, the focus is on how images, charts, maps, and other forms of visual media are used to convey information. This includes studying the design principles behind effective visual communication, as well as the social and cultural factors that shape the way we interpret visual data. By understanding the ways in which visual representation can influence our perceptions, we can develop a better understanding of the role of images in shaping our understanding of the world.

The historiography of data, on the other hand, is concerned with the history of data, including its origins, development, and use over time. This field of study encompasses the history of data collection, storage, analysis, and dissemination, as well as the cultural, social, and political context in which data has been used. It also includes the study of the different ways data has been represented, stored and managed over time, as well as how data has been used to inform decision-making, knowledge production and to shape the way we see the world.

When we bring these two fields of study together, we can start to see how visual representation and the historiography of data are intertwined. For example, we can see how early forms of data visualization, such as maps and charts, were used to convey information to rulers and leaders, and how this use of visual representation has evolved over time to include everything from data visualization in scientific research to infographics in news articles.

We can also see how visual representation and the historiography of data have been used to shape public policy, influence elections, and impact individuals’ privacy. By understanding the ways in which visual representation and data have been used in the past, we can develop a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which these tools are being used today, and how they may be used in the future.

Visual representation and the historiography of data are closely connected. By understanding the ways in which visual representation has been used to convey information throughout history, and how data has been collected, stored, and analyzed, we can gain a deeper understanding of the world around us and how it has been shaped by the information we use to make sense of it. As we continue to live in an increasingly data-driven world, it is crucial that we understand the ways in which visual representation and the historiography of data interact with each other, to better navigate and make sense of the information that surrounds us.

So doesn’t that mean that art history is important here as well?

Maybe the title of this blog post should be: Art history, the historiography of visual culture, and data science.

Art history is the study of art and visual culture throughout history, including the study of art movements, artists, and the social and cultural context in which art was created. The historiography of visual culture is similar, but it also encompasses the study of non-artistic visual media, such as photography, film, and advertising. Both art history and the historiography of visual culture focus on understanding how visual media has been used to convey meaning and how it has been shaped by the cultural, social, and historical context in which it was created.

Data science, on the other hand, is the study of the collection, storage, analysis, and interpretation of data. This includes the use of statistical and computational methods to extract insights and make predictions from data. In recent years, data science has increasingly been applied to the study of art and visual culture. For example, researchers have used data science techniques to study art movements, identify patterns in artworks, and to analyze the styles of individual artists.

One of the ways in which art history, the historiography of visual culture and data science are related is through the use of computational techniques to analyze and interpret visual data. For example, data scientists might use machine learning algorithms to classify artworks by style or to identify patterns in the way that artists use color. This can help art historians and other scholars to better understand the visual culture of the past and to identify patterns that would have been difficult to detect through more traditional research methods.

The use of data visualization techniques can also be used to present and analyze the information collected through art historical research. This can help to make the data more accessible and understandable to a wider audience.

Art history, the historiography of visual culture, and data science are related in the sense that they all deal with the understanding and interpretation of visual data, but they approach it from different angles and perspectives. Data science techniques and tools can be used to enhance the study and understanding of art and visual culture, and art historical research can provide context and meaning to the data generated by data science methods.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2

I love Star Wars and all that. I haven’t read any Star Wars but I have watched all of the movies and the prequels. The various cartoon series have been hit or miss for me but I am really enjoying the Bad Batch for the visuals most of all. I like the storyline but am not quite sure where it is heading.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is the latest animated TV series to be added to the Star Wars franchise. Set after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, this series follows the journey of a group of elite and experimental Clone Troopers known as the Bad Batch as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy. With its high-quality animation style, the Bad Batch is set to be a treat for both Star Wars fans and animation enthusiasts alike.

Season 2 was as good as the first.

The animation style of the Bad Batch is one of the show’s standout features. The series is animated in a 3D computer-generated style, which provides a fresh and modern take on the Star Wars universe. The animation style is detailed and highly polished, with a clear focus on creating a visually stunning world for the viewers. The character designs are inspired by the designs from the original Clone Wars animated series, but with an updated look that reflects the more recent style of the Star Wars franchise.

One of the most impressive aspects of the animation style is the attention to detail given to the characters’ movements and expressions. The animation team has done an excellent job of bringing the characters to life, making them look and feel like real beings. Whether it’s the way they move or the expressions they make, each character feels unique and distinct. This level of detail helps to make the series more immersive and engaging, as the characters’ actions and reactions are believable and grounded in the world they inhabit.

The environments in the Bad Batch are equally impressive, with each planet and location having its own distinct look and feel. From the bustling cityscapes to the desolate deserts, each location is expertly crafted and brings the Star Wars universe to life in a way that is both believable and awe-inspiring. The attention to detail extends to the use of lighting and shadows, which helps to give the environments a sense of depth and realism.

Beautiful space-scapes!

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a visually stunning animated series that is sure to impress fans of both Star Wars and animation. The high-quality animation style helps to bring the series to life and creates a believable and immersive world for the viewers. With its attention to detail and impressive character designs, the Bad Batch is a must-watch for anyone who loves animation and the Star Wars universe.

The Last of Us, according to AI

I’m using ChatGPT to write posts but find that the prompt engineering, like in midJourney, takes time to understand. It’s almost as much work to write it myself but here we are.

Where ChatGPT excels is listing stuff. I asked for some foreign examples in the post-apocalyptic genre from Europe 1900-1970.

“La Nuit des Temps” (Ice People) by René Barjavel (1968) – This French novel is set in a future world that has been devastated by a new ice age, and follows the story of a group of survivors who discover a way to travel back in time.

“Niekas nenorejo mirti” (Nobody Wanted to Die) by Viiljamas A. Padvejas (1962) – A Lithuanian science fiction novel about a post-apocalyptic world in which the majority of the human population has been wiped out by a mysterious disease, and a small group of survivors must find a way to rebuild.

“Alraune” by Hanns Heinz Ewers (1911) – A German science fiction novel set in a future world in which a war has wiped out most of humanity, and the remaining survivors must find a way to rebuild and restore order.

Hold the mushrooms.

The world of post-apocalyptic storytelling has been a source of fascination for many for decades. From the pages of books to the screens of films and TV shows, tales of survival and hope in a world ravaged by disaster have captivated audiences. One recent addition to this genre that has left a lasting impression is the television series “The Last of Us.”

Set in a world devastated by a fungal pandemic, the series follows the journey of Joel and Ellie, two unlikely allies on a mission to cross the country and find a resistance group known as the Fireflies. Their journey is a heart-wrenching tale of survival and human connection in a world where life as we know it has been forever altered.

What sets “The Last of Us” apart from other post-apocalyptic stories is its unique setting and the mastery of its storytelling. The origin of the pandemic sets the series apart, allowing for a focus on the science behind the collapse of civilization. The world of “The Last of Us” is brought to life through expertly crafted environments, from the overgrown ruins of cities to the lush forests, creating a sense of place that is both desolate and alive. The game’s sound design, which effectively uses environmental sounds to create a feeling of danger or serenity, further reinforces this sense of place.

The relationship between Joel and Ellie is the beating heart of the series, and their journey together is both touching and intense. The writing is top-notch, with well-developed characters and a well-paced narrative that keeps the viewer engaged from start to finish. The series’ use of cinematics is also noteworthy, as they effectively convey emotional moments and provide insight into the characters’ motivations and relationships. The voice acting, particularly the performances of Troy Baker as Joel and Ashley Johnson as Ellie, adds depth to the characters and brings the story to life.

In terms of visual imagery, “The Last of Us” is a feast for the eyes. The series’ use of light and color effectively sets the tone for each scene and underscores the emotional weight of the story. From the golden hues of a peaceful sunset to the sickly greens of a quarantine zone, the visual imagery of “The Last of Us” immerses the viewer in a world unlike any other.

“The Last of Us” is a standout in the post-apocalyptic genre, offering a unique take on a familiar theme. Its mastery of storytelling, expert world-building, and stunning visual imagery make it a must-watch for fans of the genre and anyone looking for an emotionally gripping tale of survival and hope.