Friday, November 24, 2023

Artificial Intelligenci

Image by Andy from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

"With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon." -Elon Musk 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

I've been watching too many videos about artificial intelligence. I found a YouTube channel, Digital Engine, that has highly informative videos about the subject that predict we're about to enter the golden age of golden ages... or that the end of the world is neigh. 

Too soon to tell. 

I ordered my research department to conduct a sweeping survey of the worldwide web of all knowledge and to consult with various and sundry experts and get back to me ASAP with a comprehensive report.

Result: Too soon to tell. 

As best I can tell all sorts of stuff is happening and will continue to happen, at an accelerating pace. I... 

{Your keen eye for the obvious is obviously not in need of a corrective lens. Hey, ever wonder why monocles have never come back in style? Ya'd think that some fashion-obsessed hip group of the moment would've attempted to reintroduce something that's so distinctive by now.}

As to my...

{How about "smart" monocles? And faux cigarette holders that are actually nicotine/weed vaporizers. That would look cool. You could complete the look with tophats that contain all the electronics an (allegedly) woke capitalist needs for pitch meetings — with a tiny solar panel on top.}

Are you done? As to my keen eye for the obvious, Dana, what I was going/trying to say was that despite all the warnings of potential disaster being issued by the same techies who are racing to develop artificial intelligenci... 

{That's just CYB — cover your bum.} 

...So as to add another billion or two to their pile, the "experts" are now saying we're going to be shocked at how fast the tech is going to reach the point that major disruptions will start occurring. But who knows? I was 17 the first time I heard the classic definition of an expert: a bonkercockie artist more than 50 miles from home. 

{You should insert some relevant links at this point, links to experts contradicting the conventional wisdom of the experts mentioned in the previous paragraph.}

I don't know if you've noticed, but my current policy is to try and avoid links on matters of opinion and try to stick with links to stuff that would at least seem to be a matter of widely accepted fact so as to try and avoid Uh-huh/Nuh-uh syndrome. 

And before you say anything, linking to my opinioned glossary, as I just did, doesn't count. As Lesly Gore sang, "It's my column, I'll opine if I want to." 

{The Artificial Intelligenci will eventually help us to get Uh-huh!/Nuh-uh! syndrome under control, right? Even if it will never be eliminated?}

Too soon to tell.

The real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk — a man I admire despite and because the neoestablishment is trying to render him de facto canceled (who is also a perfect example of why, if you can't rock facial hair, you should shave every day as I do) — is developing his own version of an artificial intelligence called Grok. 

He's concerned that AI tech might kill off us meat puppets or extend the powers of the neoestablishment. But he also believes that the technology, executed properly, could turn out to be even better than sliced bread. 

(FYI: For those too old/comfortable to remember and/or those of you too young to have been taught much history, we used to admire people like Musk in America despite the fact they were/are as flawed as the rest of us, for creating a world our ancestors could only dream of.

{How about some links?}

Again with the... fine, click on Grok if you're unfamiliar with the word. It was invented by writer Robert A. Heinlein. To grok means fundamentally to understand, intuitively, but has subtle shadings that mean different things to different people. That's the sort of AI Musk is trying to develop 

Links, aka hyperlinks, are a wonderful/terrible invention. They make it possible to send a reader to another source of information without having to write a paragraph (or several paragraphs) to explain something.

They're almost unavoidable given that the foundations of what used to be a more or less shared culture are being eroded by the Dizzinformation Ocean.  

But they also make it possible to send a reader down a rabbit hole from which they may never return, or supply the writer with income via firms who will pay him/her/them a few cents every time someone follows a link that turns out to be a product push.

There are people who make a living selling other people's stuff, via links, who may or may not alert the reader as to what they're up to. There are other people who make a living by supplying the links. There are yet other people who make a living by teaching people how to make a living by peppering their writing with links.

{Tell it keen eye! What's this got to do with AI?}

You created this digression by yammering on about links!  

Anyways... my gentlereaders have no way of knowing if I wrote this column, if an AI wrote this column, or both, so perhaps we've already crossed the Rubicon, excuse me, Rubicon. 


I use the free version of a spelling/grammar checker (Grammarly) as I'm a terrible speller. I've stuck with the free version which is, or at least was, mostly a spell checker as I don't hesitate to go rogue when it comes to grammar/usage rules so...   

{You're a wild man.} 

However, the free version now offers up suggestions about rearranging sentences that "it" thinks would improve my writing style accompanied by sales pitches for the paid version which I gather is chock full of artificial intelligence technology.  

I don't begrudge them for trying to sell a product; I mention this as an example of how fast the technology is spreading. Hopefully, my writing style is idiosyncratic enough that you're confident you're still reading the rants and ramblings of a garrulous geezer, dear gentlereaders.

Big BUT, how would you know punny humans?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down to leave a comment, share my work, or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns on both Facebook and the social media site formerly known as Twitter so you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me canceled or publically flogged on either site. Cranky don't tweet (X-claim?).  




Saturday, November 18, 2023

I'm Starting to Believe In Conspiracy Theories

Image by Welcome to All ! ツ from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

"If I don't run for presidnet, we'll all be OK." -Joe Biden (2015) 
"I don't want to be president." -Donald Trump (1987)

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

Quick! 50 years from now, what will professors, pundits, and scholars...

{Oh my!}

...Say were the major accomplishments of the Obama presidency?

{The fact he and the little woman were worth about a million and a half in January of 2008 and are now worth about $70,000,000 and own four houses comes to mind. I'll bet his daughters aren't dealing with college loan payments.}

I haven't given the infamous Choom Gang's most famous alumnus much thought lately, however...

{Choom Gang?} 

Well, as far as I know (I haven't read any of his books) although Mr. Obama has freely admitted that, unlike Slick Willie, he did inhale, and he did do a little blow, he hasn't gone into great detail about the Choom Gang, which is what he and the dudes he got stoned with in high school called themselves.

However, some of them did, and in case you missed it, google Choom Gang, and all sorts of different tokes takes on the story pop up. But who knows which details are true, which are exaggerated, and which are made up? Or, more importantly in my semi-humble opinion, why did his friends feel compelled to snitch and not avail themselves of a "no comment."  

{Right? With friends like those etc., hey you're not gonna claim that... Wait-wait-wait. Choom?}

Hawaiian slang for smoking weed (pakalolo), Dana, to choom is to smoke weed (at least when Mr. Obama was in high school, I don't know about now). It has other meanings in other contexts. The "gang" traveled around town in a VW Microbus owned by one of its members they called the Choomwagon.    

Big BUT, Mr. Obama it seems, has no shortage of friends in the news media willing to mind their own business these days when it comes to what The Swamp's most famous resident gets up to when he has friends over.

{He still lives in D.C., full-time?}

Looks that way, but honestly, I don't know. I googled my brains out but that information is hard to come by.

{Probably a Secret Service thing.} 


Not long ago, I was in the process of pursuing input via my daily morning routine of carefully constructed input inputting...

{You were sucking on your first cup of Cafe Bustelo while treading water in the Dizzinformation Ocean, yes?}

That's what I said. Anyway, I was reading a Holman W. Jenkins Jr. column in the Wall Street Journal about... 

{Holman who?}

A columnist I follow who writes a column, twice a week, for the WSJ. I'm a fanboy. 

The column was primarily about Mr. Jenkins's opinion that President Biden needs to find a way to push Kamala Harris aside and add a strong VP candidate to the ticket to solve some of the problems standing between Biden and a second term. 

{I see where you're going but I don't see Obama agreeing to be Uncle Joe's VP candidate.}

I don't think so either, although it would be interesting. But my buddy Holman happened to remark in passing on the fact that Obama declined to follow tradition and get out of Dodge, and out of the way, of his successor. 

Instead, the tribune of the downtrodden residents of the Southside of Chicago bought himself an $8,100,000 mansion in D.C., two miles from the White House, one (last time I checked) of four high-end houses he owns.     

{To be fair it's a relatively small mansion. It only has 9 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms... your buddy Holman?}

Yeah... if not for some obviously very bad karma. Holie's point, although it wasn't the point of his column, was that it's strange, that given there are hungry herds of reporters roaming the streets of Washington in search of prey, apparently none of them stake out the Obama House. 

Rather curious given that it seems to be the favorite domicile of our former commander and chief... but I can't say for sure because of the paucity of information referred to above. You can go a-googlin' if you don't believe me. 

Allegedly, there are frequent gatherings of former Obama minions (and others) who are now Biden minions who work at a different but much better-known, D.C. house. 

{Well, perhaps they're just being nice and giving him some space.}

Nice national reporters? In America? In 2023? There's no feckin' way that...

Wait a second!

Your dimwitted columnist has an aha! moment.

Given that the WSJ is a national newspaper that's so committed to old-school, traditional, objective journalism they print the real names of people (subscribers only) who comment on articles and op-eds, with millions of readers, and 1,800 or so reporters in 45 countries... 

Why aren't they staking out the Obama's D.C. digs?

{I hear Secret Service agents carry weapons.}  

As it turns out, the street in front of Mr. Obama's house is blocked off, and only approved (and I assume carefully vetted) visitors and approved (and I assume vetted, at least I hope so) delivery drivers are given access. 

But why aren't any lean and hungry reporters monitoring who attends what are supposed to be regular gatherings at the Obama House just by staking out both ends of both streets and keeping track of who is coming and going?

{What if they do but they're being chased off?}

That would be a story unto itself.

{What if they're aren't any regular meetings/gatherings/whateverings at the Obama House?}

I thought of that but according to Mr. Jenkins, who's in a position to know, this is common knowledge in Washington. Perhaps he was nudging his bosses at the WSJ. 

{Whatever. Why should I/we care?}

Well, let's review. A former POTUS, despite multiple decades of tradition, lives a couple of miles from the White House in a home that's apparently his primary residence and hangs out with former staffers who are now current White House staffers (and who knows who else) and the rabid press isn't interested?

Never mind, I'm probably just paranoid. I gotta go, someone's knocking and holding up a Secret Service badge in front of the Ring camera on my front door. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down to leave a comment, share my work, or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns on both Facebook and the social media site formerly known as Twitter so you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me canceled or publically flogged on either site. Cranky don't tweet (X-claim?).  


Sunday, November 12, 2023


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them." -George Orwell

(I'm sorry this week's column is late. I was arrested on Friday for illegal word use and didn't get out till today (Sunday, 11/12) when a lawyer from the Poetic License Association was able to get me released on a technicality.) 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

When we read (a condensed) 1984 in high school I was blown away. Not just by the story but also by the writing chops of its author.

When I read Animal Farm on my own a few years later I was blown away, Not just by the story but also by the writing chops of its author.

When I re-read (an uncondensed) 1984 a few years after that and again a few years ago I was blown away by the writing chops of the author.

Orwell, a democratic socialist incidentally, who wrote two globally recognized literary classics that are still studied today, before dying at the age of 46 from tuberculosis 73 years ago, is currently under attack by Wokies for thoughtcrime.  

Author Anna Funder, for example, feeling that she had been "spiritually drained by the monotonous demands of motherhood" came across a collection of Orwell's essays in a used bookstore and "embarked on a project of re-reading his work, hoping his explorations of tyranny would help her liberate herself from the 'motherload of wifedom I had taken on'".

Long story short, she winds up writing a biography of Orwell's wife detailing what a monster he actually was (much of it speculative) and how the patriarchy was, and still is, responsible for repressing all women all the time. 

He was dead less than a year after 1984 was published and personally I see no point in digging him up and killing him.     

George Orwell was obviously right about the unmitigated disaster that was/is communism (Animal Farm) but may have been wrong about what life in the average dystopia of the future would be like (1984). 

Communism is (dis)credited with a body count of 100,000,000 H. sapiens, more or less, and although the killing — and enslaving, and torturing, and imprisoning — continues, the running total, communism's mur-dom-eter if you will, racks up the bodies at a much slower pace these days. 

{Not bad, but I would've used kill-ometer myself.}

Clever, but that doesn't quite work, Dana. A murdometer keeps track of total deaths; a killometer measures how fast people are being deliberately killed. Think odometer v. speedometer. 

What I find fascinating is that irregardless, there are still plenty of people in the world who declare, with a straight face, that if communism was ever properly implemented somewhere, by someone, it would finally have a chance to shine.

{There's no such word as irregardless, it's regardless, without the ir.}

That's what I thought, however, if you go a-googlin' you'll quickly discover that while irregardless is considered to be nonstandard by the language police (and verboten by my spellchecker), it's not illegal and has been in use since 1795 according to Merriam-Webster.

While I admit that logically it makes no sense when you think about it, I like the sound of it. 

If China's current emperor and his minions can claim with a straight face that China is a communist country (socialism with "Chinese characteristics"), and certain American college professors and no shortage of Zoomers can claim communism is a valid political philosophy — logic be damned. Irregardless, it's my column. 

{Okay fine, but what's any of this got to do with 1984? And whaddayamean China's not a communist country?}

1984 features a world-class traditional dystopia with an evil dicktater, and a relative handful of minions. Everyone else is, for all intents and purposes, a miserable slave.

{Right, like China.}

Nah, that's old-school China. With occasional limited and brief exceptions, China was a relatively traditional dicktatership for millennia and a Communist Utopia for half a minute, but now it's a new-school dictatership. 

It's a dystopia for certain minorities, of course, but that's for their own good. Once they're assimilated, and so far resistance has been futile, they'll be happy, well-adjusted, and productive members of society striving to help make China the planet's most powerful hegemon... while keeping an eye on their social credit score. 

{So what exactly is socialism with Chinese characteristics?}

Easy peasy:

"...Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, ...the Scientific Outlook on Development, and the Thought on socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as well as the Party’s basic line and basic policy." 

For more details please refer to: 

Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects. 

This is the catchy title of Emperor Xi Jinping's Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China — 58 pages of sparkling and inspirational prose.  

In other words, just now, socialism with Chinese Characteristics is Xi Jinping's name for a hooge-steaming pile of Bonkercockie, the official rationalization for a dicktaterhip that promotes capitalism and limited liberty when it's convenient but exerts central control (with an iron fist) when it ain't.

This is how you pretend, with a straight face, that the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party (the Emperor and his minions) is running a communist country, the Chinese version of a "dictatership of the proletariat."   

Socialism with etc. is whatever Emperor Xi says it is, subject to change. 

If he changes his mind, dies of natural causes, is assassinated, or is just removed from the chess Go board and put back in the box by someone who has ascended to the apex of the Yellow Patriarchal Hegemonistic Sino-imperialist Dominance Hierarchy, he/she/they will decide.


Whoever takes over the Emperor's current job. As everybody knows, the world is currently run by Pasty Patriarchal Hegemonistic Euro-imperialists, but the Emperor has made it clear that he thinks China should be in charge and I suspect that any given potential successor will feel the same.

{China in charge... wasn't that the name of an 80s sitcom?}

You're thinking of Charles In Charge, starring the anti-Christ, Scott Baio. 

{So you're saying that since Orwell didn't predict a dystopia like China he missed the rickshaw?} 

No, let us not forget Cuba, Venezuela, my personal favorite, North Korea, and other lesser-known, much less powerful/threatening um... poop holes.

In his defense, he was a man of his time. I don't think anyone would've predicted that Stalin's Russia would eventually become the Pooteen's Russia; the Pooteen plays the Tzar and a gaggle of greedy, corrupt oligarchs play nobles. At least the stores actually have stuff on the shelves. 

Irregardless, I'm just grateful I live in a country where people can legally say, within certain limits, almost anything they want wherever they want without fear of being doxed, de-platformed, or disappeared for hate speech. 

{You're being sarcastical... right?}

And although everyone knows there's no such thing as online privacy we gracefully accept this as a small price to pay for personalized advertising that points us to cheap merchandise and expensive iPhones (often, unfortunately, made by virtual slaves) in the People's Republic of China. 

Also, don't forget being able to watch perfect strangers getting naked and/or having sex 24x7x365 via the worldwide web of all knowledge without feeling any guilt, shame, or responsibility now that what used to be called porn is now called female empowerment.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down to leave a comment, share my work, or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns on both Facebook and the social media site formerly known as Twitter so you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me canceled or publically flogged on either site. Cranky don't tweet (X-claim?).