Posted in 2022

DALL路E minis of the future won't be fun

I鈥檝e been playing with dalle-mini the last few weeks. Part of what makes it fun to play with are the bizarre and obtuse outputs. They reached that sweet spot between laughably bad and frighteningly perfect: they鈥檙e good enough to be understood and enjoyed, basically.

I think that incompleteness is part of what makes it so amusing to toy with these things, and conversely what will make future versions much less fun.

Book review - Collapse

馃摎 Collapse (2006), a book by Jared Diamond.

Rating: 猸愨瓙猸愨瓙 路 Read: June 2022

Hvalsey church ruins, Greenland. Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Number_57

Collapse is a fascinating, if somewhat exhausting, read. The central point of the book is that environmental changes, man-made or not, have been responsible for many a civilization鈥檚 collapse.

Book review - Sapiens

馃摎 Sapiens (2014), a book by Yuval Harari.

Rating: 猸愨瓙猸愨瓙 路 Read: July 2022

Sapiens in an image.

Sapiens has no central point being made; rather there鈥檚 an intricate web of mostly interdependent theories and speculations. This makes for an enjoyable read, however at times it is easy to lose sight of the original premises used to build up on increasingly speculative conclusions.

Teslas are a dystopia

This could have been a subway.

Since moving to Vancouver metro I鈥檓 continuously surprised with how common electric vehicles have become. Some may see the rise of EVs as an exciting turn towards a futuristic solarpunk utopia. I see the opposite: they are a dystopia of sorts. They are a dead end, a waste of resources in the wrong direction, a false hope.

The proliferation of personal electric vehicles is a strong marker of failure. It is a manifestation in the physical world of our inability as a society to move on from a clearly failed, car-centric way of living. Teslas kind of epitomize this 鈥 despite being just another very expensive car, despite catching fire every now and then, despite bizarre QC issues, despite its nitwit CEO, still they are seen as cool and fashionable and trendy.

Are "digital nomad visas" a thing yet?

Immigration sucks. In addition to the personal toll it takes on anyone, it is also mind-numbingly tedious and baroquely complex. Why aren鈥檛 things better by now?

This reminded me of the so-called 鈥渄igital nomad visas鈥. Searching for that term will get you a thousand clickbaitey Wordpress sites with the 鈥20 best countries with nomad visas鈥 or whatever. But how real are they really?