Showing posts from May, 2022


It starts with the flip of a bit uploaded to servers around the world. Reply suggestions appear in your chat app. A friend texts you, and beneath their words, three Gumby-edged rectangles appear, presenting you reply options. Would you like to respond with “Hello”, “Hey!”, or “‘sup?”? You’re turned off by this the first time you see the chirpy replies inviting you to take the easy path. You refuse to play their game and defiantly type, “Hey!” When you press send, you realize your response was identical to one of the suggestions. It’s irritating that they got it so right. The second time you see this, the stone in your aorta rolls aside. You were going to type “Hey!” Anyhow, you might as well save yourself some keystrokes. RSI can be a bitch. The AI that predicts your responses gets better over time. The most capitalized multinationals to ever exist fund Research labs. (See how I capitalize the ‘R’? This work is looked on with religious fervor in tech circles). Pipelines devour, separat

Just what my TBR stack needs...

 I visited the Bay Area Book Festival on Sunday, attending two sessions devoted to speculative literature. The earlier session, " Cataclysm or Cure-all: Novelists Engage with the Promises and Perils of Our Tech Future ," featured four writers whose work straddles the line between literary and speculative fiction. Vauhini Vara is a tech reporter for the Wall Street Journal, but in parallel has worked on her debut novel, The Immortal King Rao , for thirteen years. It's about a Dalit CEO in a dystopian state where citizens are shareholders. She also co-wrote an essay with GPT-3 on grief. Claire Stanford has somewhat of an outsider's perspective on the tech world, and her novel, Happy For You , explores why so many talented people expend their efforts in the tech industry. Her main character is a philosopher-in-residence at a tech company, creating a quantification-of-happiness app called "Joyful." Kate Folk published a short story collection, Out There , f