Thick places, infrastructural inversions, and the gift of ideas

  My friend Scot and I rode north on yesterday’s bike ride to see the Corrales Siphon pumps. Built in the 1930s, the siphon for nearly a century carried water beneath the Rio Grande to irrigate a thousand acres of land on the west side of the river at the northern end of the Albuquerque …

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Large language models, Homer (Simpson) and my writer’s brain

Like everyone else of a certain sort (on line and writerly), I’ve been playing with ChatGPT. It’s a “large language model”, trained on a monstrous corpus of text, that basically projects (based on stuff people have said before) what might come next given a sequence of text. It doesn’t really “understand” it in a way …

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The game is to ride everywhere, where “everywhere” involves dividing our world into squares ~300 yards on a side and visiting them all, and “riding” sometimes involves what one might call “walk-a-bike”. Sooner or later, you end up in places like this. It’s a pretty fun game.

Kilgore Trout on Cultural Cognition

Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity. Kilgore Trout, in Lingo-Three, as quoted in Vonnegut 1973