a documentary about effects pedals with an inexplicably frequent amount of mentions of Minus the Bear, a defunct "math rock" band I was really into in the early 2000s
Learn more about the doc here:
i rented it via itunes but it's probably other places
Listen to Minus the Bear here:
May 8, 2021
... so i took some pics out of my window(s)
May 7, 2021
Fun article about Sudowrite, which is a "deep-learning neural network that can auto-generate text."
Sudowrite works like this. You give it a sample of some writing — a research paper, a poem, a blog post — and it creates a whole lot more convincingly human prose based on the sample.
More from Stephen Marche, in the New Yorker:
GPT-3 hints at a world in which machines can generate language. The consequences are vertiginous. To spend ten minutes with Sudowrite is to recognize that the undergraduate essay, the basic pedagogical mode of all humanities, will soon be under severe pressure. Take an A paper, change a few words in the first paragraph, push buttons three times, and you have an essay that fits the assignment. Whatever field you are in, if it uses language, it is about to be transformed. The changes that are coming are fundamental to every method of speaking and writing that presently exists.
The article includes lots of examples of Sudowrite trying to write like famous authors like Kafka and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
See also: this episode of podcast All Consuming about writing tools, which is where I first heard of Sudowrite.
May 2, 2021
I made a playlist for the songs in the movie Passenger Side because I liked the soundtrack very much, including two songs by one of my all-time faves, chad vangaalen. also Silver Jews, Wilco, Superchunk... good stuff.
The movie was kinda like a twee version of The Big Lebowski. It got 94% on rotten tomatoes. Oh and Adam Scott is in it. I recommend it, I think.
Anyway here's my playlist of the soundtrack:
other times i've posted about music on this blog.
April 18, 2021
My bi-weekly shipments of coffee from Lancaster PA's Passenger usually come in a plain cardboard box. You know, the brown kind that you can fold up and put in the recycling bin.
But my most recent shipment came in an oddly sturdy black box that was made of this corrugated plastic-y cardboard material. (OK, I just did some research, and found that the material is corrugated polypropylene sheets.)
Once open, the box introduced itself as Boox, a reusable box company. If I sent back the box to Boox, they'd reuse the box and I'd get a discount code from Passenger.
I like trying new things so I took them up on it. I flattened the box and slapped the prepaid shipping label on the front. Then I went to the blue USPS drop box near my apartment and crammed it in past the little steel anti-theft teeth they started putting in those blue boxes recently. It barely made it in, so who knows if I damaged it beyond reusable-ness. Hopefully it's on its way to California.
Which brings me to the true sustainability of this. On the Boox site, they say:
Boox reduces your environmental impact by 75% compared to single-use packaging. It's science, people! 👩🔬
Consumers (esp. Millennials) are choosing brands based on environmental impact. Boox helps your brand meet its goals and stand out from the crowd.
Which sure, but I can't tell if this take into account the environmental impact of me shipping the box back to them from Brooklyn to California. Maybe that's not a big environmental hit, but it seems kind of silly to be sending a fairly small box all that way.
Image taken from their site.
April 12, 2021