Weeknotes #175

in weeknotes

  • I’ve been enjoying using Google Bard quite a lot. ChatGPT is very impressive but I found the knowledge cut-off an impediment to having discussions. I was quite impressed when I asked Bard only an hour or so after the earthquake in Chiba last week and Bard was able to state the time and intensity of the tremor correctly.

  • Oh, on the topic of AI, I loved these two videos (here and here) where YouTuber Eric Rich used a voice model of Ron Howard to narrate a sequence of clips from Succession in the style of Arrested Development. (I haven’t watched Succession since season 1 so I’m not sure what exactly is being spoiled but there are definitely spoilers so beware unless you’re caught up and/or don’t care.) I’ve been sceptical of people saying generative AI will be able to create movies in the next year or so but this made it feel very possible. I could imagine that a human being would still need to bring a lot of authorial intent to guide an AI model but it doesn’t seem so far-fetched any more.

  • I’d like to try out Bluesky but don’t think I know anyone with a spare invite. I had a quick look over the description of the AT protocol and it sounds promising. I’m especially interested in being able to take your posts with you when you move. (Yes, this is me subtly begging.)

  • The Warriors were knocked out of the NBA play-offs by the Lakers and while I’m disappointed Steph Curry won’t make it five championships this year, it did release the anxiety I’d felt watching their games. I’ve been especially enjoying the Miami Heat’s improbable run through the Eastern Conference.

  • Speaking of the NBA, the Spurs (ostensibly the team I actually support) got incredibly lucky and won the right to pick first in the NBA Draft this year. The projected pick is Victor Wembanyama, who is apparently considered a once-in-a-generation prospect. I’m sceptical of the players hyped in the draft so I’m playing it cautiously optimistic for now.

  • It hit pretty hard to hear that Hank Green has cancer (YouTube). I never got that deep into Hank and John’s YouTube channel but they seem to be genuinely remarkable people and I very much appreciate what they’ve brought to the Internet. Of course, Hank isn’t dead and hopefully can be treated successfully. And of course, as a selfish person, it hits so hard because he’s only two years older than me and this is a sobering reminder that I’m now entering the phase in my life where this becomes more common (and potentially hits me at some point).

  • I’ve decided to switch my starting Wordle word from TEARS to STARE. I waited until my 501st game. I figured the letters are still all the same so it shouldn’t be much of an adjustment. I realise this is just luck but in my first game with the new starting word, I got the answer in two guesses. Hopefully that’s a good omen.

  • I’ve decided to give John my old Nintendo 3DS for his birthday and give him at least one of the Luigi’s Mansion games (second-hand cartridges are pretty cheap from places like Book-Off). I’m a little worried that he’s going to be constantly asking me to read everything but I’m also crossing my fingers that this encourages him to start learning hiragana and katakana.

  • It’s been slowly growing on me but I’m pretty into Fall Out Boy’s latest album, So Much (For) Stardust (Apple Music). I found 2018’s M A N I A a bit of a letdown but SMFS has been a welcome return to form.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net