What AI writing will always lack: wit

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Real writers have wit. AI doesn’t. And that is unlikely to change. Christopher S Penn did a fascinating comparison of how an advanced AI tool, GPT-J-6B, completes writing content based on patterns it has digested from massive amounts of source material. His conclusion: I am bullish on AI creating content at scale. I am bearish … Continued

Never say “shared” and other tips for quoting people

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If you write articles, blog posts, or books, you’re going to quote people. I recommend the tried and true “said.” Avoid other dialogue verbs, especially “shared.” “Shared” makes you sound like a total novice Does this impress you? When I interviewed her on Zoom, she was very excited about the new idea. “We expect this … Continued

Passive voice headlines must be avoided

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Yes, I did that title on purpose. Passive voice is so easy to slip into. I wrote an op-ed for the Boston Globe regarding why it now makes sense for the federal government of the US — regulators and lawmakers — to bring the full weight of enforcement on Facebook. The original title was “The … Continued

Why Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t realize Facebook is evil

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Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in Congress yesterday. And Mark Zuckerberg was mystified. He was surely thinking, “Can’t they see that we’re out to help humanity?” Today I deconstruct his sincere statement to employees after all the negative news about Facebook in the past month. If you read this critically and with the right perspective, … Continued

After Frances Haugen’s interview on “60 Minutes,” we must assume the worst about Facebook

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We now know that Frances Haugen, Facebook’s former civic integrity product manager, is the whistleblower who leaked Facebook’s internal documents to the Wall Street Journal. She was just interviewed on “60 Minutes.” And after listening to her, I no longer trust anything Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook’s communications team has to say. On “60 Minutes,” Haugen … Continued

Prostitution on Facebook

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Every male on Facebook has experienced this phenomenon: An attractive woman in a sexy pose asks you to be friends. If you click through, she says that she and her friends have formed a WhatsApp group for women who want sex, and she invites you to join. It’s an obvious scam. It’s trivially easy to … Continued

Why I disagree with Facebook’s defenders

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Last week, I said we need to crush Facebook. A lot of you agreed. But a few found ways to explain that Facebook is just a normal part of the internet, magnifying stuff that we find engaging, and so crushing it is an overreaction. I respect these arguments and the people who make them. But … Continued

My problem with your beautiful daughters

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Apparently, yesterday was International Daughters’ Day. My social media feeds were filled with parents posting photos of their beautiful daughters. Why is “beautiful” the first the word that comes to mind when we talk about our daughters? The posts I viewed shared a lot of common characteristics. They included a photo of one or more … Continued