Facebook, AI, evil, and human creativity


The intersection of human evil and Facebook algorithms has created the evil-amplifying social networks we now share. Facebook says AI can solve the problem. So far, it can’t. If it ever does, heaven help us. The New York Times published a revealing profile of Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s CTO. He’s the man whom Mark Zuckerberg has … Continued

The IAB’s incoherent position on “Do-Not-Track”


The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), an industry group for advertisers and publishers, understands that data privacy regulation may actually happen. Rather than oppose it, they’re fine with it . . . so long as the government does things their way. Today, I deconstruct a statement by IAB executives Randall Rothenberg and Dave Grimaldi on regulation. … Continued

Game of Thrones as a metaphor for American politics

Umm, no. Game of Thrones is a narrative created solely to capture and manipulate the attention of the viewer, focusing on the shocking and unexpected violations of norms. That’s not American politics. That’s American media. Except the part where Samwell Tarly suggests a democracy and everyone laughs at the idea. That part was relevant.

Grumpy Cat, influencer, is dead


So, Grumpy Cat is dead at age 7. Of a urinary infection. Of course. The New York Times ran her obituary today. (Did you even know that Grump Cat was female?) She was the second cat whose obituary ran in the Times. There will never again be an “influencer” as pure as Grumpy Cat. Grumpy … Continued

Can AI write good articles?


I asked an artificial intelligence to write an article. It wasn’t very good, but it wasn’t completely awful, either. If you’re a writer, machines are nipping at your heels; it’s time to work on your creativity. Machines have been writing articles for years — but only in formulaic settings. For example, you won’t be shocked … Continued

Free advice: how to give it, and how to take it


I give lots of free advice. So do other people. If you’re going to ask me (or anyone) for help, I thought you might want to know how that works. How I give free advice Here’s a little peek into my business. People hear about my work with authors from my blog, from other authors, … Continued