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Day 20,254

Phew, keep to the shade and stay hydrated today! I just did a quick run to the post office and some other errands, and I feel like a walking pork roast. Speaking of which, the painted pig is done up like a bumblebee! No walkaround; I only caught a glimpse of him from the stop light. A cool shower is in order, so I will catch you later, dear journal.

#doodle #cryptid #salemtraditions #paintedpig #hotsummer

Day 20,253 – relaxing reading comics.

Theme of tonight, continuing Aquaman. From Aquaman #33 (Oct 2005) Credits: Story John Arcudi Pencils Leonard Kirk Inks Andy Clarke Lettering Jared K. Fletcher Colors Nathan Eyring Associate editing Harvey Richards Editing Peter J. Tomasi #merfolk #atlantean #subdiego

Re: Metal Strip on the dash of Columbo’s peugeot I had always thought it was a defroster, but I was wrong. From : “Feb 25 at 6:41 AM SeattleCurmudgeon The wire fence is indeed an aftermarket device to keep stuff on the dash, Every cab in Paris had these things for decades until the mid- to late-80’s when dash designs changed. Probably not compatible with airbags unless you want to reinvent the guillotine.” #columbo #peugeot

19 year old Katey Sagal (Leela from futerama/peg from married with children) w/Peter Falk in the Columbo episode “Candidate For Crime”. Wonder how she got this part… Perhaps her father Boris Sagal, the episode’s director, put in a good word for her (1973)

Biggest WTF moment of reading Weird War Tales yet. Experimental child supersoldiers exploding like skin balloons after turning on their mind-controlling Nazi masters. I wish there was more Fred Carrillo stuff available to me. #comicscode #creaturecommandos #balloonbabies #axelwtf Weird War Tales #102 , August 1981 – THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE WRITER J.M. DeMatteis PENCILER / INKER Fred Carrillo COLORIST Adrienne Roy LETTERER Esphidy Mahilum EDITOR Len Wein Several German parents were brought to a school, where their children beat them to death, much to their surprise. Then, they were personally congratulated by a man who appeared to be Hitler. Outside of the schoolhouse, “Colonel Kruger” (actually Lieutenant Shrieve), accompanied by the Creature Commandos, attacked Nazi soldiers guarding after their cover was blown when Griffith transformed. As their attack began, Shrieve thought about his time in a London war room twenty-fours earlier. Shrieve briefed the Creature Commandos on the Nazis injecting highly susceptible German schoolchildren with drugs that would give them superhuman strength. Then, he explained his plan to impersonate Colonel Emil Kruger, the mastermind of the plot, to inject German schoolchildren. “Hitler” watched his troops fight the Creature Commandos and flicked a switch that activated a trapdoor that took them to a gas chamber, where they were knocked unconscious. They were later taken to a camp, where they met “Hitler” (actually a double, as revealed by Shrieve), who told them that he had given the students an assignment to kill them. During the fight, Velcro scared one of the schoolchildren, Axel, freeing him of the Nazis’ control. Then, an angry Axel attacked the Hitler double for making him kill his mother, while the other schoolchildren subsequently revolted, as well. As the children beat up the Nazis, the chemicals from the drug that was injected into them caused them to inflate, destroying their bodies. Then, the Creature Commandos destroyed the camp before running away. @bronzeagemonsters

Finally, tonight, in ChatGPT News, when the automobile first started to become popular, many were frightened by its mind-boggling speed and size. Rumors spread that riding in a car was bad for your health, could give women hysteria, and addle the brains of children. Soon, those rumors turned into a cultural movement, and many attempted to pass laws banning the automobile on that basis. Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same, as two octogenarian journalists have joined the fight against ChatGPT and OpenAI for plagiarizing their books because they looked at the internet.

Yes. Nicholas Gage, aged 84, and Nicholas Babas, aged 81, are joining authors such as John Grisham, Jody Olt, and Game of Thrones novelist George R. R. Martin, and media outlets including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Mother Jones in suing OpenAI for copyright infringement because they have no idea what AI is, how large language models work, or, it seems, what copyright even is.

Yes. If I were George R. R. Martin, I would likely spend less of my time criticizing the creation of works of fiction that are entirely derivative of existing artworks within a genre.

Why even bring this up? Two more old men joined a doomed lawsuit that is absolutely going to settle as a hysterical cash grab. It is. But the truth is, there are a lot of very smart people who are buying into this narrative. Frivolous lawsuits like this one not only lend the narrative credibility but also prevent people who should be using these tools from getting the access they should because they’re being sold lies by hysterical anti-tech Luddites at best and cash-grabbing conmen at worst. There’s a meme going around on Facebook with more than 50,000 shares right now that claims you can tell AI image generators steal art because the squiggles you see in the corners of the pictures are the remains of artists’ signatures they copied from.

Okay. So that’s obviously stupid. Those squiggles are the AI spotting that stuff made by real people tends to have some squiggles down there and then mindlessly following suit. It’s cargo cult artistry rather than a computer putting on one of those little monocles and trying to be some sort of sophisticated art forger.

And just to be clear, if you’re pissed that technology is taking the artistic jobs, but you weren’t pissed when it took the labor jobs, you need to confront how inherently classist that is. Yeah. Right. Like sure, you could say it’s different when it’s taking jobs that we don’t wanna do versus jobs that we do wanna do, but it it, it was somebody’s means of making a living far more so than writing or music everywhere and, and not everybody can draw.

It’s an interesting comparison. So real quick, just technologically speaking, AI LLMs image generators, right? Learning algorithms don’t steal information any more than a Google search does, right? So think about it, A Google search takes information that’s publicly available on the internet, text, pictures, videos, and then it distills that into a product that they in turn sell to people. But when you search for a pizza place near me, Google doesn’t steal the names and brands of all the local pizza places. That’s what fair use is. And everybody knows that at least when it comes to Google.

Okay. So yeah, that’s true. But it is also worth pointing out that Google doesn’t then set up a hundred pizza shops that are also called Tony D’s House of Pie, which also claims to use the exact same secret recipe. That bit wouldn’t be covered under fair use.

Yeah, that’s true. And look, there are philosophical harms to this misinformation as well. Like, remember when we were kids and our teachers told us we couldn’t use Wikipedia because any old person could edit it, and then we realized what an incredible resource it was and we all sort of chuckle at how old fashioned those teachers were. Well, that’s what’s happening here. Instead of having to hoist the volume of Encyclopedia Britannica down from the library shelf, people aren’t getting the legal advice that they otherwise couldn’t afford. They’re unable to take advantage of an M’S ability to write, express, and distill information in a way that they might not be able to. Slowing this technology down does not protect artists or art in the slightest. OpenAI is owned by Microsoft. All of the money.

But what it will do is it will protect a social hierarchy based on who has access to that information and writing ability.

Writing ability—that’s the key,  right? Because it’s also quite classist when you consider how many people can’t afford to hire someone to write a scary-sounding letter for them at $400 an hour, who will be able to with these tools.

I understand and empathize with what it’s like to be scared by Ai. The answer to protecting yourself from the threat of fast-moving technology is solidarity and commitment to worker and artistic rights. It means joining a union even if that union is filled with Trump supporting assholes or buying some art.

Day 20,250 Capybara!

The actual creatures are much more adorable than Speak, a friend of The Tick who was perhaps my first encounter with that sort of critter.

Now, these giant potatoes are some of my all-time favorite rodents, along with beavers, porcupines, and chipmunks. (Note: Skunks are not rodents. I just had to correct myself, but I love those too.)

#doodle #capybara #rodent #herbivore

Day 20,246

Summer has been roasty toasty. It was nice to get some frozen lemonade from @debs_lemonade yesterday to cut some of the heat! (Reminds me of the old days in SoFla when the Polar Cup truck would roll around. I do rather wish that there was a sugar-free version, but for me, that is a small issue with an otherwise lovely summertime snack.

#doodle #cryptid #frozenlemonade #roanokeva #beattheheat

Neat discovery today!

Anisota peigleri, the yellowstriped oakworm, is a moth of the family Saturniidae. The species was first described by Jules C. E. Riotte in 1975. It is found in the United States from south-eastern Kentucky, south-western Virginia, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina south through western South Carolina and central Georgia into north-central Florida.