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Showing posts from December, 2023

Anecdotal Incompetence

Friends, There’s something unsettling about artificial intelligence. As writers, programmers and graphic artists lean on this new crutch, it’s tempting to see the tool as a self-aware peer. Such articulate paragraphs, seamless code and creative drawings must surely come from one such as us. Right? And yet, as we peek beneath the human veneer masking generative AI, there’s an uncanny valley that separates it from us. Does remixing and mashing-up large bodies of human knowledge whilst concealing your sources add up to originality? Perhaps. After all, isn’t that how human creativity works? We apply knowledge from one domain to another, borrow an experience here, a learning there and boom… eureka! Yet, something feels off. I grab my last donut of the year and ponder whether machines will soon pass the Turing Test. Then I continue working on my año viejo effigy (you should have no problem guessing the theme). I think 2023 will go down as the year the line between man and machine got a littl

Do not make her go to Donut Maker

Friends, Christmas is near and I fear the year is all but spent. Where the time went, well… it fell down the well where memories dwell. Looking back it may feel like a raw deal, but we deal. We build-up the drive to drive into work. Leave the house fast so we fast — for breakfast was passed over. Moreover, when that’s the case, grab a case of donuts to share when we get there. For the rest of the year, get some rest now, you hear… so you come back refreshed to give it your best. Happy Friday and Merry Christmas!

Back of the Bus

Friends, The difference between a pleasant experience and a bad one comes down to your disposition. A great $10 meal might fall short at $30. That awesome concert… not so much with a pounding migraine. That fancy restaurant is less enjoyable when you’re eating alone. Your fourth morning donut is never as good as the first, despite the fact both are nearly identical. Which brings me to 43B. Arguably the worst seat on the Boeing 757-300 — unless, of course, you’re traveling standby. Sitting in a middle seat, backed into the restroom on the last row isn't so bad when the alternative is the uncertainty of waiting for the next flight. And, against all odds, the seat actually reclines. Winning! In the end, we may not always control what happens to us but we do control our reaction. Have you had a stereotypically unpleasant experience you found yourself enjoying recently? I'd love to hear it, And if not, well, that's good too, right? Happy Friday!


Friends, My childhood corn field meanderings were inevitably followed by the dreaded process of removing small black splinters from my socks and pants. The culprit: a small weed in the undergrowth known in these parts as shirán. Its slender seeds were equipped with two sharp prongs whose diabolical design included a myriad barbs that latched onto fabric like Velcro. Minutes that felt like hours were spent tediously plucking these little devil seeds off one by one. Now shirán wasn’t all bad. The small white flowers were pretty enough, but the immature seed stalks were the best part. If you gathered them at the right development stage, they made perfect darts. Their tips stuck to clothing on contact, and unlike their older selves, held together very well, so they didn’t make a mess and you could reuse them many times. Countless unaware adults walked away with these darts clinging to their coats or sweaters, to the delight of mischievous youths. Who would have thought seeing this plant ag

Wakey, Wakey!

Friends, There's something awkward about wakes and funerals. The strange combination of sadness and ritual, combined with the gathering of an eclectic mix of people make appropriate behavior a challenge. Family, friends and complete strangers you probably should recognize come together to pay their respects. The air is filled with a blend of silence, uncomfortable whispers and the occasional inappropriate laugh -- after all, the best gossip and jokes are overheard at the wake. While we'll all miss the deceased, it's hard to gauge the pain the closest relatives are in, so appropriateness is a moving target. Contributing to the unease is the fact none of those attending has actually ever been dead -- that would be weird. It's odd that one of the few common experiences we will all eventually share, is so inscrutable. For now the inevitable conclusion to our own lives feels like a distant shadow, something you know to be true but struggle to accept. So you make small talk a