A person holding a sign that says "oops."
OpenAI’s boring-stock-photo-generating AI engine DALL-E 2 is finally in public beta, so the good news is: you might actually be able to use it soon. The bad news is: it restricts image generation with a system of paid credits now, so it used to be a lot cooler before you got in. Also a couple days ago OpenAI announced that:
…we are implementing a new technique so that DALL·E generates images of people that more accurately reflect the diversity of the world’s population. This technique is applied at the system level when DALL·E is given a prompt describing a person that does not specify race or gender, like “firefighter.”
Hilariously Andy Baio reports that Reddit found pretty good evidence the “new technique” is to silently add a descriptor like “black male” to the user’s text prompt sometimes. If you give DALL-E the prompt "A person holding a sign that says,” you might get an unintentionally revealing result like:
On the one hand, as a recovering computer programmer I respect a clever workaround. On the other hand, this approach leads to some ahistorically woke results like these female British soldiers during the American revolution or this Asian female U.S. soldier digging a trench in 1918, so maybe the lesson should have been “this isn’t quite ready for prime time yet.” Who can say. I asked DALL-E how I should feel about all of this and it just gave me this enigma:
Desus and/or Mero
Desus & Mero broke up, and “the word devastating is not hyperbole. This is a legitimate Love Is Dead, or Friendship Is Dead, or Perfect Talk-Show-Host Chemistry Is Dead moment,” writes Rob Harvilla in a Ringer ode to the Kings of the Bronx and “the best podcast-host chemistry in the history of podcasts.” Harvilla cites episode one of their “Desus vs. Mero" show for Complex and you might want to start there and then listen to the rest of them if you haven’t already, so that after 45 more episodes of that show and then 253 of their “Bodega Boys” podcast, you can also be heartbroken. It’s fine, I’ll wait for you. Back? It’s sad as shit right? It’s ok, I’m here for you, friend.
In her LiveJournal, Gawker dot com, Tarpley Hitt pointed out that Desus & Mero are like other “duos so intertwined that their names seem like a single unit: Tom and Jerry, Rick and Morty, Bill and Hillary, Macron and Teacher…” and if you’ve been confused by the any of the argot or patois of the furthest Bronx, she helpfully defines Bodega Boy terms of art like “The Art.” In Gothamist Ben Yakas reports that Showtime was apparently hurried into an official announcement by @BodegaBoysDaily admin Rebecah Jacobs, who used her little gray cells to piece together the truth that The Art was over. The Times was On It, of course, and even The Economic Times popped manor house monocles with the headline “As Desus, Mero officially part ways, Bodega Boys series to not have a Season 5.” I say, chaps! Steady on.
So what actually happened? We still don’t know! What should happen now? This:
The Deadly Ass: The Brazilian butt lift is one of the deadliest cosmetic surgery procedures, reports Fiona Rutherford in Bloomberg, at least in part because it’s often performed by “cosmetic surgeons” with less experience and training than your average Jiffy Lube tech. “Human skulls deposited by badgers in Dudley garden.” Last one left at Neuralink please turn out the lights using only your brain waves. NFT-based S.F. restaurant Shō Club roasted, and Ed Zitron dug into Circle, USDC, and Coinbase, and listen, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t have any money in crypto. You don’t, right? Look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t.
Alan Dershowitz got himself an all-time classic Chotining.
Every year, I was invited to speak at the Martha’s Vineyard book fair. Suddenly it stopped when I defended the Constitution on behalf of Trump. Then it happened at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, where I was a frequent speaker. Suddenly I’m no longer allowed to speak there.
First they come for the library speeches, and then eventually it’s the Hebrew Center.
James Whatley: “Selena Gomez in Animal Crossing is not the Metaverse.” Fun fact from this agency conference presentation: Decentraland has nine hundred seventy eight (978) daily average users. That is almost 20 times fewer people than will read this email, assuming I managed to give it a better subject line than yesterday’s.1 So… is email the Metaverse?2 Garbage Ryan has a lot of great Twitter Lore today on his way to explaining why there are suddenly so many grustle-threaders trying to “post themselves into becoming a billionaire.” And sure, sometimes threads are great, like Kalhan Rosenblatt’s upper east side french bulldog community drama thread. But you know who didn’t even need 280 characters to tell an unforgettable story? This genius:
Today’s Song: Jeff Rosenstock, “f a m e”
~ may you have fair winds and following tabs ~
I’m still trying to get around to reading Evan Osnos’s megayacht story, maybe this afternoon? We shall see. Let’s slap a big old SUBSCRIBE button right here and make the Paid Conversion Gods happy shall we?
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Ooooh that feels so dirty. I’m even gonna leave the bone stock call-to-action text in there, just the way I know you like it. 😉 To receive and support? Consider becoming.
Update: nailed it.