Fatally Ratatouille'd At Hudson Yards


If you’re like most people nowadays, whenever you’re not perusing your local Tronc newspaper you’re probably telling someone “MAX is the place to watch HBO,” as Mattie Lubchansky cogently observed. “We're saying it constantly and we all understand it. soon we will be saying ‘X is the app to look at twitter.’ it's simple.” There’s nothing closer to a sure bet in the media world than a sudden rebrand, and with a day to become accustomed to Twitter’s new “X” logo, it’s not surprising that most commentators have come to agree with Techcrunch’s Darrell Etherington, who wrote “Here’s why Elon Musk’s rebranding of Twitter to ‘X’ is good, actually,” or Senior Shape Rotator Stella Bugbee in the New York Times, who explained that X is a letter with both a shape and a history. In fact Joshua Benton suggested several more possible rebrands, from The New York Times' analog transformation into “-” (pronounced “hyphen”) to Vox ditching the Vo- and just becoming x (lower-case x, no copyright intended).

Who knows what VICE might be called when it emerges from bankruptcy, but for now its brand remains consistent and well exemplified by Samantha Cole’s report “This Thought-Controlled Sex Toy Lets You Masturbate With Your Mind.” I don’t like to brag but my mind has always been involved. Anyway the device definitely works: Mike Allen tried it once and immediately wrote the horniest Walter Isaacson/Elon Musk slashfic I’ve ever seen.

"When he first walked in, it was like a hardscrabble cowboy walking into a Starbucks," Isaacson recalled… On the first full day of the X rebranding, the bird-themed conference rooms had already been renamed to eXposure, eXult and s3Xy…

Isaacson, making a strong bid to retake the title of “tech journalism’s most credulous nitwit” from the lately-resurgent David Pogue, reports that Musk’s plan is to "transform journalism by offering an alternative to subscription models, where people can just make easy payments for whatever strikes their fancy." Easy payments, eh? Maybe… small payments even? We could call them something like… minipayments? Tinycharges? I don’t know, we’ll workshop it. Incredible that no one has ever thought of this before.

dekubrush Xed: “Seeing a lot of misinfo that the X logo was taken from a Unicode character; not true sadly. I hate to say it but it’s actually quite well designed, let me break down why [thread emoji] (1/X)” with a four-panel graphic showing the two lines of the new X logo. Top left: the heavy line vertical by itself. Top right: the heavy line vertically next to the thin line vertically. Bottom left: The two lines side by side again. Bottom right: The heavy line vertical, crossed by the lighter line nearly-horizontal.

The computer explained that one could “arrange the nine eggs in a three-by-three square on top of the book, leaving some space between them,” and then “place the laptop on top of the eggs,” with the bottle going on top of the laptop and the nail on top of the bottle cap, “with the pointy end facing up and the flat end facing down.”

If you’re not sure how AI development resembles nuclear weapons development, The Times has helpfully provided a chart showing that in both cases something got bigger over time, sort of:

A screenshot of the Times’ frankly mystifying scatter plot of nuclear devices kiloton yield over time next to a scatter plot of the number of parameters in AI models over time.

If you’re not sure how stacking objects leads to humanity’s demise, I have created the following graphic to explain that:

Dominoes meme where the small starting domino is labeled “one could arrange the nine eggs in a three-by-three square on top of the book” and the biggest domino is labeled “Humanity wiped out”

And if you’re not sure why Karp thinks AI being on track to destroy humanity means we should keep building it, you must not know anything about Silicon Valley brain. If AI is going to destroy humanity it better hurry because some climate researchers from Denmark believe that “The Day After Tomorrow” could be arriving in the next couple years. At least we won’t die of subway water-drip poisoning, according to Woman in STEM Clio Chang, but internet conspiracy mongers do believe that we could be fatally Ratatouille’d like Clinton’s and Obama’s private chefs. We might also be crushed by the sheer volume of Cheech & Chong weed gummy ads on Twitter or lost in the Indian Ocean gravity hole. But with the collapse of FTX has gone the last, best hope for humanity’s survival: huddling in a phosphate mine on the wholly-owned FTX subsidiary nation of Nauru with Sam Bankman-Fried and whatever effective altruists he finds fuckable enough to save.

The ultimate strategy, according to the memo, was “to purchase the sovereign nation of Nauru in order to construct a ‘bunker / shelter’ that would be used for some event where 50%-99.99% of people die [to] ensure that most EAs (effective altruists) survive.” The memo also mentioned to plans to develop “sensible regulation around human genetic enhancement, and build a lab there,” noting that perhaps “there are other things it’s useful to do with a sovereign country, too.”

lukelukeluke skeeted: “ME: hey mr. tambourine man, play a song for me / MAN: *tambourine noise* / ME: great”

Finally: Hudson Yards is New York City’s Weird Tourist Experience Zone, where you can stand on a glass floor one hundred stories above Manhattan, or dress up like Devo and dangle from a harness even higher up the same tower. You can see an art show under a teflon shell that looks like an eight million pound balloon sculpture of a tardigrade. Or you could visit a public artwork and **** yourself. If you told me there was an underground roller coaster or a family-style sex dungeon at Hudson Yards, I would believe you immediately. Dada Drummer’s Damon Krukowski visited the “Sonic Sphere,” yet another thing that Hudson Yards has for some reason, and found that:

Lying on an acoustically transparent mesh mat, suspended in the middle of a $2 million sphere lined with 124 speakers for 360 degree amplified sound, listening with others to a program by techno artist Carl Craig designed to take advantage of this particular space and audio system, I was bored.

Normal Hudson Yards stuff!

Bebjamin Hart Xed: "‘Try that in a small town.’ -- Oppenheimer selling his superiors on Los Alamos”

Today’s Song: Blackbird Spyplane talked to Dominic “Elliot from Euphoria” Fike about 90’s stuff today. Here’s Dominic Fike ft. Weezer from his new album “Sunburn,” with “Think Fast.”

Music Intern Sam reports that the album “didn't hit for me” but that “I hear the kids like it.” Personally I enjoyed it. If you listen to it, let us know what you think. Between the Season Eight playlist and the collected Seasons Four through Seven playlist we’re at well over four hundred songs of the day by now! If you found just thirty five of them enjoyable, would you consider tipping us $1 per song? I know I would.

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