Garbage Data At Full Bandwidth

That's a right low blow, potion seller.

I wish I had better news for you on a Tuesday, but unfortunately all I have to offer are my strongest potions, and you can’t handle my strongest potions. No one can.

Harry Belafonte, who was not always a boy in the West Indies, died today at the age of 96. Still alive: you know who. Belafonte’s obituary will be available soon on many shady YouTube channels.

Andrea, that’s a right low blow!” declared Nicholas Alahverdian in a very credible Baron Silas von Greenback impression to Dateline’s Andrea Canning. Alahverdian, “a Rhode Island fugitive who faked his own death and fled to Scotland… is currently being held in a Scotland jail as he awaits extradition proceedings,” reports The Daily Mail. I know this is a lot to take on board but I urge you to watch the interview video.

SpaceX Starship explosion spread particulate matter for miles,” reports CNBC’s Lora Kolodny, who adds that “it’s not yet known whether the ash- and sand-like particulate matter is dangerous to touch or breathe in and what effect it could have on soil health...” The launch also probably barbecued a bunch of ocelots. If only there had been some way to predict all of this beforehand. In Vice, Jordan Pearson and Joseph Cox found Elon’s other burner.

This whole advert was created using AI,” tweets evil wizard Dan Oliver. And while I’m willing to excuse this monstrosity on the grounds of artistic merit, AI development in general is accelerating rapidly toward the Crypto Trash Horizon. Bloomberg’s Marissa Newman and Aggi Cantrill profiled the German high school teacher leading the open source LAION project along “with a small team of volunteers building the world’s biggest free AI training data set, which has already been used in text-to-image generators such as Google’s Imagen and Stable Diffusion.” That right, the folks scraping billions of images from the web and packaging them into usable AI training data are mostly hobbyists, working for free. One of them is Romain Beaumont, who maintains the img2dataset scraping tool which:

…will attempt to scrape images from any site unless site owners add https headers like “X-Robots-Tag: noai,” and “X-Robots-Tag: noindex.” That means that the onus is on site owners, many of whom probably don’t even know img2dataset exists, to opt out of img2dataset rather than opt in.

…writes Emanuel Maiberg in Vice.It is sad that several of you are not understanding the potential of AI and open AI and as a consequence have decided to fight it,” Beaumont posted in a github issue asking him to make his tool opt-in. “I'm seriously beginning to ponder automatically hitting back with garbage data at full bandwidth because at some point we'll have to reach the ‘find out’ part of fuck around and find out,” posted a dissatisfied scraping victim. Nevertheless, “Congress gets 40 ChatGPT Plus licenses to start experimenting with generative AI.” What could go wrong.

Tweet by @smokeismedicine: “Tucker right now (white knuckling): I have my audience. I have my talent. This is just the next chapter in my life. I’m a fighter. I’m a winner. Don Lemon right now (half through a bottle of wine, DMing a 24 year old): Do you thibk i could ever be beautiful enough for you”

Matt Feeney’s critical reëvaluation of “The Big Lebowski” is perfectly tuned to annoy literally everyone.

Garrett Dimon: Against live coding interviews. I’ve run live coding interviews and I think they can be done fairly and somewhat usefully, but Dimon makes a lot of good points here.

Today in Media: Yesterday’s de-Carlsoning and Lemonectomy haven’t really produced any great commentary yet. Most of the tabs on it so far are some version of Gabriel Sherman’s six paragraph shruggie. A notable standout, in a bad way, is the Times’s Jim Rutenberg getting desperately horned-up for a “these events represent both sides of the Trump-era excesses of cable news” take, in which he spends part of literally every paragraph explaining how his main thesis is nonsense, and concludes that the future may hold less partisan news, or even more partisan news, but perhaps things won’t change much after all. Hot garbage, Jim! Bad take.

And NPR appears to have fired Tim Mak, who is going independent on O.R.P. Substack and will continue to report from Ukraine.

Katie Notopoulos: “Bhad Bhabie made more with feet pics than BuzzFeed did in Q1” quoting a Kat Tenbarge tweet about EJ Dickson’s Rolling Stone story.

Finally: We’re working some rough chuckles today, so here’s a story I genuinely enjoyed—Joe Berkowitz’s oral history of “the Greatest Writers’ Room Story Ever: ‘Who Jackie?’

Today’s Song: Harry Belafonte, “John Henry” Live at Carnegie Hall

I picked the song today but I bet Music Intern Sam agrees. There lies a steel drivin’ man. Knock knock, who’s there. Pizza magic.

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