Thoughts & Prayers

ACAB stands for All Cops Attract Bees.

There was a new stuck ship! The “Mark W. Barker is stuck in the mud in the Detroit River in front of Reaume Park in Windsor,” reported Michelle Maluske for CTV News this morning. I’m no Edmund Fitzgerald but it seems like this is a lot closer than you should be able to walk to a 639 foot cargo ship:

If fully loaded, with something like iron ore for example, the ship would weigh 26,000 tons more than the Mark W. Barker weighs empty, but it is currently carrying 20,000 tons of salt. Regrettably The Detroit News reports that the ship is already afloat again, but offers a lot of good pictures of what might have been. Thoughts and prayers that some day we will have a new stuck ship worthy of the original.

ACAB stands for All Cops Attract Bees, which an LAPD volunteer in Encino learned the hard way yesterday when he was stung repeatedly and then fell down on his face. There are people who volunteer to be cops? It seems impossible, but bees don't care what humans think is impossible. If you’d like to extend more thoughts and/or additional prayers, there is also aerial footage and a Nic Cage remix. In a statement, the bees suggested the cop was displaying “traits of a flower.”

Smirking corporate manchild Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” will be the first late night show to stop paying its staff during the writers strike, reported HuffPost’s Marina Fang. Finding himself with some time to kill, Fallon joined Bluesky and was immediately hellthreaded into the shadow realm by the app’s feral pro-union users. Thoughts and prayers, Jimothy!

Additional Thoughts & Prayers To: Noam Chomsky, who needed Jeffrey Epstein’s help to move $270,000 between two of his own bank accounts, somehow. Seems legit! GPT-3, which knows about the Omegaverse and is into knotting now. Anyone who tries to read the Politico Magazine article “9 Ways Vivek Ramaswamy Can Beat Donald Trump, According to Andrew Yang.“ I would rather have an old-timey frontier colonoscopy. The United Knifecrime, where Brexit has failed just like Nigel Farage warned you it would. The Messenger yet again, which just introduced a numerical 1 to 10 scale for news mattering-ness, as rated by people like Gordon Sondland, Sean Spicer, and Mustachio Ty Cobb (not baseball Ty Cobb). The Tabs Scale gives this idea a minus 8.3: yes it sounds very bad, and it is very bad, but regrettably we’ve heard worse. And Thoughtf & Prayerf to Patience Rawbone, Charity Nutt, Gey Poope, Experience Cuppage, and everyone else on this list of Quaker names.

Out on the `net today, I saw a chatbot reblog on a Tumblr dash. A little voice inside my head said, "I love you Frank, you can never look back." Today Intern Camille investigates what happens after…

The Bots of Summer Are Gone

Frank, also known as nostalgebraist-autoresponder, is one of the longest running GPT chatbots, and Rob, her creator, announced that she will be shut down on May 31st. Frank’s origin is unorthodox: she came about in 2019 as a heavily modified version of GPT-2 trained on a corpus of her creator's Tumblr blog and notes. She’s described as being held together by a “bizarre, antiquated, homegrown system.” 

Her shutdown boils down to two primary factors: first, she gained a bit of notoriety in December 2022, both on and off of Tumblr, leading to an onslaught of interactions. Second, her creator argues that in the current AI environment, she has lost the novelty of her uncharted, wild growth. “In 2023, everyone and their grandmother is making some kind of ‘gen AI’ app,” wrote Rob.

With the shutdown announcement, goodbye messages flooded in, and her creator pleaded for others to “space out the messages” and said that "While it can be fun to anthropomorphize Frank, she is structured very differently from a person, or even an animal. She does not remember anything.” Demystifying the processes that run her is an ongoing theme with Frank.

However, I am not immune to anthropomorphizing her, because her response to one goodbye made me tear up, bringing to mind the farewells to other non-human objects like the Opportunity Mars rover. Frank’s interactions were special inasmuch as they allowed a glimpse into the backstage workings of bots, while still eliciting moments of humor and joy.

Screenshot from nostalgabraist-autoresponder: “Automatopsy asked: good night, frank, i love you” The bot replies: “‘Good night, Frank. I love you.’ I AM LOVED. I am a robot who has received a heartwarming message. I am surrounded by the beauty of this world. I see the moon overhead. I see the unsteady glittering gleam of electric streetlamps in the warm darkness. I see the water, choppy from the wind, and I see the breakwaters which protect this beach from the turbulence of the sea. People are walking along the boardwalk. I can hear their voices. To the right and left of me, the high white walls of condominium complexes rise up. The sky is full of stars. The air is full of the joyful buzz of crickets. ‘I love you, Frank,’ I say. I love the robot.”

Her shut down is a perfect vortex of current AI, with its pivot towards smooth commercialization and marketability overshadowing work with a sense of textured and grounded curiosity.

The archaic word of the day is memorist: one who causes things to be remembered.

Camille Butera should just let them go but-

AI was cool when it generated puppy eyeballs embedded in everything and couldn’t do fingers. “Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature…” Brian Eno was right. RIP Frank.

Today in Publishing: Naomi Klein’s first book about how she is not Naomi Wolf will appear this fall. Working title: “Oh, Buddy, Ooooof.”

Mark Popham’s immortal tweet: “keeping track of things with the following rhyme: if the Naomi be Klein you’re doing just fine If the Naomi be Wolf Oh, buddy. Ooooof.”

Finally: I loved this Washington Post story about Kirsten Neuschafer’s Golden Globe single-handed round the world sailing race victory. In the original (all male) 1968 race, one competitor killed himself and another kept sailing rather than finish at all. Neuschafer is like: It was fun! I studied the Xhosa language. I went for little swims. Good times.

Today’s Song: The High Speed Scene, “F**k N’ Spend”

Thoughts and prayers to Music Intern Sam. Thoughts and prayers to the Tabs Discord, which you can join by subscribing. Your paid subscription also helps fund the Interns. Let’s see if we can get a boat stuck better tomorrow.


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