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Why Do I Hate Medill so Much?

Recently a development officer from my alma mater, the Medill School at Northwestern University, came by my house to visit. I was desperate to see him, and later asked myself why. It’s because I needed to vent. I was always a journalist. It’s all I ever wanted to do, all I ever wanted to be. […]

AI and the Death of Writing

The big story of 2023 isn’t ChatGPT. It’s the world tech leaders (like this doofus) say they’ve prepared for our children. They want our kids to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). These idiots don’t care about the liberal arts, or the humanities. They consider those subjects useless. In this they’re united with Christian […]

A Retailing Ghost Story

I got a great idea a few weeks ago. I will buy the love of my life a new mattress. For Christmas. So it is that I walk into a Casper store like a partner. I plunk down almost $3,500 for a top of the line King-sized beauty. Yes, I overpay, but love, right? All […]

AGI is the Lie of the Year

Before everyone starts publishing “Best of 2023” stories, here is the Lie of the Year. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). This lie was crafted as OpenAI started pushing “Generative Artificial Intelligence” programs like its ChatGPT, and it continues to spread. Generative AI came from the cloud-based database computing we’ve had for a decade. It’s descended from […]

Shadow of a Doubt

The world is at war. The war is not going well. People are anxious, depressed, and withdrawn, fearful that the horrors are about to overtake us. The President is old, infirm. He could lose re-election next year and then where would we be? It’s 1943. There are differences between 1943 and 2023. While the fighting […]

Reconsidering OpenAI

Few news stories of 2023 were as misunderstood as the insanity at OpenAI.  First. There was always a contradiction inside the nature of the company. It was a non-profit owning a for-profit. That had to resolve itself. Non-profits do what they do for humanity. For-profits do it for themselves. You can’t split the difference. Second. […]

Atlanta’s Urban Evolution

Decades ago, when I first moved to Atlanta’s Kirkwood, it was a poor neighborhood. But I found several small grocery stores within walking distance. These “Korean Groceries,” as I called them after their owners, sold cigarettes, malt liquor, sugary sodas, and lottery tickets. These were the essentials of poverty life in the late 20th century. […]

OpenAI: Coup and Countercoup

The events of the weekend at OpenAI remind me of an African coup. And countercoup. UPDATE: The Countercoup also failed. The OpenAI board refused to take Altman back, replacing him with a former head of the Twitch gaming service. Altman and Brockman were given jobs at Microsoft.  OpenAI co-founder Ivan Sutskever, who had seen Jakub […]

Big AI, Little AI

Everyone and Dolly Parton is afraid of Big AI  programs that can replace people. But even Little AI programs can be scary. They need to know a lot about you to work. If I am to give you personalized service, after all, don’t I need to know something about whom I’m dealing with? What do you […]

Hidden Productivity

We think of technology as improving productivity on the bleeding edge of change. That means everyone today is focused on Artificial Intelligence. But big productivity gains are still coming from changes made a decade ago and more. Take the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Everyone talks about how it increased the number of people covered […]

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