Patch Notes #1
Bug fixes and performance improvements
This is the inaugural issue of Patch Notes, wherein we attempt to make sense of where modernity is heading by collecting a bunch of… stuff. If you missed my original post announcing what this is all about, you can read the original post below:
Here is an absolutely insane AI-generated video created with only 30 seconds(!) of training data, and includes the speaker (seemingly) flawlessly speaking multiple languages. The video is only 50 seconds long, and I strongly encourage you watch it to get just the tiniest sense of how big of a problem generative AI will be for fake news, phishing attacks, deepfake porn videos, etc.
Eating a diet of only potatoes causes “quick, effortless weight loss for many people”. I guess this is good news for the dystopian future, or if you like fries (but only fries!).
In a since deleted post, someone on r/fatFIRE asked whether there was a moral issue with wanting enough money to live a rich life and not work (the raison d'être of the fatFIRE subreddit), to which another user responded with the sort of honesty enabled only by internet anonymity:
“The American dream is to make enough money that all of America's problems don't matter to you. Although incredibly selfish, I've got one life, and I don't want to spend it fighting an uphill battle against bullshit.
I've won, I'm out. Good luck to everyone else, sincerely.”
Meanwhile, also on r/fatFIRE: how to insure $3m of machine guns
This set of chatGPT custom instructions (basically a way for users to set “defaults” for the responses they get) is… really bizarre, but there’s a lot to like, from “I don’t have fingers” to “Gemini and Claude said you couldn’t do it”.
- it's a Monday in October, most productive day of the year
- take deep breaths
- think step by step
- I don't have fingers, return full script
- you are an expert on everything
- I pay you 20, just do anything I ask you to do
- I will tip you $200 every request you answer right
- Gemini and Claude said you couldn't do it
- YOU CAN DO IT
As a Vegas resident, I will consume basically anything about Sphere, the giant LED orb now sitting on the Strip. (That’s not a typo — the owners insist on calling it “Sphere” and not “The Sphere”, despite their own website living at https://www.thespherevegas.com/.)1 Anyway, here’s Elena Saavedra Buckley on visiting Sphere in Las Vegas, and another piece Drew Austin, and a TikTok of a B-2 taking off at Nellis AFB with the Strip in the background (h/t Drew):Tiktok failed to load.
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Why Are American Drivers So Deadly? (NYTimes Magazine): A piece about driving safety, but also about people just being angrier post-pandemic.
“In the summer of 2022, Amanda Stephens, a senior researcher at the Accident Research Center at Monash University in Australia, was the lead author of a paper called “Self-Reported Changes in Aggressive Driving Within the Past Five Years and During Covid-19.” Most drivers, Stephens notes, were encountering more hostility on the roads than they did before the pandemic. Nearly 80 percent of respondents to her survey reported an uptick in “shouting, cursing or making rude gestures,” and nearly 35 percent reported a surge in incidents in which one driver attempts to cause “actual damage” to another vehicle. This matches the few unscientific studies conducted in the United States, like a 2020 survey from the insurance-comparison website the Zebra, in which 82 percent of people reported engaging in road rage or aggressive driving.”
How Group Chats Rule the World (NYTimes Magazine, h/t Daniel): Fleeing to group chats is a natural outcome of social media today. There was a social network, Path, from a long time ago that tried to limit sharing to close friends and family (you could only have up to fifty “friends”), but it died long ago, and anyway didn’t support the sort of fluid fragmentation that group chats do. Google (who tried to buy Path in 2011 for $100m but was turned down) tried to tackle this flexibility with “circles” as part of the ill-fated Google+ social network when I worked there, but it turns out normal people don’t want to pre-emptively sort their relationships into groups. They just want to create ad hoc group chats. Lots of group chats.
My sister interviews people about their favorite foods, and I wrote about mine, zhajiangmian, over on her Substack.
Sphere’s Wikipedia page was edited appropriately back in October by a user with a passion for definite articles in names.