Tl;dr: I moved to a new Mastodon server and signed up for a fun account. Plus some thoughts on AI after playing around with ChatGPT this week.

The operator of my queer-friendly, anti-Nazi Mastodon server ( decided to shut it down after receiving too much hate and harassment. I don’t blame him for prioritizing his own safety and peace, and any disappointment is aimed at humanity in general. But this episode highlights the problems with Mastodon that I’ve been thinking about since adopting it. Namely, ground-up decentralization creates weaker nodes, and the UX friction of asking new users to choose a great first server that they can stick with for life. I joined a scant three months ago!

I also only found out about the shutdown by pure luck, chancing upon his announcement toot as I scrolled the timeline. We have three months before it goes offline. Without a sorting algorithm and/or the time to read every single post, it’s more likely people are going to miss the message than see it.

My new address is, a paid Mastodon instance run by the service which I learned about from Michael who also uses it. If you were already following me, you should have been automatically shifted to the new address. But migration on Mastodon doesn’t carry over posts, only followers and bookmarks, so my 67 entries will be wiped when the old server shuts down.

I could have gone with one of the big, semi-official servers like or, but as soon as I started exploring, I kinda fell in love with its idea of a scrappy nerdy community built around a series of web tools. I used to buy silly domains and dream about turning them into useful services — but lacked all of the skills and vision to actually pull it off. But here for $20/yr, you get a bunch of things riding off that great domain name: a personal web address with a profile page, an email address, a blogging service and /now page if you want, a statuslog service, pastebin, a permanent URL tool, access to their IRC/Discord server, and now, Mastodon.

Based on this experience, I also decided it was time to redesign the About page here, which is my one true profile page on the web.


I had a conversation late last week about generative AI and how it can steal many creative jobs away, but also increase access to higher quality creative work. It reminded me of that Steve Jobs interview where he said the way we “ratchet up our species is to take the best and to spread it around to everybody, so everybody grows up with better things”. If you put copyright and capitalism aside for a minute, because illegally trained AI leads to a sort of creative socialism, you can imagine how this plays out. There’s a ton of top-notch, high-budget creative work out there, but it’s not evenly distributed. What happens when any dive bar can have a Wednesday night promotions poster on the front door that looks like it was designed by TBWA? There will be a chaotic leveling and raising of all boats, and then any humans left standing and still able to think will figure out what’s next.

ChatGPT has gone incredibly mainstream in a short time, and while I’m usually one of the first in line to try this sort of thing, that wasn’t the case here. I read about it, saw the screenshots shared online, but never actually signed up to try it myself until this week. I was too engrossed in the imaging/Midjourney side of things, and maybe some part of me that identifies as a copywriter knew that this was going to be a threat and I wasn’t in a hurry to face it.

Now that I’ve played with it, though, including some amusing and convincing conversations about the nature of design and intelligence, I’m more excited and concerned than ever. It’s not only that generative AI tools will replace skilled human jobs and force a rethink of ethics, ownership, and labor in society — it’s that we’re not ready for the pace at which it will happen. We have not had the time and space to discuss this as communities, families, and countries.

Text runs the world, and a text genie is squeezing its way out of the bottle. Legal documents, performance reviews, applications for access, convincing arguments for sales and solutions, and professional emails (that are now just a style to be applied to quick bullet points) will be passed off and leveled off. And those are just the use cases I’ve tried this week! Powerful tools are being put into untrained hands overnight, and as we’ve been hearing everywhere, companies are rushing to irreversibly build them into the digital engines that run everything. From search and Microsoft Office to project management and customer service. Some of it is safe and logical, and some could do with a little more thought.

Ted Chiang wrote an excellent piece on the subject that I need to read again.

I did get a kick out of David Guetta’s enthusiasm, though. There is so much potential here for fun and creativity, if you’re also the kind of guy who can give an unironic shoutout to a murdered man’s family.


One of the things I “trained” ChatGPT to do in one long session was help me to write better Midjourney prompts. Here’s a series we made of objects that look the way they sound. It was a difficult challenge to attempt, requiring an understanding of abstract synesthesia that was beyond either AI, but I’m not too upset about the results.


  • If you can separate the art from the artist, Ryan Adams has yet another new album out. This one is a track-by-track cover of Blood on the Tracks (Apple Music), kinda like what he did with Taylor Swift’s 1989.
  • We are caught up to episode 5 of The Last of Us and it’s strikingly good. Jose asked if I noticed a key character in episode 3 was also the hotel manager in season 1 of The White Lotus and I had not. When they say an actor disappears into their role, I suppose this is what they mean.
  • I got started on Persona 5 Royal (Switch). I played the original version on the PS4 and abandoned it maybe three or more years ago, blaming a lack of time in front of the TV and the non-portable nature of the experience. No excuses now. Except… I have put it on hold after the tutorial because I’m not sure I want to spend the next 60 hours on this just yet. It’s a young person’s game and I need something a little more casual.
  • Despite probably seeing The Third Man many times over the years, I don’t remember it clearly at all. Here’s my Letterboxd review: “I have probably tried to see this film about three or four times. Tonight I succeeded, and it is the sum of all previous attempts, including vague memories of staying awake in film class in university. What a strange and meandering film, with intriguing technical aspects and unexpected emotional depth, and an ending scene for the ages. I thought four stars but I’ll be damned if I didn’t give it all five.” It has only strengthened my resolve to see more old folks and read more old books. This foray into the contemporary over the past decade has been a waste of time!
  • Do you think Seth MacFarlane has modeled himself on Orson Welles in some ways?! There’s a physical resemblance + the multihyphenatism.
  • I saw Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. What a crock of shit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: