@jasonpettus@mastodon.cloud
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jasonpettus

@jasonpettus@mastodon.cloud

Chicago-based writer and photographer, rare-book dealer and indie lit book editor. Blog: write.as/jasonpettus | ilikejason@gmail.com

AI PLEDGE: I promise that all content on this page has been, and will always be, created with a human brain and human fingers, never with an AI bot.

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jasonpettus, to random
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I've started up my pre-pandemic hobby of attending estate sales to find rare books, and went to a doozy of a one today in a Victorian-age mansion in Chicago's Hyde Park. Most of the 12 books I bought are unremarkable, purchased for $1 and that I'll try to flip for $20 at eBay; but I did find three first printings I'll list for $100 (including HG Wells' "The Shape of Things to Come"!) and one for $150 (James Michener's 1965 "The Source"), which would make for $446 profit if I sold all four.

jasonpettus, to random
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To be clear, I hate that Google has decided to start baking AI into their main search engine, which I think is fated to result in disaster; but I do admire that they're introducing a new "Web" tab to their main menu this week, which is another way of saying, "Hide all the AI nonsense and your attempts to pull out the information I'm looking for from web pages before I visit, and just give me a set of links to my query." Here, what the AI and Web versions looked like on a search today.

Two views today of a Google search on "cyclic breathing" I did while fact-checking a book I'm editing this week -- first the results with "full AI" in place, then the results in the "Web" tab, which is another way of saying, "Hide all the AI nonsense, as well as your attempts to guess in advance what information on a web page I'm looking for, and just show me the links to websites relevant to my search."

jasonpettus, to random
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Your occasional reminder that in a tech industry full of failed promises and customer exploitation, the only people TRULY benefiting are the sociopath employees hopping from one company to the next, destroying everything they touch before failing upwards to the next doomed project. https://techcrunch.com/2024/05/15/anthropic-hires-instagram-co-founder-as-head-of-product/

jasonpettus, to random
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The first official portrait of King Charles III is primarily colored red, and British citizens ARE LOSING THEIR FUCKING SHIT BECAUSE OF IT https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/15/style/king-charles-iii-portrait-jonathan-yeo-red.html

jasonpettus, to random
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#RIP #RogerCorman, who in his obsessive attempt to make quick genre flicks as cheaply and cleverly as possible ended up accidentally giving the start to the entire New Hollywood generation, including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Howard and many more. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/12/movies/roger-corman-dead.html

jasonpettus, to random
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One of the things I love the most about the UK:

"Do you want to see the stone slab where William the Conqueror ate his first meal after the Norman invasion of England a thousand years ago?"

"Sure! Is it in a museum?"

"Nah, it's just a bench in a park now that everyone ignores."

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/william-the-conquerors-dining-stone

ernie, to random
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I feel like the annoyance that Dave2D is pointing out here is essentially getting mad that there’s an accepted convention and the device is attempting to challenge it to some degree.

Like, OK, the Rabbit R1 isn’t the bees knees. But constricting everything into the same form factor is a depressing dead end for product design.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMqhE9r5JuI

jasonpettus,
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@ernie I mean, you're essentially talking about the entire subject of #UX in a nutshell, that the entire PRACTICE is based on the question, "How do we deliver exactly what the user is already expecting to get?" Creativity and uniqueness is the hated enemy among UX people, something to be very consciously and deliberately stamped out of existence.

jasonpettus, to random
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If the Suez Canal crisis marked the official end of the British Empire (that is, when Britain invaded Egypt in 1956 in order to gain back control over an illegally seized Suez Canal, then suffered a humiliating defeat when 50 years previously they wouldn't have even broken a sweat, showing the world they were no longer a superpower), I have to wonder if this coming ban of TikTok is going to be America's version of this. Will be fascinating to see how this plays out.

jasonpettus, to random
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I'm participating in the annual Chicago Bookstore Crawl today! The goal is to visit 18 stores by 5 pm, so we'll see how I do. Here, store #2 of my journey, the neighborhood-beloved 57th Street Books, near the campus of the University of Chicago.

jasonpettus, to random
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Some editor at Bon Appetit forgot to take their OCD medication yesterday

jasonpettus, to random
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I accidentally dressed like a Minecraft desert villager today

jasonpettus, to random
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Here's a really telling sign that we're now at the end of the Startup Era that has defined American society for the last 30 years -- pretty much every social network now does exactly the same things that every other social network does, and the only thing they're now all fighting over is who can be best at tricking people into using their particular version of these identical services. No more innovation, nothing new left to offer, just a siege mentality. https://techcrunch.com/2024/04/17/tiktok-starts-testing-its-instagram-competitor-tiktok-notes-in-canada-and-australia/

jasonpettus, to random
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I have to confess, I'm completely obsessed with the ongoing catastrofuck known as the Ai Pin. Here, an extremely insightful breakdown of how an unknown, completely unproven company like Humane can manage to raise $300 million in venture capital money to begin with. https://www.sandofsky.com/humane/

jasonpettus, to random
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Saw a friend of a friend here talking about how the AI bubble is the biggest bubble in the history of the tech industry, and therefore its inevitable burst will be the most damaging bubble burst of them all, one that will likely destroy the entire venture capital industry and bring an end altogether to the Startup Age we've been living through the last 30 years, and its three distinct eras (the Dot Com years, the Web 2.0 years, and our current web3 years). Fascinating theory, I must admit!

jasonpettus, to random
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Hey, guys! Guys, guys! HEY, GUYS! I know you're going to find this hard to believe, but it turns out a Lifehacker reporter didn't like a bunch of stuff on the internet, so he stopped reading it! HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII https://lifehacker.com/tech/ignoring-stuff-online-is-a-vital-skill

jasonpettus, to random
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"Hard" science-fiction explained in one succinct sentence

jasonpettus, to random
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On the sad occasion of M. Emmet Walsh's death, let's take a look back at the greatest cameo of his career, as a 1970s psychotic sniper who goes around killing random people just for kicks, but who is no match for Steve Martin's genial moron in the surrealist classic "The Jerk." "DIE, MILK FACE!!!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcwz8-EfFYE

jasonpettus, to random
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Sending colonists to a far-off planet in order to get deliberately infected by violent space aliens is ABSOLUTELY something the current management at Apple would do

jasonpettus, to random
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Welcome to the 2020s, where even sitting the fuck still will KILL YOU https://www.inverse.com/health/sitting-is-bad-for-your-health-study-death

jasonpettus, to UX
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India has officially outlawed nine types of #UX #DarkPatterns, including saying "Hurry, only X amount left;" adding "processing fees;" adding dire language to opt-out buttons ("No, I'd rather not protect my purchase"); forcing people to agree to a EULA; forcing people to call a phone number to unsubscribe; using confusing opt-out language ("No, don't unsubscribe me"); blending ads into editorial content; and forcing people to click "remind me later" every day. https://bootcamp.uxdesign.cc/dark-patterns-are-now-illegal-in-india-6b3c35c5ce50

jasonpettus, to random
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Was discussing the current state of AI with a freelance client this morning, and I came up with a definition I'm pretty happy with, that AI bots right now are very similar to a dimwitted college intern whose rich daddy got them the job -- they're pretty good at extremely simple and straightforward tasks, but you don't want them doing anything creative or important, and you still need to go back and fix mistakes in almost everything they do.

jasonpettus, to random
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Your occasional reminder that Salvador Dali was kind of a garbage person, who among others things called fascist dictator Francisco Franco "the greatest hero of Spain," was accused at least a half-dozen times of rape, and right before his death deliberately sold off hundreds of blank sheets of paper with his signature on them, so that con artists could put fake screenprints on them and destroy the market for his work after his death. https://www.vice.com/sv/article/zn73e5/its-really-surreal-how-salvador-dal-was-a-fascist-who-hit-women

jasonpettus, to random
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I've gotten in the habit in the last few weeks of doing a jigsaw puzzle every Saturday morning, and this week I'm posting live updates. Here, 2 hours 45 minutes, solved! (With the help at the end of some of my housemates, that is.) I solved this an entire hour faster than last week; it's partly because this one has more text than the others, but it's also definitely a sign that I should change to another type of puzzle next week.

jasonpettus, to random
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Was going to go see "Dune 2" tomorrow for my birthday, but AMC wants to charge me 50 fucking dollars for a 4 pm matinee, a popcorn and a soda. So you know what? I think I can wait six months and just download Dune 2 for free off the Pirate Bay. Thanks for nothing, AMC!

jasonpettus, to random
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Oh, well, if it stars Jared Leto, you KNOW it's going to be good https://www.theverge.com/2024/2/29/24087003/tron-ares-first-image-2025-release-date

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