Scripting News: Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

It's nice to be thought of as a real person. 😄#

What if the blogosphere of 20 years ago traveled to the future and saw what remains of Google, Twitter and Facebook and got a taste of ChatGPT, Mastodon and Bluesky. #

I asked ChatGPT to write a description of my linkblogging tool, and it came up with something far more hyped that I would ever write, but actually I think I should write this kind of copy for my products. I told it nothing about my product other than it was a linkblogging tool.#

I've already watched the last episode of Succession about five times, and I expect to watch it a few more. As my understanding grows, I hear different parts. I swear there could be a QAnon thing going on here. Anyway, yesterday I wrote about bullshit and about how Tom didn't win if winning means being the chosen successor of Logan Roy. That was the Swede. My jaw dropped when Roman said they were bullshit. There's that word. Bullshit. The kids were bullshit. Nothing. Tom was a great choice to be the new Gerri. The book closes so neatly. The ending wasn't dramatic like the ending of the Sopranos or Mad Men, or clever like Six Feet Under. it was more like the ending of The Wire, things just wound down in a natural way. The truth was the people who really run the world (a "world of a father," says Shiv) are Logans. The people we see on the news shows are Toms. We never hear from the children.#

BTW "world of a father" is interesting. Remember Marcia said "He made you a playground and you think it's the world."#

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01 Jun 2023 at 05:00

Scripting News: Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Podcast: ChatGPT and learning. 12 minutes.#

Succession: A lot of people still think Tom was the winner. He was not. He got a Tom job, not the job the Roy kids wanted, expected, felt entitled to. That job went to Matsson. Who Logan chose as his successor. We all got wrapped up in the delusion of the kids. Succession was performance art. And we are the performers. And most people haven't yet seen the brilliance of it. #

Sometimes I wonder if there's anything but bullshit on social media. And maybe instead of controlling AI bots, we should control the idiocracy of social media and start using that wonderful intellect we give ourselves so much credit for. The fact is that our online selves are mostly bullshit. #

My friend NakedJen came to visit last year, first time I'd seen her in many years. Well what a delight. She's so smart and righteous and funny. She's a tiny but fierce person. And she had a new thing she said: BULLSHIT -- very loudly whenever conversation got around to that topic. I now say bullshit myself more often and more emphatically and when I do it on my blog I think of NakedJen doing her thing. #

I searched this blog for NakedJen and Google, whose AI is reallllly dumb, suggests that perhaps I meant Naked Men? Well no, Google -- that's not what I meant. One time when I searched for my mother on my blog with Google, it suggested a different name. My mother and I have the same last name. Why would Google think I mis-spelled my own mother's name? I think they still need to do a little work on their intelligence. #

Scripting News for email

31 May 2023 at 05:00

Scripting News: Monday, May 29, 2023


Monday, May 29, 2023

I'm all-in on Textcasting. #

Something interesting to ponder. When we have Textcasting-compatible social media networks, there will be no more wall between blogging and tweeting or tooting. And then we will be able to choose our writing tools and they could be blogging tools as easily as they are the tiny little writing boxes Twitter et al give us. Blogging tools are equipped to deal with titles, styles, links, enclosures, no length limit, editing. These might seem like luxuries now, but once we have them, we'll be amazed that we put up without them for so long when they were very very very very easy to implement. #

Bluesky People Browser: I'm playing with ideas of how to browse around a network of followers on a social media platform. Bluesky is the first that I've had an OPML interface to work with. So I created an outliner for walking the structure of people and who they follow on Bluesky. #

Screen shot of BSPB.#

The nice thing about sports, it's the last place you can have an opinion without everyone losing their shit.#

ChatGPT is great, reason #897#

  • I am an infrequent SQL query writer. My knowledge of the language is pretty limited, but I'm pretty good at understanding the kinds of things it can do, and since I am an experienced programmer, I can specify my needs in fairly accurate technical terms, they just don't happen to be in the SQL programming language. That's where ChatGPT is very useful! #
  • I wrote out my query in pseudocode, ie English --#
    • I have a database with three tables, feeds and subscriptions and users. If a user subscribes to a feed there is a record in the subscriptions table connecting the two. I want a query that tells me which feeds have 0 subscribers.#
  • In the old days before ChatGPT I'd write a braintrust query, put it on my blog and the odds were pretty good that in 24 hours I'd have the answer, and would feel grateful and proud. That of course would be after putting in a few minutes trying to find the answer using Google and StackExchange. #
  • Now I just feed it to ChatGPT and it translates it for me, to good SQL code, and in ten minutes I have the query and the answer:#
    • SELECT feeds.feedurl, feeds.title FROM feeds LEFT JOIN subscriptions ON feeds.feedurl = subscriptions.feedurl GROUP BY feeds.feedurl, feeds.title HAVING COUNT(subscriptions.feedurl) = 0;#
  • I edited it a bit because it assumed field names where I used slightly different names. And I never said that fields had URLs that identify them, and we must use that, not the unique integer ID that each row also has. #
  • It worked. Turns out there are 872 feeds in's database that have no subscribers. I'm looking for ways to make the feed reading part of FeedLand perform better, and time spent reading feeds no one is watching could be a place for savings. #
  • ChatGPT, you have made me a more confident and creative programmer. #
  • Huzzah!#

Succession notes#

  • Spoilers! Spoilers!#
  • I imagine during the day I'm going to think of a few random things about Succession. Be sure this is 100% top to bottom spoiler. #
  • A nice thing about Succession: The Roy kids could fuck each other up and all the while they're still a family. They spent a lot of time on that in the last episode. Trying to give us a glimpse of the future for them. Now the ways the hurt each other will be more mundane, more like a normal 0.0001 percenter. #
  • Succession is a parody, that's what makes it so entertaining. And they play games with us, distract us into overlooking what was obvious -- what eluded all three of the kids, even though the adults were constantly reminding them that they didn't compete at the level they thought they did. #
  • I just got some quiet time to think about the story of Succession, and the whole show was constructed brilliantly to leave you with the feeling that how could we not all have seen this coming, it was just math. Once the #
  • The ending of Succession was like a magic trick, revealed. The answer was right before us. Impossible to miss. Yet..#
  • I can't speak for anyone else, but I was led astray by this speech from Karl, about Tom: “You’re a clumsy interloper and no one trusts you. The only guy pulling for you is dead. And now, you’re just married to the ex-boss’ daughter, and she doesn’t even like you. And you are fair and squarely fucked.”#
  • Pretty close to the beginning Marcia said: "He made you a playground and you think it's the world."#
  • Logan said, recently: "You are not serious people."#
  • Logan was a monster. The Swede is a monster. The kids are journalists, pundits. A tribute band if that. They think there are plays. As if they were performing for spin. But the Swede lies and steals and cheats. He was the guy who was Logan's successor, if you think it was Tom, sorry Tom is the next Gerri.#

Scripting News for email

30 May 2023 at 05:00

Scripting News: Sunday, May 28, 2023


Sunday, May 28, 2023

I don't think federation as conceived by Mastodon and Bluesky will be a winning feature in the future of Twitter-like systems. #

Succession prodigies#

  • Marcia: He made you a playground and you think it's the world. #
  • Logan: You are not serious people. #
  • Mattson: I don't care what you think. You're a tribute band.#
  • More to come. The ending made all the sense. They put every character exactly where they belong. Roman gets to close the book on the Roy family, he couldn't say it at the funeral, but he said it outside the boardroom. Truth -- they were only interesting as Logan's kids. #


  • We always assume selflessness is a good thing, but I'm not sure. In certain situations, telling a lie to save someone's life, that's probably the right thing to do, but lying to spare someone's feelings? They'll be upset if you tell the truth so you don't. #
  • I grew up in a house where you had to manage other people's feelings. It was so dirty and I hated it so much. I had serious stomach issues as a kid, that suddenly went away when I was no longer living in that house. But being selfless meant I had to spare everyone else's feelings, and as result, betray myself, hurt myself, act selfless, as in my "self" doesn't exist. But outside the family, I was surprised to find that I actually did have a self. And that is when I started feeling like a person. Started, I still had a long way to go.#
  • It wasn't until many years later that I discovered these patterns everywhere in my life, just not so suffocating as the ones in my childhood home. I was always clashing against this, because I wanted to do important creative things with my life, and as they say -- you can't lie to a compiler, garbage in, garbage out.#
  • This is a hot topic here because I've listened through the 500 Songs episode about the Grateful Dead, all four hours 40 minutes of it, and learned how the selflessness destroyed their gift. The fans and their employees made demands, and the band gave them what they wanted. I had never heard the story of the Dead told this way, but it matches up with the facts I have from living through that period myself, and going to quite a few Dead shows, and being one step removed from people who worked in the Dead company, and almost dying myself from similar kinds of pressure. Ultimately if you want to live, you have to not be selfless. #

Scripting News for email

29 May 2023 at 05:00

Scripting News: Saturday, May 27, 2023


Saturday, May 27, 2023

WordPress first shipped 20 years ago today. Thanks for keeping blogging going, for supporting RSS and rssCloud and the open web. 😀#

It might not be possible to de-Nazify social nets like Twitter, Mastodon or Bluesky -- yet that seems to be what users want. Which leads to a big question, what is the purpose of these networks? Has anyone ever tried to write that down?#

What if for the sake of argument there were lots of Mastodon or Bluesky instances that didn't connect to any other instances, that just served little communities, maybe gathered around a blog, for example. Each one being its own Reddit type thing, or a micro-Twitter. Not part of anything bigger than themselves. And what if it were reallllly easy to start one of these things. And, what if it were carefully designed to do at least what the Textcasting spec calls for. What if. #

We used to get cannoli like this in the neighborhood in Bayside in Queens. There was an Italian bakery on the corner of Francis Lewis Blvd and 26th Ave. This was back when I could eat beautiful creations like this without too much guilt. The bakery is gone, btw.#

Bluesky questions#

  • Two questions:#
    • Is it possible to run another instance of Bluesky?#
    • If so, is anyone running one?#
  • I expect the answer to 1 is "yes" if you write your own code, but the official Bluesky server source has not been released yet.#
  • But I honestly don't know the answers to either question.#

Scripting News for email

28 May 2023 at 05:00

Scripting News: Friday, May 26, 2023


Friday, May 26, 2023

ChatGPT has an important new feature, now you can share links to conversations you had with the bot. I've had that ability myself, hacked together with a bookmarklet. I know how important it is to be able to share this stuff easily. Now everyone will get to do this so we can learn more easily from each other, and more easily share what I think is a new form of literature, collaborations between humans and AI bots.#

My linkblog flows through WordPress. It's a social networking app too. Also flows through Mastodon and Bluesky. 😄#

When I was in my late teens going to school in New Orleans, there were still a lot of childhood foods I didn't like -- asparagus, fish, cheese -- but I decided to be brave and try each of them, and I found that I now liked most. This was important because there's a wide variety of great affordable food in New Orleans, it would have been a shame to miss out on it. #

I lived one block away from the greatest supermarket in the city, Langensteins. They had all kinds of New Orleans specialties. We have one great supermarket like that here in the Catskills, Adams. #

When you think you've installed the new version of some software, but inexplicably it's behaving exactly like the previous version, make sure you've actually done the update. You can save a bunch of time that way.#

The constant message I get from tech people is -- "I don't have to listen to you." True! You don't. It has been proven. But would it hurt you to listen. Maybe there's some big secret you're not clued in on because you're picky about who you listen to. Just sayin. #

The trick to making a system easy to work on when one part is on a server and the other part runs on the user's machine, is to make the machine the same in both locations, so code that runs in one place "just works" in the other. The further the two are from each other, the more difficult it is to work on. Ideally you should stay in your HLL even in your remote procedure calls. #

YouTube and inbound RSS#

  • YouTube is planning to support inbound RSS for podcasts.#
  • My take on this -- this doesn't seem controversial.#
  • YouTube is a podcast client. No problem with that. #
  • And -- they're doing inbound RSS, just like I want Mastodon and Bluesky to do! #
  • YouTube could be perfect if they also offered outbound RSS.#
  • Two-way RSS. Say it again! ;-)#

Charlie Hustle#

Scripting News for email

27 May 2023 at 05:00

Scripting News: Thursday, May 25, 2023


Thursday, May 25, 2023

YouTube commenter: "This song puts my brain in Succession mode."#

There's something very compelling about this video. I imagine it's a vision of hell. Behave yourself in this life or spend eternity having to watch this primitive fascist cyberhell vision of music.#

The important thing about art is not the creation of the art, but the observation of it. So, if artificially created art inspires creativity in the observer, there’s great value in that.#

Scripting News for email

26 May 2023 at 05:00

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