Links roundup for the week of July 10, 2023

Alli Grant Est. 3 minutes (504 words)
Handwriting! More generative AI nonsense! Other things!

Here we are again with some more links of interest! If you saw the original description that I forgot to update off the draft, no you didn’t!


Oh, this made something click for me. I’ve never held a pen “correctly” because it hurt to use like that, and.. well. Thanks, younger me, you weren’t wrong.


Yeah this is probably going to be a regular aspect of these. Up first, we’ve got a Terence Eden post about lawsuits going on against some of these model makers, which seem to have whitepapers openly admitting that the models are using pirated books as a source.

This is just.. really good. I could summarize this, but there’s just too many good pull quotes to really cover.

I found the text of this elsewhere. Author had someone write a “summary” “foreward” of their book using generative AI, which wrote a rather empty piece in the first person, and they wanted to publish it. Author was rather displeased with the results, since it … didn’t say much. There was a great quote at the end, which I’ll include here.

I frankly am baffled by the allure, for so many unquestionably insightful people (including many friends of mine), of letting opaque computational systems perform intellectual tasks for them. Of course it makes sense to let a computer do obviously mechanical tasks, such as computations, but when it comes to using language in a sensitive manner and talking about real-life situations where the distinction between truth and falsity and between genuineness and fakeness is absolutely crucial, to me it makes no sense whatsoever to let the artificial voice of a chatbot, chatting randomly away at dazzling speed, replace the far slower but authentic and reflective voice of a thinking, living human being. To fall for the illusion that computational systems “who” have never had a single experience in the real world outside of text are nevertheless perfectly reliable authorities about the world at large is a deep mistake, and, if that mistake is repeated sufficiently often and comes to be widely accepted, it will undermine the very nature of truth on which our society—and I mean all of human society—is based.

java strings, spooky action at a distance

Incredible. java.lang.String is vulnerable to a race condition.

computer literacy

Two links on the same thing. Digital literacy is at all time lows.

social media

I think this pull quote alongside the title best shows what this is about.

More fundamentally, Threads isn’t a social network. It’s a marketing channel for the least-interesting people on Earth. It’s exactly what you’d expect of a text-based Instagram — a mediocre algorithmic nightmare of content slop that barely resembles entertainment.


Terence should write things I think less if I am expected to not provide multiple links to his site in one week. I’ve written a few rants on Discord which I should really transcribe over here at some point, but this is such a problem.