It would be anticlimatic to tell you what this is, but I suppose I have to. Someone working inside the Collaborative, as the building's new private club will be called. "Winter 2023" is the opening date, so we can't be too far. Golf simulator! Fireplace and bar.

I intend to incorporate it into my daily routine. After the gym I will go up to the Collaborative and sit by the fire for the rest of the afternoon and write. I will attempt to become a fixture.

There are so few people in the building these days that Fixture Status should be easy. I'll keep you updated. I mean, I have platinum-level Gym Fixture Status now, just by showing up daily and chatting up the staff and not being a clanger or a grunter. Oh - did I mention there's a new trainer? Cool guy. Big Marvel / SW guy, ecumenical geek tastes, and also second-gen geek, to judge from his remarks about his dad.

"Ask him if he was a member of the MMMS," I said. I'll bet he was.

I’m firming up the 2024 Bleat array, and feeling good about it. Feature creep continues, because I always run into something that makes me think “that would be a nifty thing to do once a week, say, Mondays, for no particular reason.” The above-the-fold cruft thus increases.

I was considering a Friday feature called “Minimal Prompt,” which studies what the AI art generators do when you don’t give them excruciatingly literal instructions.

As you know - I hope, although it’s possible details like this are forgotten, or more likely observed once, factored into the experience, and ignored thereafter - the GoogleAds pane has a piece of custom art on the left. Part of the psychological division between the ATF and the BTF. I was disappointed in last year’s selection. This year I decided to use a variety of sources, from newspaper clip-art to old tie ads to AI-generated 50s ad imagery. Why not? Let’s see what the unthinking all-scanning non-mind of AI can create. The idea of the “minimal prompt” interests me, because it makes the machine improvise. So you get something that resembles the real world, or at least the world of the source material, but has no idea how it’s wrong.

For example. A 50s dish soap ad.


This one gets almost everything wrong. I will give it this: it has learned from the many webpages that feature the work of Haddon Sundblom, and his imitators.

The mouth, but the eyes - there's Sundblom in there.

The background is ridiculous - framed pictures of English buildings? In a soap ad? There has to be a reason for that, though.

It kept churning out pictures that featured a variety of brands.

  It doesn’t understand that an ad is for one brand.
  AI has the notes, but no idea of what a melody is.

At least here . . .

We have consistent branding across a product line. (And hubby about to put a softened glass acorn into some cheese.)

This is interesting.

Here we see the AI keen to incorporate 40s styles when the prompt says “50s.” This suggests that many ads are mislabeled, or, more likely, there’s something that translates 40s or 50s into “vintage” or “retro” despite the stylistic differences between the eras, and attempts to reconcile them.

This is very 40s.

The whole thing looks oddly East German.

Cigarette ads are remarkably disconnected from the source material. I don’t know what the machine is thinking here.

Buy a pack of Slaneys! Or, if you prefer, new longer, milder Cigatoes.

Prompted for a 1940 soda ad, it populates the pictures with Coke.

It's like a reminder what life is like if you're illiterate.

Let's try "1940s Beer ad":

Yes, a rabbit and baked beans are natural componants of a beer ad.
  A closer look at those bottles. The machine can reproduce the lighting on the caps and the glass, but it can only begin to imagine the labels.
  Not so good here, but it seems to know that pulling a star out of the ether and affixing it to a label is a thing that humans do.

I like the stuff that's obviously wrong. I don't like the stuff that's perfect.





As I mentioned, it snowed the other day. And that produced this.

What, you ask, is that? The white sections? They weren't there the day before.

So it's snow . . . that didn't melt . . . on evenly-spaced panes?

They have to support structures faced with glass, lacking the interior radiating heat that would melt the snow. Right? I can't think of another reason.

One more floor on the Firehouse project. Surely it will stop soon.


BTW, the Dream Compendium will return. I'm just saving them so I can run it next year, since I only have 37 more dream instances saved.


Moten, you say.

Irregular because the typing looks HUGE for the page?

Solution is here.

This year's old newspaper feature: a social no-no single-panel illustration. Can you figure out what's wrong?

All I can say again is, good luck with this one.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do! Hope your visits were repaid with momentary diversion and/or edification. See you Monday for another round.




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