Link roundup for November 8, 2023

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog lately, so I thought I’d bring back the link roundup thing I used to do quite a bit. Here’s some stuff I read and enjoyed recently outside the regular product/business topics I usually write about here…

Very good summary of The OpenAI Keynote by Ben Thompson. This bit stood out to me:

The fact of the matter is that a lot of people use ChatGPT for information despite the fact it has a well-documented flaw when it comes to the truth; that flaw is acceptable, because to the customer ease-of-use is worth the loss of accuracy.

I’ve been following Craig Mod’s work for over a decade and know what to expect, yet his reflections on “Aloneness” took my breath away.

The real shitter is that if you’ve inured yourself to living in this state of aloneness, it can be difficult to break the habits that have led to it. Aloneness as default becomes comforting, and habits built around aloneness feel palliative because they’re known, and we tend to repeat familiar actions, even if they hurt us.

Great essay by Anne Helen Peterson on how friendship changes over time—including a period she calls “The Friendship Dip”:

Right now, the way our society is organized, we have a prolonged stretch of adulthood that is not conducive to forging or sustaining friendship or community. In many cases, I’d say it’s actually hostile to it.

7MqYrBBr8gSDreEKTjraPC 1920 80

Everything about the new U2 show sounds amazing. So sad I don’t have tickets.

Zoo TV had predated reality TV, fake news, social media—all these things. Bono had heard about this new venue in Vegas with nearly 20,000 seats, custom sound and an incredible screen that was akin to the whole audience having a VR experience. In the post-Covid era, it was appealing not to have to travel every night

Every new house in Portland uses this font for the house number, and now I can’t get this article out of my head. “The gentrification font: how a sleek typeface became a neighborhood omen”:

As Neutraface house numbers have become too commonplace to ignore, some now associate them (along with gray paint jobs) with neighborhoods overtaken by construction and renovations.

Feels like spam is about to get a lot harder to detect… “Inside the Underground World of Black Market AI Chatbots”:

We’ve got folks who are building LLMs that are designed to write more convincing phishing email scams or allowing them to code new types of malware because they’re trained off the code from previously available malware.

And finally, for my fellow Northerners… “How to light the dark months” has some excellent advice—not just the normal stuff we’ve all read a thousand times.

Lighting winter is an art and a daily practice, an act of survival and a gesture of love. Here are 10 ideas for fighting the gloom in the dark half of the year.