Sunday, April 21, 2024

The age of wonders


Let me take this moment.

We are in one of the most extraordinary flourishings of technological wonders in the history of the world! 

Capabilities of magic that, if explained to someone 100 years ago, would have seemed like raving science fictional wonders, would also seem like raving science fiction wonders to, well, me, say, five years ago. 

Five years ago!

So what's the issue? Why the disdain and jaded interest from all but a coterie of fervent acolytes?

1. We are so inured to these magic tricks that though our astonishment is genuine in the first moment, we so quickly absorb the wonder that it is mundane to most of us within five minutes. Nearly everyone I shared a sophisticated, handcrafted song of my own highly personalized lyrics with, was amazed and full of questions. People wanted to know the singer. People wanted to know how on earth! People loved it!

And then, like that, it was over.

No one was particularly interested in any subsequent songs. They were done. Onto the next thing.

2. It is all going to go bad.

Controlled by greedy oligarchs, all of this brilliant collection of creative tools- pictures, video, and songs on command, talking, friendly robot all-knowing search engines, and so on, is bound inextricably to a collection of ruling powers that have, well,


Wild with unendingly voracious obsessions with money and power, they hold these stunning little treasures in their fevered hands. 

I think we know that they are not gifts; 

they are loans.

And since we have watched wonder after wonder of our humanity arrive and go sour, we are sensible enough, and so inured, that a couple moments of being impressed will suffice before we understand that all this is going to go ugly in ways we can't quite understand.

And fair enough.

But let me take this moment:

I have been hunting the Internet for very particular kinds of poems to use in order to make gorgeous songs in my favorite styles. But then Meta AI shows up, and I can just ask it:

Show me a short, rhyming poem that was mildly popular in the 1920's, by a woman of color.

And I know that any sensible person knows just how broken the current Internet is, and, frankly, how broken it probably will be, but I typed that question into the a newer AI search:

Show me a short, rhyming poem that was mildly popular in the 1920's, by a woman of color.


It simply did.

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