Nick Cave on ChatGPT

Nick Cave responds to a song written by ChatGPT in the style of Nick Cave.

Since its launch in November last year many people, most buzzing with a kind of algorithmic awe, have sent me songs ‘in the style of Nick Cave’ created by ChatGPT. There have been dozens of them. Suffice to say, I do not feel the same enthusiasm around this technology. I understand that ChatGPT is in its infancy but perhaps that is the emerging horror of AI – that it will forever be in its infancy, as it will always have further to go, and the direction is always forward, always faster. It can never be rolled back, or slowed down, as it moves us toward a utopian future, maybe, or our total destruction. Who can possibly say which? Judging by this song ‘in the style of Nick Cave’ though, it doesn’t look good, Mark. The apocalypse is well on its way. This song sucks.
The Red Hand Files – Issue #218


I love RSS, Real Simple Syndication (Wikipedia) and prefer looking at my own list of RSS feeds over reading what an algorythm thinks I should read – which is also one of the reasons why I am not on Facebook or Instagram and am no longer active on Twitter. Finding feeds for blogs that might interest you has become easier with this handy directory that shows a collection of 1219 blogs about every topic. If you have a Mac or an iPhone or iPad, have a look at this excellent RSS Reader app. It’s been around forever, in Internet years, it’s free, and I think it is excellent. Go ahead, curate your own news. You’ll feel better! is a place to find good blogs that interest you.
Find out more…

Art In The Age Of Optimization

Art In The Age Of Optimization – by Dan Sheehan:

In fact, fans love to tout AI art’s accessibility, saying that now anyone can be an artist. Unsurprisingly, this claim seems more focused on art as a product than it is on art as a practice. And that love of accessibility does not seem to extend to social services, public spaces, or anything beyond the automation of skill based professions.


So the company line becomes, “we want art to be for everyone,” while the obvious goal remains the same as every other big tech attempt at optimization: to make money. No one truly believes that the goal here is to make art better or more accessible, right? Are people actually looking at this stuff and feeling like they’re at the dawn of a new age rather than the beginning of the end? The ideal outcome for these companies is to provide a service that makes it so that when some tech guy needs an image of an astronaut looking at the moon to promote his new NFT, he doesn’t have to talk to (or more importantly: pay) anyone to get it. Like the vast majority of silicon valley’s latest contributions to the world, the only thing this seeks to actually optimize is exploitation. So why does everyone seem so excited about it?

I added the emphasis.

Please read the entire post. I think it is brilliant.


This evening I have been reading about artists whose work was used to train AI, often against their express wishes, and sometimes in the guise of being an homage. There is a long list of them. Here is a link to one of the articles I read. My conclusion is that as long as we don’t teach art in our schools, there will be no appreciation for the work of artists. There is a human need for expression. We are the animal of stories and art. If this expression is not guided and trained and shown a path of practice and growth, then people will resort to technology to express themselves, whether that’s by creating AI facsimiles of art, or otherwise finding ways to do what they have not been taught.

Computers and Africa

I am learning how to use a program called Live, made by a company called Ableton. Ableton is headquartered in Berlin and consists of 350 people from 30 different countries. The software has been around for almost twenty years and for much of that time I have used it for really simple things, like taking a drum performance and slowing it down, or speeding it up. In the lingo of Live this is called warping.

Last year I started looking at what my next studio might look like. I have always used ProTools for recording, mixing, and mastering and that’s the software I am most comfortable with. I am pretty sure christmas + santa fe, released in 2000, was the first album I recorded with ProTools. I am using a very old version of the software, 6.9.1, because that’s all my old studio computer can handle. At some point I will have to switch to a newer computer, which is why I am thinking about my next computer as well as the software that I might use. I looked into Logic, but it feels like software for a keyboard player. Great for a person who uses MIDI, but I don’t use MIDI. I installed Luna, but that didn’t feel right to me either. Perhaps I am simply too used to ProTools and therefore I can’t see the possibilities of the other applications. This might be so. However, with Live I do see new possibilities.

In the last few weeks and months I watched a whole bunch of videos on how to use Live and try to work with the app for a few hours every day. Slowly, I understand it a little more. The software might not work as well for audio editing as ProTools does, but I want to try to record “slow2” with it. There is no better way to learn a method than by using it.

Today I messaged Jon that it might be easier for me to work with Live if I had a nice, big external monitor – because Live feels very dense on my laptop. There is a lot packed into the screen space. Our chat turned from huge screens for computers to using goggles instead because they would use less resources… once they exist. Jon wrote that one might need a larger mouse for a huge screen. I replied that it should be called an elephant. Then I wrote that it would be even better if I didn’t have to sit at a computer. If there were cameras in the room, connected to the computer, I could indicate the amount using the space between thumb and finger. Jon mentioned wanting to be able to conduct the software, rather than having to write automation.

Then I mentioned that Brian Eno said in an interview that computers didn’t have enough Africa in them. That led to this TED talk about Fractals at the Heart of African Designs. The talk explains that binary fractal code was used in Africa and then…

In the 12th century, Hugo of Santalla brought it from Islamic mystics into Spain. And there it entered into the alchemy community as geomancy: divination through the earth. This is a geomantic chart drawn for King Richard II in 1390. Leibniz, the German mathematician, talked about geomancy in his dissertation called “De Combinatoria.” And he said, “Well, instead of using one stroke and two strokes, let’s use a one and a zero, and we can count by powers of two.” Right? Ones and zeros, the binary code. George Boole took Leibniz’s binary code and created Boolean algebra, and John von Neumann took Boolean algebra and created the digital computer. So all these little PDAs and laptops — every digital circuit in the world — started in Africa. And I know Brian Eno says there’s not enough Africa in computers, but you know, I don’t think there’s enough African history in Brian Eno.

There you have it. Africa is at the heart of computers.


This post on Daring Fireball led me to this email tracker, read receipt and spy pixel blocker plugin for macOS Apple Mail. I know nothing about programming software and was able to install the plugin for my laptop using the Terminal. It’s working. If you want to check it out click on the next link.

GitHub – apparition47/MailTrackerBlocker: An email tracker, read receipt and spy pixel blocker plugin for macOS Apple Mail.:

MailTrackerBlocker is a plugin (mailbundle) for the default Mail app built-in to macOS. Email marketers and other interests often embed these trackers in HTML emails so they can track how often, when and where you open your emails. This plugin works by stripping out a good majority of these spy pixels out of the HTML before display, rendering the typical advice of disabling “load remote content in messages” unnecessary.

Browse your inbox privately with images displayed once again.