Is it just me? It feels like 2023 has been a slog so far. I’m pretty certain it isn’t just me, because as I look around, everyone looks like they are struggling. Life is full of struggles, but I don’t remember them being so palpable around most people most of the time like now. We strive and yearn and wait. Like Holy Week.
Longtime Mac users who have any level of need for professional audio tools have probably encountered veteran developer Rogue Amoeba and their suite of tools. I use Audio Hijack Pro, Loopback and Farrago as the core of our workflow on Zippy the Wonder Snail. A series of little discoveries moved me to making those tools my one-stop-mic-enhancement shop for OBS Studio and beyond.
Some level of mainstream machine learning has been present in the lives of ordinary folks like you and me since iPhoto first did facial recognition well over a decade ago. Other AI or AI-like tech has become increasingly pervasive, but quite limited. Now, a flood of “experience this now” machine learning is drowning out past years’ “imagine if this were just a bit better” tech. Two tools to utilize such tech are worth your attention right now.
I remember a number of years ago, I was working in a storage warehouse at the university I was teaching at with one of my work study students. We were going through boxes trying to find something when a storm came through. We didn't even know there was a storm because there weren't any windows — we were completely dependent on lightbulbs for light. And then those lights went out. And it was dark. It was really dark.
The Zippy Crew speeds through a bunch of sports related topics — including the return of baseball — and then turns to the “He Gets Us” campaign, the Asbury Revival and controversy around the old praise song “Above All.”
Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent. Countless Christians around the world will receive ashes in the shape of a cross on their forehead to mark the beginning of this time of reflection and repentance. Yet, for those who do not observe the season, this can look an awful lot like legalistic rule keeping or, even worse, an attempt to receive outward praise for superficial humility.
Early in the baseball season last year, I heard a curious commercial on the radio. It was talking about a man rejected by his friends and suddenly ended with “He Gets Us. All of Us.” A few more airings and I realized it was a series of ads about Jesus, describing how his experiences on earth were like our own. Like Jesus Himself, the ads have managed to anger a wide variety of different folks. Jesus gets us, but once again, we struggle to get Him.
I’ve been on Facebook since 2006 and Twitter since 2009. I decidedly don’t quit social networks because I decide this or that moderation policy isn’t leaning in my political direction. But, as of a week ago, I joined the push for a relatively new alternative social network, Mastodon, and I hope you will too.
I’ve never lost the excitement of snow days. Remember anxiously anticipating the moment when school was called off thanks to that wonderful, fluffy white ice of freedom? Though “inclement weather” may do little to change my obligations now that class schedules are a distant memory, there’s still nothing like the feeling of being snowed in.
The AI revolution is a threat for artist and information gatherer alike. Like a speeding train, machine learning threatens to disrupt the work of a huge number of workers, and thus the “R” word has started to appear with increasing frequency: regulation. Such does not bode well for the futures of any of us.