Day: March 31, 2004

  • Clone Wars Watchlist

    I had one of my classic vivid dreams last night. It was fairly realistic, but, as usual, there were some fantastic elements.

    I’m not sure exactly where it started, but my sister and I were touring New York City( which we did in reality over spring break). The first thing I remember was going to this place called the Boar’s Head Cafe, which only sold the Boar’s Head lunchmeat that they advertise here at the co-op. We had to wait a while in line, because everyone was paying with credit, and there was a really long delay. I paid in exact change, but everyone behind me in line still glared, as if I were the one causing the delay.

    After dinner, we seemed to be riding NJT out of the city. The interesting part was, we passed the same dream-version of the Secaucus station that I saw in a dream that I had a few weeks ago. Somehow we looped back into the city, and we were exploring some old theater.

    While we were out and about, a bunch of people were calling me “zealot”, and “partisan”, because I was wearing my Apple t-shirt. Obviously, I feel persecuted ;o). Also, for some reason, we were pushing a baby around in a stroller suddenly. Somehow, the baby had gotten his hands on a Nokia N-Gage, and was playing games on it. I took it away and gave it to a passerby, and then picked up the stroller.

    We got back on the subway, which naturally made a stop halfway up the Sears Tower. In New York. And there were two Sears Towers. Go figure. The subway worked its way back down to ground level, and we got off somewhere and explored again.

    At this point, there was definitely a third person there, male, but I don’t know who he was. We crossed a very hilly version of Central Park in the dark, with only the light from my iPod to guide us. No, I’m not kidding. We found our selves entering a deep underground station for the red line (which had A trains… even though I know they’re on the blue line). We got on an A train, which headed out into the Hudson. Literally.

    We were traveling along on the bottom of the river, and we passed by the well-lit-up wreck of the Titanic. I tried to take pictures, but I spent almost the entire time trying to get my camera in no-flash mode so it wouldn’t reflect off of the windows of the (apparently pressurized) subway car. Unfortunately, I missed most of the audio tour the conductor was giving us. I think it consisted mostly of lines from Dr. Ballard’s book.

    We looped around, and could see a pod of those Kree fish from Star Wars: Episode I swimming downstream. There was also a lit up full-size model of the Nautilus sitting on the riverbed. The tracks rose up out of the water, and we noticed that it was sunny out. Somehow, it was 8 am, and we had spent the entire night touring the city. My sister and I panicked and got off at the next stop.

    And that’s about when I woke up. , , I blame you for the transportation-related dream.

    God Put A Smile Upon Your Face” from A Rush Of Blood To The Head by Coldplay

  • Sunspot

    A small Yorkshire Terrier lies in a pet bed on a green upholstered chair in a sunny living room.

    I wish I could nap like Pike naps.

  • The Muppets Meet Murderbot

    For the last year and a half or so Andrle and I have been having a ton of fun as part of an online book club put together by my friend Tanya. Unlike most book clubs where you all read the same thing, we all just share things we love that we’ve been reading.

    One recommendation that kept coming up was The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, and I’m glad we finally ran with it and started reading them. We’ve been bingeing the last few weeks and they’re really, really great. Highly recommend (even though I’m only on Book 4.)

    Unsurprisingly another thing I’ve been reading about and thinking about a lot is the advent of Large Language Models, particularly as manifested by ChatGPT. My past work life as an NLP practitioner has me a mix of curious, envious, and highly suspicious of what these are and how they’re being used. In the short term I don’t mind using them as a toy that I can play with for the purpose of a joke, which is what this post is about.

    A recurring topic in this book club is how we might have the Muppets interpret a particular book, or how we might recast a movie with Muppets (but keep one human actor). This provides a lot of fun discussions, especially since I grew up regularly watching the classic Muppet movies on VHS recorded off of TV, and I really like musicals.

    That all brings me to some prompt iterating that I did to get ChatGPT to write the painfully cliché finale to a Muppet musical featuring Murderbot. (Apologies to both Henson and Wells.)

    Verse 1 (Murderbot):
    I used to be a killing machine,
    A rogue cyborg, feared and mean,
    But then I met the Muppets and Kermit,
    And learned what friendship truly meant.

    Verse 2 (Kermit):
    I'm just a simple frog, it's true,
    But I believe in friendship too,
    And when I met Murderbot, I knew,
    Together we could do something new.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    Verse 3 (Murderbot):
    I never wanted to be a tool,
    But that's all humans see in me, it's cruel,
    I used to dream of breaking free,
    From their endless schemes and greed.

    Verse 4 (Kermit):
    It's true, I'm always happy-go-lucky,
    But I've been through some tough times that were quite yucky,
    But now with Murderbot and the gang,
    I know our friendship will never hang.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    The past is gone, the future bright,
    With friends like these, we'll win the fight,
    Our love and trust will guide us through,
    Together we'll see this journey through.

    Chorus (All):
    We don't need to kill no more,
    Our friends are all we're fighting for,
    With Murderbot and Kermit side by side,
    We'll show the world what we stand for.

    So let's raise our voices high,
    And let the world hear our battle cry,
    With Muppets and Murderbot side by side,
    We'll change the world and turn the tide.
    OpenAI. (2023, Mar. 16) [Iterative prompt conversation starting with “This Muppet movie is about a rogue cyborg traveling to different space stations and learning the power of friendship from the Muppets” and “I need some lyrics for the big finals. The music is big broadway style number about how the rogue cyborg doesn’t need to kill bad guys anymore because it has friends.” and then encouraging more dialogue between Kermit and Murderbot]

    Yes, I looked up recommendations on how to properly cite ChatGPT output.

    Overall the result was mildly amusing. I couldn’t get it to capture Murderbot’s signature style, presumably because while information about the novellas are in its model training, not enough text from the novellas are in there.

    I’m still not sure what useful things I could do with this kind of tool, but in the meantime, I can make it make silly songs.

  • Fox Ferocity

    Pike playing with a toy almost as big as he is.

  • Groomed Pike

    Tiny freshly groomed Yorkie sits on a teal couch wearing a monstera bow tie

    I love this little gentleman.

  • The Kale Wanter

    A small black and brown Yorkie stands on a cream rug in front of a brown cupboard begging for the bunch of lacinato kale in hand in the foreground.