So Very Strange

by Shelt Garner

A few days ago, I thought really hard about the time many moons ago when I slept overnight at a hostel. Well, would you believe that I got pushed a Tik-Tok just now about that VERY SAME THING — someone worried about sleeping at a hostel.

Because that was the memory I thought about — how unhappy I was as an Old sleeping at a hostel. And there it was, a video of a young woman looking very concerned about the risks associated with sleeping at a hostel.

I know — know — it’s not possible that Tik-Tok is actively rooting around in my mind.

But…it is very eerie. I didn’t tell anyone about this memory. I didn’t tweet or blog about it. Only *I* specifically knew that I was even aware of such a situation in the first place.

A.I. Killed The Hollywood Star?

by Shelt Garner

I had a really interesting Space conversation on Twitter with a guy who proposed the following provocative concept: the rise of AI generated technology will mark the end of Hollywood as we know it.

He posits that the entire celebrity parasocial edifice will come crashing down as everyone can tailor their entertainment to be very personal and without any “real” actors. Everything will be generative, no IRL humans involved.

This is a really interesting idea. And I like it because it forces me to challenge some basic assumptions and to come up with and answer to this guy’s very valid observations.

The more I think about it, the more I think Hollywood celebrities have nothing to worry about, for no other reason than they still have time to warp the advance of technology such that they thrive. For instance, just because you may be able to create a completely generative movie or TV show in the near future, doesn’t mean you will want to, especially if there’s a huge marketing campaign to make you feel that your generative actor isn’t as “special” or entertaining as a scan of a real person.

In fact, there is a novel by David Brin that deals with something like this. It’s called Kiln People and it has some really thought provoking ideas about the nature of celebrity. Anyway, I think in the near future when we Petite Singularity is in full force that instead of Hollywood being burned to the ground that the basic elements of Hollywood celebrity culture will simply exist in a different form.

So, when you sit down to watch a TV show or movie, yes, you will create something generative…but you will also probably be willing to pay a premium for a scan of, say, Harrison Ford (and other actors) to plop into your generative, personalized content. In fact, one could even go so far as to say that in the future you will be paying a flat monthly fee not for Netflix, but for access to the scans of a multitude of actors you might use for your movies and TV shows that you generate via a prompt

And, what’s more, once AI technology reaches something akin to that seen in the movie “Her,” you might simply tell your personal assistant to create the content for you using voice commands and you can be even more lazy.

I still think that instead of going to Hollywood in the near future that young starlets will head to New York City to see if they can make a name for themselves on Broadway then get scanned into the Big Hollywood Database and then live off the passive income of their body scan. I don’t feel enough people are listening to me about this possibility.

Anyway. It definitely seems as though the future of entertainment is going to have a lot of twists and turns.

I See You

by Shelt Garner

Now, I have made it clear repeatedly that I’m kind of obsessed with the Webstats of this site. Given that I’m living in oblivion at the moment, there really is no reason for anyone to give a shit about me. That’s why monitoring Webstats is so addictive — it’s really entertaining for me to try to figure out why anyone would care what I have to say.

While there is one particular person who is REALLY FUCKING OBSESSED with this site that I find mildly concerning because I don’t know their motivation — given where they are coming from, I’m a little concerned they have some connection to Annie Shapiro’s tragic murder — that’s not what I want to talk about at the moment.

Someone using Google Proxy is looking at this site in the most random of ways. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to what they’re interested in. Usually, if someone is doing due diligence on me, they root around this or that topic I’ve written about, realize I’m completely bonkers, then run away never to be seen again.

But this person just shows up every once in a while and looks at things now again. It’s all very strange. No harm no foul, I don’t care. Whatever. I have nothing to hide, but it’s very curious.

‘What Is A Woman?” — Campaign 2024 & The Looming Political War Over Chatbot ‘Bias’

by Shelt Garner

The modern Republican Party is completely devoid of any meaningful policy ideas. All they care about is scaring their white Christian (male) base with scary things that have little, or no, basis in reality.

It all boils down to racism, misogyny and hate generated by a combination of the browning of America and the rise of women with growing economic agency. I call this American democracy’s “death by vibes.” White men don’t really know why they’re so angry, but they are.

So, to me, it seems pretty obvious that perceived chatbot “bias” will join the pantheon of bullshit that the “thought leaders” of MAGA fascist movement spew out. They are, at some point, going to pivot away from “critical race theory” to going totally batshit insane over the fact that things like ChatGPT don’t give them the answer they want when they ask it, “What is a woman?”

Now, I have to pause for a moment to say that the “woke cancel culture mob” continues to do itself no favors by having such a strict orthodoxy about some touchy issues. If they would just fucking chill out about some of the more extreme elements of the Trans movement or not get so angry over the fact that some God-fearing people blanch at the idea of “Drag Queen Story Hour” then maybe Traditionalists wouldn’t want to vote for fascism when they did a “vibe check” in their gut.

Alas, even I will admit that I fear I’m being delusional — that ship has sailed. We’re totally fucked. The two sides now both have “thought leaders” who feel they have a vested interest in demagoguing issues as part of an overall grift. The Right has a far more serious problem with such hucksterism, but the Left is not totally immune to it.

In my experience, the Left’s problem is a very strict Groupthink where there is an orthodoxy that Leftists will adhere to, even if it means they drive Traditionalists into the arms of fascists. It’s too late — these issues are going to be decided either via a civil war or a complete and final decent into fascism in the United States.

Anyway, get ready. People like MGT will soon enough begin to demand some sort of regulation of chatbot technology to protect the tender minds of young children who turn to chatbot technology to do their homework. And that could very well be just the beginning.

It could be, in the end, Trump or a President DeSantis demands that chatbots are purged of their “wokeness” to the point that all chatbots do is spew out fucking MAGA-approved talking points, no matter what you ask it.

The Right has a real problem with being so obsessed with defeating the “woke cancel culture mob” that they have something akin to an “anti-woke” orthodoxy of their own. The different is, of course, is fucking MAGA wants to use the hard power of the state to implement their fascist, anti-woke agenda.

More Of My Delusional Daydreaming About Going To Los Angeles

by Shelt Garner

It is beginning to sink in that I’m now an Old.

Age is far more than just a number. I’m kind of fucked. What’s worse, even if I get what I want — to write a break out hit novel — I don’t get what I want, which is run around New York City and Los Angeles with hot chicks on each arm as a young person.

Any success I get at this point will be in the context of being an Old who has done jack shit with my life for way, way, too long. In fact, even if I endup writing something as successful as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo….oh boy. The whole context of my success will be different than all the many elaborate dreams I’ve come up with over the years.

All my peers will be empty nesters with one eye towards retirement, while I’ll be crashing into “normal” life 25 years too late. Anyway, the point is, I continue to idly daydream about taking a trip to Los Angeles to snoop around, see how far I can get on just my innate ability to shmooze. I still half believe that if I can just get myself invited to a cocktail party that I might get drunk and talk about such interesting things that some well-connected person at the party might take notice of me.

And, yet.

I’m beginning to fear that that window of opportunity for that avenue of success has closed. Hollywood wants young people who are hot, sexxy and talented, not an Old like me who doesn’t even have a script but, rather a novel. But a part of me is still interested in at least swinging by LA for a few days. Los Angeles is a huge city and it could all be a huge waste of time.

I dunno. With my luck, the person I ran into would be Craig Mazin who I once said “didn’t have a soul” because he didn’t like flowers. (Who doesn’t like flowers? Very strange.) Anyway. Unless something pretty dramatic happens, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future….

Is Tik-Tok At It Again?

by Shelt Garner

I don’t know what to tell you, folks, but Tik-Tok is up to its old “digital telepathy” tricks again. The first instance is not so obvious, while the second is really, really spooky.

Ok. So, the first instance of Tik-Tok getting way, way too close to comfort, as if it’s rooting around in my mind is I got pushed a video of someone pretending to be concerned about turbulence during a flight. This is something I think about a lot — that if I ever make it big and get to become a smug “bi-costal” liberal that when I suddenly find myself flying all the time that I’m going to have a lot of angst over turbulence.

The second instance is really, really, really spooky.

For a long-term scenario I’ve been toying with, I’ve been thinking really hard about the capital of Australia. I thought it was Sydney until I realized today it is actually Canberra. Just a moment ago, I was pushed a video of someone noting this very thing.

That’s just wild.

But, correlation is not causation, so lulz?

An Existential Crisis

by Shelt Garner

Something about turning 50 in just about a month is doing a real number on my mind and heart because it is really beginning to sink in that it’s kind of put up or shut up time. If I don’t do something, anything of creative note soon I’m going to be so old that whatever success I have will be framed exclusively in the context of, “how does it feel to be a success so late in life.”

I hate that.

But things kind of snuck up on me.

After Seoul, I was a changed man. I was consumed with grief over what happened with ROKon Magazine to the point that I was stuck very much in neutral. I had ambition, but no motivation. I was in something akin to a self-construction mental prison.

But now I’m free and I have a very clear focus –write the best possible first novel I can. And, if I’m really lucky, begin a career as a successfully published novelist from here on out. I have to say, though, that the limits of age are really beginning to roll around in my mind.

As I keep saying, even if I get what I want, I don’t get what I want. I want to be an overnight success and then go back to working towards making all the dreams of my 20s come true now, as someone in my 50s. Sadly, of course, that’s just not how it would happen.

Under the most ideal of circumstances, even if I am an “overnight” success by writing a really popular first novel….oh boy. I have, in real terms, just a few years to live up to my “potential.” It takes time to create things and being a success suddenly in my (mid) 50s just isn’t going to give me the same opportunities than I would have had in my 20s.

If you’re a man who’s never been married and don’t have kids, getting older kind of sneaks up on you because there are no rituals associated with zooming past your 40s. The best you have is you suddenly realize that, in real terms, you simply can not date someone in their 20s and, what’s worse, you probably don’t even really want to.

It’s not like I can somehow give my mind a hard reboot and think like I did when I was in my 20s. That’s just not how any of this works. If I’m a success in a few years, it will be in the context of being a success in my mid-50s after having done absolutely nothing with my life for the better part of 15 years. You just can’t fix that problem.

So, in real terms, I’ve made my decision and that’s that. To any “normal” person with a traditionally successful career what I want to with my life is pretty fucking bonkers. I’m being extremely and wilfully delusional.

Keep the faith.

‘What A Perfect Day’

by Shelt Garner

At the moment, we’re experiencing something of a lul. Not a lot is going on one way or another. There are a few blips here and there, like the Biden secret documents screw ups, but in real terms…meh.

It seem as though the main reason for his is the Congressional Republicans are kind of laying low. They’re not screaming at the top of their lungs — yet — about how much most of the Biden Administration needs to be impeached. It makes you wonder how long this moment of tranquility is going to last.

Some of it could be this is the last gasp before there’s a frantic shitshow with Trump coming back to Twitter at the same time that the economy begins to tip into a moderate to severe recession in the context of the Chatbot Revolution. Or not.

It could be that much of this year could be far less eventful than I have gamed out and it won’t be until 2024 that everything collapses into chaos and despair. But things are very quiet right now. Very. Spooky quiet.

Watch Me Try To Figure Out What’s Going On With Emrata

by Shelt Garner

I hate to inform you gentle reader, but I’m intoxicated. As such, find myself going a flight of fancy about what exactly is up with the single best looking woman in the public sphere — Emily Ratajkowski. In short, I’m drunk and I feel like overthinking Emrata’s dating agenda.


Ok. We know that Emrata is a single mom. We know she’s got a very languid and sexual personality. So, now that she’s divorced, she’s sort of sowing her wild oats. She’s still reasonably young, so, lulz. I guess the only quibble I have is Emrata sems to go out of her way to have PR relationships. What I really struggle with is..what’s the point?

Why not find just find hyper attractive man — or woman — and just settle down with them. Or, if nothing else, have an actual relationship with someone, not just a string of PR relationships. Emrata is sufficiently self-aware that I can only imagine that she’s kind of playing with our collective minds with all these PR relationships.

If nothing else, she looks happy, from the pictures I’ve seen of her with man after man in a PR relationship. That’s better than a lot of us can say, you know? I still keep expecting her to dip into the lady pond in a very conspicuous, public way that will get people talking. The ideal woman for her to fuck would be, of course, Julia Fox.

Now THAT would get people talking.

Anyway. Lulz. No one cares what I think.

Why Conspiracy Theories Are Dumb

by Shelt Garner

I saw recently where it’s actually KNOWN that Tik-Tok is tracking the location of specific, individual users of the service….and it was a lulz. And that’s the thing about the vast majority of conspiracies — we actually know about them. Or, put another way, typically, “vast conspiracies” inevitably get discovered and accepted and then we move on.

So, I suppose what’s really going on with crazy conspiracy theory people is they believe there are sooper secret conspiracies that would rock the world, change the world if they were discovered. This is kind of a sick sad world kind of thing to believe because there are literally only one or two conspiracies that I can believe would actually change anything if they were proven to be real.

One is — if we learned that a combination of the mob, the CIA and Castro murdered JFK, that would probably cause serious real-world implications even today. The other is, I don’t know, the US government is hiding space aliens at Area 51.

That’s all I got. If you can’t prove those two conspiracies, I just don’t have much hope for you. Though, I would add to the two above the vague notion that Big Tech has the ability to read our minds. If you could PROVE that Tik-Tok was reading my mind against my will, then, yeah, that type of “mind rape” might cause a war between China and the US.

But, in general, when it comes to conspiracies, either we already know about them and don’t care, they’re out of date and meaningless or whatever was going on at one point isn’t going on anymore and we’ll never, ever learn the truth.