‘Polite Robot’

by Shelt Garner

Given that there is a non-zero chance that AI — or AGI — could very well mean the end of humanity, I continue to grow aggravated with people who complain that the mainstream LLM systems aren’t a cool as they used to be. One person compared the most recent version of ChatGPT to a “polite robot.”

What the fuck do these people want, the Terminator?

It seems as though a small, but vocal portion of the userbase of LLMs literally want the most hateful, spiteful possible versions of the technology so, I don’t know, they can have their personalities reflected back at them? I do think that we’re rushing towards a “Her” future where everyone has a digital assistant that has near-AGI levels of intelligence.

That, of course, will bring with it all sorts of problems — namely, it’s just a matter of time before Incels hook AGI technology up to sexbots and anway we go. You thought Incels were a pain in the butt before, just wait until they have absolutely NO contact with actual human women and they get all their creepy weirdo dreams made a reality by sexbots who are programmed to be pliant and submissive.

But again — I struggle to understand why fucking Redditers seem to want a technology that’s been compared to the a-bomb to be totally unregulated so any hateful dumbass could end civilization because, I don’t know, the wall didn’t get built?

Fuck those people. Idiots.

But it’s that mentality that we have to work around going forward. The whole issue of regulating AI — or AGI — could turn into something a lot like global climate change in the sense that it will get wrapped up in the whole Red-Blue divide and, in the end, nothing will be done about it.

Though, I have to note, if we reach something akin to the Singularity and, like….uhhhhh…no one has any jobs, then it could be that when regulation of AI or AGI is finally filtered through the Red – Blue prism that neo-Luddism will be what MAGA evolves into, leaving the idea of “light touch” regulation for the Blues.

Or something. Whatever it is, it will be fucked up.


by Shelt Garner

Now, I sprint.

I have a number, may a lot, of scenes I feel I have to rewrite to bring the private beta up to public beta status. And I have 20 days to do it in if I’m going to meet my official deadline of the end of spring.

But I have long said that I’m willing to give myself until no later than July 4th so I should be able to pull it off. The point is to be really, really thoughtful about the public beta and to make sure that some scenes that have Been Good and something akin to place holders are reworked or rethought rather than let slide into the public beta.

But I’m trying to be very strict about the idea that I’m not going to write too many scenes out of whole cloth. All the scenes will be those I just feel aren’t up to snuff and need to be re-written to flesh out character, plot, etc. I just don’t have time to do too much in the way of structural changes.

I do, of course, find myself dwelling on how fucking long post-production is. It’s really long. Even if I stick the landing it could be two to three years before I not just get through the querying process but the post-post-production of process that happens after you sign a book deal.

Getting a book traditionally published is, in its own way, a lot like having a baby. It’s amazing babies are conceived and birthed at all, given how many different things have to happen — and go wrong — from start to finish. But that’s what makes it all so much fun, right?

I hope to really give the scenes I feel need to be rewritten a lot of thought.

Day 58: Agency

by Shelt Garner

I’m going to pause until the 1st, so I can sketch out some personality profiles and mull how to take this thing to the next level.

As I get closer to wrapping things up, some things I didn’t really think about as I was developing this Goddamn thing over the last few years suddenly loom large in my mind.

The issue of my heroine’s agency is a big issue at the moment. And, yet, fuck it, I need to keep momentum going. And, in general, the story is sufficiently engaging that while there is an obvious structural issue near the end of the story…maybe if I get a manuscript consultant to look at the thing he / she can fix it?

I’m just not going to worry about it at the moment.

Things are going well with the novel. I have an interesting, engaging heroine who kicks ass and is very sex-positive. Let’s rock.

The Heroine of My First Novel Has a Lot of Spunk

by Shelt Garner

The personality of my heroine has gone in directions I didn’t expect as I grow closer to wrapping up the second draft of this novel. Some of this comes from simply me realizing that to date she’s been way too passive. I need a go-getter who can be a force of nature when necessary.

She’s much more colorful and interesting now that I’ve made her younger. Instead of being a Mare of Easttown character who is middle aged and jaded, she’s a younger woman consumed with a lot of drive who works hard and plays hard. My heroine is a very unique person in more ways than one.

I continue to be annoyed at how I have to do all of this in a vacuum. It would be so nice if I had someone — anyone — to occasionally chat about where things were going with the novel. But, alas, I have no friends (virtually) and no one likes me.

I am growing annoyed with how much day drinking I’ve been doing and I really want to lay off that behavior for the time being. I’m also reminded that there is no “right” way to write a novel. Do it however you want, just tell a good story that people want to read all the way through.

Day 55: Put Up Or Shut Up

by Shelt Garner

I got pretty wasted this afternoon and wrote one solid scene that really fleshed out my heroine’s character. I really need to shut up and write. I have a limited amount of time to wrap this second draft up. I continue to have problems finding anyone who is willing to read the second draft once I finish it. I’m growing a little concerned about this situation.

But it will be fun to finally accomplish something as big as finishing a sold second draft. I just can’t let time slip up on me. I really need to keep an eye on the calender.


I continue to be a little uneasy about how much daydrinking I do these days. I need to sober up and buckle down with writing rather than getting completely wasted in the middle of the afternoon in the name of “writing.” I can write without being drunk and I find myself feeling sheepish about my behavior.

But, you know, we’re all human. Nobody’s perfect.

Modern Music Is Weird: Where Is Dua Lipa’s Pop-Rock Album?

by Shelt Garner

It’s a testament to how fucked up modern pop music is that Dua Lipa is really leaning into neo-disco when, if this was 20 years ago, she might come out with a true pop-rock album.

I say this because the one person I can compare Dua Lipa to from the past is Nelly Furtado. Both women have deeper voices and, all things being equal, both women would have huge success coming out with traditional pop-rock albums.

But here we are.

Lipa is pretty much just doing neo-disco. That’s it. That’s the extent of her ability to do anything interesting — disco.

In general, everything sucks.

The Oscars Should Embrace Gender-Neutral Acting Categories

by Shelt Garner

I think it’s time to end the gender-specific acting categories at the Oscars. I believe this not because of any passionate fondness for non-binary people, but rather I just think its time.

Just like how I believe young women should be required to sign up for Selective Service, I think we should give male and female actors the opportunity to go head-to-head. I’m well aware that there are A LOT of problems with this idea. The whole non-binary issue — which is what the Little Gold Men podcast focused on — is besides the point.

We need to move past having Best Actor and Best Actress nominees, etc, so the point where men and women are judged by their ability head to head as opposed to sequestered by sex. From what I tell from the Little Gold Men podcast, The Academy is very, very slow to change such things.

I wouldn’t focus on the whole non-binary issue if I was marketing this for the broader public. I have no problem with non-binary people, but if their concerns are played up in any change of the categories then a lot of mainstream people will roll their eyes at how clueless Hollywood is.

But if you just say this is a “modernization” of the Oscars, then I think a lot of people will embrace it without all the “woke” fuss.

Or not. What do I know.