The Joke Bot

The Lorem Ipsum launches a merch store, including low carb options. And this week's news.

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After that, let's get to The News.

Hot Takes

Week 22 of 2023

Drones Hit Moscow

Over the weekend, a drone attack damaged buildings in Moscow, the Russian capital. The Kremlin called the incident an act of terrorism by Ukraine, but some suspect it could have been part of a special military operation, which we've learned is totally different. Kyiv denied involvement but said, "We are pleased to watch." The drones caused minor damage to an apartment building and a Kremlin ego, but no one was killed, and the attacks did not force Russia to cancel their bombing of Kyiv. (more)

Debt Ceiling Measure Passes

On Wednesday evening, the debt ceiling measure passed the House, but in a run to the Senate, it faced more partisan setbacks by Republicans trying to block the bill. Lindsey Graham is quoted as saying, "I can't believe you did this," referring to his Republican colleagues that passed it, while Heather Graham (no relation) is quoted in an unrelated conversation saying, "There are idiots in every crowd." The debt ceiling deal was passed late last night by a vote of 63 to 36, with 17 Republicans joining the Democrats. (more)

Holmes Sweet Home

The startup founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who committed massive fraud, is reporting to her new home for the next 11 years, a prison often called "Camp Fed," where white-collar inmates do their time. She brought with her a pair of jeans, a sweater, white sneakers, and some chalk to calculate the compound interest she'll earn on her hidden savings over the course of the next decade. (more)

Minnesota Weed

Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz signed a bill approving recreational marijuana, making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis and the 420th state to remind the Federal government that they should make it a nationwide deal. Stock prices of Cheetos soared on news of the signing of the bill. (more)

That Guilty Verdict

The “That ’70s Show” star, Danny Masterson, 47, has been found guilty of raping three women at his home in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003. He faces a possible sentence of up to 30 years to life in state prison. Both victims and Masterson are part of the Church of Scientology, which preaches against reporting to the police, a sermon I would walk out on. (more)

That's it for the news. Now here's The Gist.

Funny Automation

Ask The Lorem Ipsum

Hey Daniel,

  1. Do you believe that AI-generated humor might impact your writing process, and if so, to what extent do you think it might reshape the realm of humorous content creation in general?
  2. How do you foresee the ethics of using AI to do all of your work for you?
  3. Should I be worried about losing my job to an AI?

Adrian, writer of The Deep View AI newsletter.

Before I answer your question, Adrian, let me first share that it took me hours to even get pen to paper and longer to get paper to page. Had I started on an Underwood, I'd have carpal tunnel and black fingers. The ink, I'm certain, would make it to my ringing ears as I try to clear them. And white streaks on the pleats of my slacks would expose the volume of whiteout I've used, bringing shame on my family. Instead, my backspace key is a disaster coated in grease and flakes of cilantro or whatever I had for lunch.

But now that I'm ready to answer your question, let me deflect by asking you a question.

If AI is going to be doing my writing for me, who's going to do all my procrastinating? Will I be able to automate the process of staring at the screen without a clue what to write? How about self-doubt? From what I've heard, large language model AI bots are not very good at lacking self-esteem, so who's going to call it a bad writer and claim it should just quit? Is that automatic too? Does AI have an AI wife that will tell it, "That's not funny," "I don't get it," or "You can't say that because you sound rude, and besides, it's time to eat."?

Forget writing a whole draft of an article. Writing a single joke and then having to explain it does nothing less than ruin the joke. I can't imagine how bad it must be to build a joke algorithm. If we discover that one built itself, I would contend that it also ruined itself.

Most of the value of the writing is in the draft stage. It's invisible, ethereal elements that appear before your eye as the sun seemingly completes the horizon.  It's the draft you wrote, later discarded, only to invite the epiphany of something much better, now with a clearer vision.

Whether humor or health advice, good writing is a shower taken, a mind wandered, and a morning relished. Humor is ironic, uncouth, or in the unexpected. It's not always amusing, but it's usually anything but austere.

The human experience of creating is the reason we create. The creation is the compensation. Like in the case of lottery winners, compensation without gestation is not valued and more than likely not understood – and is usually lost because of it.

Automating the process of humorous "content," if that really is its name, sounds rather reductive. It sounds like the output we are looking for is not the same, however similar it may seem to a search engine.

When a man pisses outside in his own backyard, does he say, "For god sake, I wish there was some way to automate this?" No. There's a certain joy a man gets from watering his lawn, and outsourcing the process to a sprinkler system is convenient but not as relaxing. Asking an AI tool to go fishing or hike a mountain for me assumes the pictures are all I really wanted, when in fact, the real product is found in the draft stage. The product you read is better because of the draft, and I, or AI for that matter, might be able to trick you, but why?

Why look at the pictures when you can touch the mountains?

This is where my thoughts on ethics come into play. If I'm paying you to make me a pizza, and you figure out a way to make it more efficiently, I'll still pay you the price you're charging me. But don't tell me it's hand-tossed if it's not. What's the difference between two guys with back braces versus one guy with a dolly? The answer is about $15 per hour and a sandwich. When it comes to white-collar work, we will all be evaluated the same way. On the merits of our work.

So should you be concerned about AI taking your job? Yes.

For many of us, it probably will change our jobs and even eliminate some, but I'm not concerned about my job being taken. I'm concerned about it not being taken. After all, who's going to destroy the world for me while I pound away at the keys like a percussive instrument of ancient lore? I doubt the linotype operators are longing for the old days when it took hours to print a single page, but I know they were worried about their jobs when computers started to take over. But I sure am glad I can pump out a thousand words and hit send. It affords me more time to dwell on my thoughts, which is how I learn and how you get the best that The Lorem Ipsum has to offer.

AI has its place, and its place is not a replacement for the real thing – which is a wholly different product.

I depend on automation to carve time off of the things I don't want to do. I use a lawnmower because it beats crawling on the ground with scissors. I use a blender because, by the time I smash all that fruit by hand, I'll be so hungry I'll be looking for a chicken sandwich instead.

On the other hand, I write because I love to write, and I thank you for reading because I appreciate you allowing me to be a part of the way you think, relax and feel.

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