If tin-whistles are made of tin, what do they make fog horns out of?

More cluttered items from my empty mind

SCAM ALERT: I just got an electronic message that was like 10 minutes of repetitive guitar riffs and drum solos.

Yeah. It was another Phishing email.

Garth Brooks talking to Billboard Magazine. I think that’s Crow, Servo and Mike Nelson in the front row. (YouTube)

Garth Brooks is opening a bar in Nashville and says he will not join a conservative boycott of Bud Light.

In a Q&A with Melinda Newman of Billboard magazine, Brooks said his new bar, called Friends in Low Places, will be “a place you feel safe in. I want it to be a place that you feel like there are manners and people love one another … And yes, we’re going to serve every brand of beer. We just are.”

That’s a reference to an ongoing boycott by morons conservatives, who are angry that Bud Light produced a special one-off commemorative can featuring TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, who is transgender.

Kid Rock, a vocal moron conservative, posted a video of himself shooting cases of Bud Light with an automatic rifle, and some bars that cater to bigots and rednecks Republicans have either stopped selling Bud Light, or held promotions where they’ve poured the beer down the drain.

To be clear, however, it’s still OK if you’re not buying Bud Light simply because it’s really crummy beer. As the Pythons said, “it’s like making love in a canoe.”

There’s already been a backlash from a bunch of dummies online conservatives, and to his credit, Brooks doubled-down. “Inclusiveness is always going to be me,” he said Monday. “I think diversity is the answer to the problems that are here and the problems that are coming. So I love diversity. All-inclusive, so all are welcome. I understand that that might not be other people’s opinions, but that’s OK, man. They have their opinions, they have their beliefs; I have mine.”

To be clear, however, it’s also still OK if you’re not buying Garth Brooks’ records simply because you think they’re crummy.

A car in front of me had a bumper sticker that said, “Proud Parent of a Sailor,” so I pulled alongside at a red light and said, “Hey, I hear you love seamen.”

BBC News says there’s a “growing cohort of people who don’t wash their clothes.”

You don’t have to tell me that. I’m pretty sure I was sitting with all of them on a bus recently.

I’m late to this, but did you see Trent Crimm (James Lance) wearing a retro Central Catholic Vikings T-shirt in a Season 3 episode of “Ted Lasso”?

What the what?

Central Catholic’s colors are blue and gold. The lighting in that scene isn’t great, but that shirt could pass for blue and gold.

Apparently there’s also a Central Catholic High School in Allentown, Pa., and their teams are also called “Vikings,” but their colors are green and gold. Some folks think the shirt is actually from Allentown.

If it’s from Oakland’s Central Catholic, it wouldn’t be the first Pittsburgh reference that Bill Lawrence — co-creator of “Ted Lasso” — has slipped into his shows. On “Scrubs,” the character of Dr. Bob Kelso was supposed to be from Monroeville.

Either way, I will award a brass figlagee with bronze oak leaf palm if someone can slip a reference to my alma mater in an episode of some TV show. I’ll even give you my old gym shorts:

Unlike the people who talked to the BBC, though, I will wash them first.

I got this ad on Facebook the other day when the smoke from Canadian wildfires was choking people across the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada:

That’s the most dystopian thing I’ve ever seen. If Paul Verhoeven would have put an ad like this in the original “Robocop” as a spoof, people would have said “that’s a little too over-the-top.”

Anyway, apparently we’re living in the future that 1980s sci-fi movies warned us about. I would have rather had the future that 1960s sci-fi promised us. I wanted flying cars and Pan Am shuttles to the moon. Instead, we got environmental disasters and Nazi wannabes.

Speaking of futuristic dystopias, John Scalzi writes that artificial intelligence — A.I. — “will make the Internet even less truthful than it is today.”

In fact, he says, it’s already doing it:

“AI” is not, in fact, intelligent, artificially or otherwise; writer Ted Chiang’s recent notation in the Financial Times that a better description of “AI” is “Applied Statistics” is well-observed. It is not at all clear that “AI” in the future will be able to discern the difference between the factual, the incorrect, and the intentionally misleading, any better than it does today.

I had some fun during Saturday’s show asking ChatGPT to come up with intros for songs, and I used them exactly as they were generated. If you listened, you know they were bad. Really bad. This, for instance, was what ChatGPT generated when I asked it, “Write a short prompt for a disc jockey introducing the song ‘I’ve Been Hurt’ by Bill Deal & The Rhondells”:

(Just to clarify, ChatGPT generated text, not audio. The voice is my computer’s text-to-speech app.)

This is drastically oversimplified, but basically, ChatGPT scrapes mountains of text and makes mathematical models that predict what words are most likely to go with what other words.

It’s kind of like how you solve a jigsaw puzzle: “This piece has a tiny bit of blue on one edge, and some green on the bottom. Ah, I’ll bet it goes with the blue section of the puzzle that’s over here above the green border.”

ChatGPT saw “disc jockey,” “introducing,” “I’ve Been Hurt,” “Bill Deal & The Rhondells” in what I typed. It did a hurried search of every bit of data it had about those topics, and then estimated what words would go in what order.

It’s a very, very sophisticated guess — but it’s still a guess.

The old way of doing “artificial intelligence” — from the 1950s through the 1980s — was trying to design a computer program that could make decisions through the same reasoning process as a human or a higher-level animal. Computer programmers never really came close.

What happened, instead, was that computer memory became really, really cheap, and processing chips got really, really fast. It was easier to use brute-force to solve problems, and later, to build statistical models that could make predictions based on previously analyzed data.

But those statistical models aren’t “thinking” or “reasoning.” They’re basically bullshitting. Which is why calling it “artificial intelligence” is dangerous.

Scalzi adds:

There will be a whole generation of people, particularly my age and older, so used to the idea that Google and other search engines pull up “correct” information — an idea promoted by Google and other search engine owners, to be sure – that they won’t even question whether the information they’re being offered up has any relation to the truth.

If you have any doubt that people will be fooled by ChatGPT’s bullshitting, just look around us. People are already fooled by much less sophisticated bullshit.

If they weren’t, why would they be shooting up cases of Bud Light?

Or, for that matter, drinking it in the first place?

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