While ChatGPT and Bing’s Chat seem like essentially two flavors of the same thing, both developed by the OpenAI Foundation, they are really two different technologies with vastly different potential impacts.
Sometimes, knowing how and why doesn’t do jack for anyone
I couldn’t finish a very good book because it got me thinking about Max Weber, economic theory, and Donny, a boy I used to play with when I was little.
￼A quick trip to New Orleans by train
Tonight, we’re on our way back to Chicago from the Big Easy, riding on Amtrak’s City of New Orleans. The trip – and traveling on Amtrak – has been a tremendous success.
My 2022 Media Diet
I consume media. This year I decided to make an annual list and try to reflect on it.
A requiem for Twitter
As we watch Elon Musk slowly dismember Twitter through sheer incompetence, I’m terribly sad for what’s likely to be lost.
Has my city’s brawniness become a liability?
This was not the full, bustling downtown I’d come to love. It was something lesser.
I was a terrible carpenter, but I suppose it didn’t matter
Measure twice, cut once – and when you cut, cut carefully. But seventeen year old me had trouble doing those things.
We’re ready to leave charming, dense Paris
After two week here, my wife and I have turned to our regular traveler’s conversation: Could we live in Paris happily?
The French Way of Open Space
This is all possible because France strives for a monoculture. Yes, there are lots of immigrants, and they have different ideas about what a proper society should be like, but the mere fact that this is a struggle – are you allowed to wear a hijab to school? – is an indication of how France views itself.
The grinding realities of Parisian life
Now that we’re about to kick off week two of our French residency, the shine is coming off. We’re beginning to understand some of the realities of French life.
I’m visiting Paris for two weeks and I’m trying not to gloat.
The big headline: Paris is a pretty easy place to be as a human. The streets are clean, the public transit is ubiquitous, car traffic is limited to 18 miles an hour, there are lots of little shops for just about everything you can imagine – everything is at a human scale.
Struggling with the boundaries and inadequacies of journalism and politics in our time
Is the institution of news headed in the right direction as our nation slides further and further away from democracy to kakistocracy, anocracy, and a dominion of conformity so that “different” people no longer have a place to be.
What’s the point?
I’m fine, and everyone I know is fine. COVID, climate change, insurrection, it’s all someone else’s problem because my family and I are just trying to figure out how to make it where we are, you know? I mean, things are hard enough as it is, I don’t need to start getting all bummed out by the stuff going on in other places with other people.
After a shooting, I want to know: What is safety?
With fifteen years into our house, we’re the old-timers now. It’s us that are now bedrock of a community.
When will Chance make Chicagoist happen?
Chance buying Chicagoist was an opportunity to do something big. But we’ve seen bupkis.
What to think about Ukraine?
My Montréal love note
It’s a big, diverse, cosmopolitan city with amazing public transport and bike lanes everywhere, and its Frederick Olmstead-designed Parc du Mont-Royal in the middle of the city is an incredible treasure.
My Favorite Newsletters of 2021
I bestow on you my annual list of favorite newsletters. From the five dozen I read regularly, here’s the good stuff.
The pain and fear of making ideas
We need to create ideas. We still need to come up with new concepts to solve problems, create new ways of doing things – and we don’t have the benefit of being Paul McCartney
No quitters allowed
It would seem nice to just get on a plane and find yourself somewhere better, right?
A surprise return!
It’s been an awful long time since I wrote to you. The truth is I’ve been writing a lot since then, just not for you.
Joe Manchin: Government killer
Well, there goes the Biden Administration.
The journalist’s future: Life like every other professional
Instead of gawking, let’s focus on building the future for mankind.
Bored for now
Bored with it all. All of it. Done.
The reckless abandon of crowds
I am jonesing for travel and crowds in the worst way imaginable.
2021 will be defined by the fight between builders and holders
America in 2021 will experience a battle between the builders and the holders. Where builders believe their main challenge is to make better versions of everything, holders struggle to keep things the same, or even tear down changes made by builders that alter the customs they cherish.