Speed of Sound (songs at the link) was much derided upon its release in 1976, and more recently one scathing reviewer gave it a “1” score out of 10.  Yet I find this an entertaining and also compelling work.  At least Eoghan Lyng had the sense to call it “definitely infectious and decidedly hummable.”  But it’s better than that, and I would stress the following:

1. The album very definitely has its own “sound.”  Super clean production, a limpid clarity in the mix, and sparing deployment of guitar.  Not all of that works all the time, but there is a coherence to a production often described as a mish-mash.  The sound of the whole is best reflected by “The Note You Never Wrote,” a McCartney song sung by Denny Laine, placed wisely in the number two slot.  Nothing on either the disc or the original album sounds compressed, rather it all comes to life.  It’s better than the sluggish, overproduced, horn-heavy Venus and Mars.

2. The unapologetic presentation has held up fine, rejecting its own era of albums that were overloaded with ideas, overproduced, and too self-consciously parading their messages.  Speed of Sound is so deliberately unhip you can hardly believe it — who else in 1976 would pay tribute to “Phil and Don” of the Everly Brothers?  And Paul was thanking MLK (“Martin Luther”) when others were still flirting with the Black Panthers.  Surely he was right that “Silly Love Songs” would persist, so maybe people were hating on how on the mark he was.

[3]. At exactly the same time Wings was evolving into one of the very best live acts of the 1970s, far better than the Beatles ever were.  (Yes, I know it is hard to admit that.)  Their live act sizzled, and yes I did see it back then and I have listened to it many times since.  Check out the YouTube channel of jimmymccullochfan, for instance “Beware My Love” or “Soily,” or how about “Call Me Back Again“?  For Macca, Wings at this time was essentially a live band, and it proved to be his greatest live band achievement of all time (with some competition from his early 1990s shows), most of all pinned down by Jimmy McCulloch on guitar and Paul on bass.

James Sanders @jas_np@mastodon.social

Somewhere, I think there’s an engineer who is really good at meeting deadlines, now angrily shaking their fist at society because a bunch of people playing with LLMs are calling themselves “prompt engineers” and just like that, all of their personal branding has evaporated.

Apr 29, 2023, 06:48 · · Mastodon for iOS · 1 · 4

Almost exactly six months after Twitter got taken over by a petulant edge lord, people seem to be done with grieving the communities this disrupted and connections they lost, and are ready, eager even, to jump head-first into another toxic relationship. This time with BlueSky.

BlueSky’s faux-decentralization

BlueSky differentiates itself from Hive, Post, and other centralized social media newcommers by being ostensibly decentralized. It differentiates itself from the Fediverse by not being the Fediverse, and by being funded by *checks notes* Twitter. Oh, and by being built by Silicon Valley techbros, instead of weirdos who understand consent and how important moderation is.

You should have a personal website not because you need to grow an audience, and turn your hobbyist writing into a profession.

You should have a personal website not because you’re an expert on some subject, and it would be cruel to deny the world your wisdom.

You should have a personal website not because you think you’re important.

You should have a personal website not because the world is in need of your highlight reel.

You should have a personal website because I think the online world is as real as the offline world. You have a presence in one, and you should have a presence in the other.


Stock images strongly influence the ways in which non-expert audiences think about and understand the topics they illustrate. This is why it is worrying that research has repeatedly shown that many images of artificial intelligence are misleading and unhelpful.

This guide presents the results of a year-long study into alternative ways of creating images of AI, involving roundtable and workshop conversations with over 100 experts from fields including the tech sector, media, education, research, policy and the arts. Its aim is to advise people who work with images of AI – from journalists to communications officers, from educators to activists – on sourcing and creating the best images for communicating accurately and compellingly.

Pierre Steiner aborde les questions classiques de la philosophie de l’esprit par un biais inattendu: celui de la technique. Une vision des choses appelée à avoir de profondes répercussions.

par Mark Hunyadi

Pierre Steiner est un philosophe belge établi en France, encore jeune (il est né en 1980), mais dont les travaux sont pourtant connus de longue date. Actuellement professeur à l’Université de technologie de Compiègne, il suit une voie très originale, qui permet de renouveler audacieusement des problèmes très classiques de philosophie de l’esprit, laquelle interroge (depuis Platon!) les rapports de l’esprit humain au monde. Qu’est-ce que penser? Comment l’esprit est-il lié aux objets qu’il perçoit du monde? Ce sont là de vieilles et nobles questions, mais que Pierre Steiner aborde par un biais inattendu: celui d’une philosophie de la technique.

Ainsi, l’un des lieux communs les plus répandus sur la technique (y compris parmi les philosophes) consiste à dire que celle-ci serait un ensemble d’outils ou de dispositifs servant à réaliser telle ou telle fin, fixée par l’être humain. Celui-ci aurait donc des buts, et la technique permettrait de les réaliser. Les buts seraient «dans la tête», et telle ou telle technique serait le moyen de les atteindre. Qu’y a-t-il donc à redire à cette vision de bon sens?

mdjrny-v4 the tree which hides the forrest

Voilà plus de 6 mois que le (petit) monde des NTIC a été happé par la déferlante des IA génératives. Un raz-de-marée médiatique qui éclipse les autres sujets et nous fait croire à l’échec d’usages et technologies innovantes que l’on nous annonçait comme révolutionnaires il y a encore quelques mois. Ne laissez pas l’appétit des médias pour les “Breaking news” obscurcir votre vision, car le Web3 et le métavers restent des sujets d’actualité comme en témoignent les nombreux signaux faibles (et certains forts) que l’on peut capter si l’ont fait l’effort.

Comme beaucoup de professionnels du numérique, vous avez pu constater l’énorme brouhaha médiatique de ces deux dernières années autour du Web3 et du métavers, deux sujets maintenant retombés dans l’oubli, car toute l’attention du marché est accaparée par les IA génératives.

Si l’on suit la courbe de médiatisation des nouvelles technologies de Gartner publié en 2022, effectivement, ces deux sujets étaient en haut du pic des attentes exagérées. Depuis, ils sont très clairement tombés dans le creux des désillusions (What’s New in the 2022 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies).

Savoir discuter avec ChatGPT devient un art qu’il faut maîtriser. Voici nos conseils pour réaliser des prompts efficaces et réussir ses requêtes.

Matthieu Eugène / Publié le 17 avril 2023 à 09h20

Enchaîner les prompts ou donner un rôle et du contexte à l’IA sont autant de bonnes techniques à utiliser pour ChatGPT. © Montage BDM

ChatGPT a étonné par sa capacité à rédiger sur presque n’importe quel sujet, mais maintenant que le temps de la découverte est passé, vient celui de l’optimisation de l’utilisation de l’outil. Pour tirer le meilleur de l’IA, il faut savoir faire les bonnes requêtes et tout passe par le « prompt ». Le prompt est le terme anglophone qui désigne l’ordre à exécuter. Dans le cas de ChatGPT, il s’agit donc de la demande que vous lui faites. Et cela peut tout changer. Voici quelques techniques pour optimiser vos prompts sur ChatGPT afin d’obtenir de meilleures réponses.

A cyberpunk trainer in front of a library

IndieWeb for Education is the application of indieweb principles to one’s personal site with a particular emphasis on use cases for education, pedagogy, research, academic samizdat, and collaboration. It is generally synonymous with the aims and goals of the A Domain of One’s Own or DoOO movement.

While the general principles of IndieWeb can apply to anyone’s site, in an attempt to help foster the next generation of potential IndieWeb adopters who may be focused on teaching, education, and research, whether at the K-12, undergraduate, graduate, post-doc, or other levels, we’re compiling some specific hints, tips, pointers, and examples which may be germane to these particular audiences to assist in their motivation and adoption.

I mean, what does an alternative to ed-tech as data-extraction, control, surveillance, privatization, and profiteering look like? What does resistance to the buzzwords and the bullshit look like?

I don’t have an answer. (There isn’t an answer.) But I think we can see a glimmer of possibility in the Indie Web Movement. It’s enough of a glimmer that I’m calling it a trend.

—Audrey Watters in Hack Education

Tae Kim @firstadopter

If you hired an employee who regularly made up facts, info and stories to make their work answers sound more plausible and entertaining, wouldn’t you instantly fire the person? Yet, this is what tech people are gushing over. I don’t get it. Takes from real AI development/advances

Many people may highlight, tag, or collect a variety of quotes within a text, but this activity is only a simulacrum of understanding and knowledge acquisition. This pattern can be particularly egregious in digital contexts where cutting and pasting has be come even easier and simpler than using a photocopier.  Writing it down and summarizing important ideas in your own words will actively help you on your way to ownership of the material you’re consuming.

A zettelkasten with no quotes—by definition—shouldn’t carry the name. So let’s lay to rest that dreadful idea that quotes aren’t allowed in a zettelkasten.