Entering 2024


After a less than restful New Year’s Eve, I am up and recovering.

No, I am not recovering from a boozy night out1. Instead, the recovery is for the disrupted sleep caused by idiots shooting off fireworks, freaking my dogs out. There are two waves, since we are on the west coast, there is a batch of booms that coincide with the ball drop in Times Square at 9:00PM, and a second wave, even more prolific firing off at midnight.


Fortunately, the terror abates quickly once the onslaught is over. My dogs did survive well, and we went for the usual walk this morning.

First ban on substack

Bright and early this morning, someone decided to do a drive-by white supremacist leaving a comment on one of my substack posts. I had been talking about my uneasiness with their (Substack founders and leaders) facile explanations why they were happy to rake off their 10% from newsletters that avowed nazi and white nationalists posted and monetized.

I had seen plenty of apologias from fascist-adjacent authors who were spamming their support for Hamish and Best’s position but seeing an out and out white nationalist drop into my comments was new. I blocked and banned them from ever commenting again (or even reading my posts, we shall see how well that works).

I suspect 2024 will be testing that button for me.

The meal

Since it is just the two of us here, I look for tasty meals that aren’t sized to feed an army. Today I am going to try a NY Times cooking recipe for a mushroom tenderloin of pork roast. Seems pretty easy, and looks delicious. I will pair it with some mashed potatoes, and roasted brussels sprouts. Perhaps a fruity white wine and these delightful melt-in-your-mouth truffles for dessert.

If it works out well, it will go into rotation.

What I am reading

One of the things I miss about my Twitter habit is the many people I followed who were fun. One that I found on Substack was Jeff Tiedrich. He was a fellow left of center personality, and his witty takes were a joy to read. He is on Substack, and it is a banger:

https://www.jefftiedrich.com/p/free-clue-you-cant-fight-fascism2 – His post from today is just great.

David Karpf, another writer I discovered on Twitter, he is a political sci professor, and I originally followed him when he called Brett Stephens of the Times “Brett-bug” for trying to get him fired from his tenured position. That didn’t work out, but I did come to enjoy his writing. His latest is on AI, and it is a worthy read.

things i want to write about

AI – I am already seeing some cracks in the facade of the generative AI. I have a lot of thoughts, and how it will likely play out in the coming years. There is a mismatch between capabilities and promises. While I think it will get better, I suspect greed in the management and executive class will lead to a further hollowing out of the middle class, and ultimately politicians will be forced to address it meaningfully, or really bad societal results will happen.

Music – It has become an even more important part of my life. Since the start of Covid, I have re-engaged with my guitar playing, and having time every day to play has been both good for my stress, and outlook on life. Plus, I am getting better. Not as good as when I was in college, and music was an escape, but it is getting close.

Aging – alas, I am approaching late middle age, and that has many implications. Dietary, exercise, behaviors, and the like are all impacted. Having arthritis in my left hand is bad, the propensity to get gout is also increasing with years (and one of the reasons why I rarely drink these days).

Gaming – I exited PC gaming largely in the mid aughts because my spare time became wedged with work. I switched to consoles, and after a couple of generations of the X-Box, I am back on the PC, and frankly enjoying it immensely. I have recently built a rig that should last 3 years (and maybe one GPU upgrade). My classic FPS’s and Racing games are the candy for my soul. Expect posts on this.

Random shit – look, I like to shitpost. I am no edge-lord, but I will have takes that I will share here. I enjoy sharing the wealth, commiserating, and posting fun memes.

The Demise of ZIRP and what it did to major industries – This is very specific, but I truly believe that the last 12 years of Zero Interest Rate Policies led to the rise of ad funded businesses that should not have been possible (Google, Facebook, Twitter, et. al.) and just general C-suite insanity (VC’s too) trying to chase the dragon of returns on investment. Think the huge boom in Crypto, Google’s seeming inability to create business value that people will pay for, rather than rely on the tidal wave of easy ad-revenue. It also fueled the insane valuations as VC’s kept pushing for growth over profitability. Now that interest rates are normal again, there is a generation of founders who are wholly unprepared to manage the transition from growth at all costs to running a profitable business. Expect plenty of ink to be spilled on this.

Strap in and hang on

It is going to get bumpy, but hopefully you are here for the ride, and will hang with me!

Why not subscribe? It is free, and I don’t spam.

  1. Truth is I rarely drink, and when I do it is a glass or two of wine, preferably red, with a nice meal. But even if I did imbibe a lot more, NYE is amateur’s night, so that is NOT a night to go out partying ↩︎
  2. Yo, Attomatic, it would be great to be able to embed cards from Substack. Can we make that happen? ↩︎

About the author


Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.


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  • Geoff, I’ve been playing with ChatGPT and I have to say I’m impressed thus far. Don’t mistake my enthusiasm, it gets a lot wrong, but if you know how to prod it, it gets a lot right.

    I probably could have used it in my maths classes but I resisted that temptation. But the tech is there already.

    • Ken! How the hell are you! Been way too long.

      As for AI, you are getting it right, but I think there are a couple of axes of confusion that need to be navigated (by the business side). One is the cost of running at the scale of ChatGPT (yeah, I know there are simpler LLM’s and training sets, but my experience is that they are deficient and just meh) is wickedly expensive. Like what they charge is << what it costs. Now that ZIRP is in the rearview mirror, OpenAI (and MSFT) are going to need to build a business around it, and I am unsure that the masses will be willing to pay what it truly costs (plus some profit for the operation). Dave Karpf mentions that there are 4 primary use cases, and only one of them shows any willingness to pay (and that is to replace expensive FTE heads with adequate ChatGPT output. Think people writing analyst reports at i-banks, and junior copywriters who drive the marketing efforts across the business world. This is going to starve the more senior ranks of raw recruits and talent to keep the business alive. And the idea of "prompt engineering" to be a meaningful career path for college students today is pure fabulism. Soon there will be no need to tailor the queries, there will be a meta agent that takes general english (or any language) phrases and drive the query directly. Nope, I am damn glad I am nearing the end of my career, and that I do not have kids. Are you still in touch with Alice? If so, tell her I said hello. I do miss the old gang from Facebook, but life is SO much better without social media. Musk's shenanigans at Twitter have cured me of the addiction to social media once and for all.

By gander


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