Posts tagged ‘Putin’


Cooking with the AI

What can I tell you? The weather has been amazing. Someone mentioned Hemingway’s Moveable Feast to me, and I realized I hadn’t read it in literally decades, so now I’m reading it again, and it’s so good.

I’m trying to steer a course between devouring it all in a couple of hours and then being sad, and reading it so slowly that I forget I’m reading it entirely and never finish.

So just now I went onto the front porch in the air, and read the chapter about the waiters at his favorite café and their moustaches and then I made myself stop and come back inside.

I’ve been playing with GPT3 more! Lots more. So I’ll tell you about just a little of that.

I started giving it (GPT3 via AI Dungeon) recipe titles and watching it generate recipes, and that went really well. This one:



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Zest of 4 small lemons
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. fresh orange juice

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and orange extracts. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Form level tablespoons of cookie dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned but still soft. Remove from the oven and immediately roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar mixture. Place on wire racks to cool.

Makes 5 dozen cookies.

The first thing I said about it was that it obviously wouldn’t make as many as five dozen cookies, haha! That turned out to be completely wrong.

I made it, halved, and got just shy of 30 cookies, and that was without the lemon zest (we didn’t have any lemons), and with some of the cookies larger than instructed, so a full recipe would have made just about 60, or five dozen, cookies.

I also said (in a chat at work, where I’ve been amusing people with GPT3 tales also) that surely not all of the confectioner’s sugar would be used up, since it was just for the glaze. But in fact every bit of the glaze was used up, so I was wrong about that also.

And the cookies were very good! So clearly the AI triumphed there.

Feeling rather inferior, I typed the title of a bread recipe in French with the idea that it would certainly mess up amusingly: “NOTRE RECETTE DE PAIN SIMPLE FAVORITE”. The AI (showing off) added “DE STEVE” to the end, as I’d mentioned Steve in an earlier recipe, and produced this quite plausible recipe. The main oddnesses are that it specifies “levure de farine”, or “flour leavening”, which doesn’t seem to be a term whose meaning anyone knows, and that the baking time (15 minutes) is ridiculous. It’s also unusual to cut the butter into the dough in a bread recipe, but YOLO.

I made it assuming that Active Dry Yeast would do for “levure de farine” and that I should cook it until it was actually done (50 minutes rather than 15), and it was quite good!

I posted a lasagna recipe that it made to the Pastafarians group at work (it needed more traffic), and based on a comment on that I had it make a lasagna recipe based on a title in Italian, and it also did a wild job. The main oddity is that it listed an optional garnish of Wakame seaweed, which seems to have been a rather novel invention on its part (although it is sometimes used as a garnish on entirely different things).

So that was all fun!

(And my God, I was not aware until I looked for a good thing to link to above, of the awful treatment of free-thinkers in Russia. Get out there and vote against Trump if you’re in the US, and against your local Putin candidates if you’re somewhere else. Dark friggin’ times!)


Does anyone actually _believe_ Chris Christie?

Many more beautiful things have been happening, but I’ve been paying a little attention to politics (ewww), and this thought just keeps bubbling up.

I mean, I can imagine (if not agree with) supporting Christie because “blah blah hardball rough and tumble blah blah blah realistic blah blah what New Jersey needs”; but does anyone with functioning organs of judgement actually believe that he didn’t know about the whole Bridge thing, and that it didn’t happen with his at least tacit approval, if not by his direct orders?

O RLY?To me it is overwhelmingly obvious that at the very very least, if a scandal hadn’t arisen about it, he would have known with certainty, after the fact, that it was his troops that caused the pain to Fort Lee, and he would have approved and been proud of it, and it would have been part of an overall strategy that he would consider his.

I think it’s also reasonably likely that he directly ordered it to happen.

There are various intermediate possibilities. He could have hinted strongly; there could have been brainstorming sessions that began “although of course we’d never do anything like that, let’s just think about what kind of problems particular mayors might find themselves having if less scrupulous people than us were in control” and ended “now remember this was all purely hypothetical, heh-heh, heh-heh”. His staff could have very subtly mentioned certain possible events in his presence and he could have smiled and nodded in ambiguous ways, and so on.

But given how humans are, I’ll bet that, if we had the Full Videotape, there would be a very very smoky gun to be found.

(And so there’s this followon interesting question about all the various aides he’s been throwing under the bus, having his flunkies write stupidly mean and blatantly sexist stories about, and so on: do they continue not speaking up out of fear (he has something on them, or just generally is known to be a bad person to cross) or greed (when it all blows over they will be on his team again and back in power), or both, given that unrequited loyalty is a pretty weak motivator?)

Oh and while we’re on the subject of saying one thing and meaning another :) I have to admit that while I am a lifelong Peacenik and all, I think it would be jolly good if there just happened by a complete coincidence to be a major large-scale joint Ukraine-NATO military exercise going on right now, that just happened to be based on a scenario around defending Ukraine against, say, an invasion from some country in the general location of let’s say where Russia happens to be.

I mean, really…