Random Thoughts

  • I'm not worried about AIs taking over the world when the best and biggest companies in the business can't make accurate progress meters.

  • I'm not a Luddite about Google, but the Google Ads I see are often clickbaity and borderline offensive. OK: so click the little close box at the ad's top right corner.

    "Send feedback"? Sure.

    And the feedback choices you get? "Ad covered content"; "Ad was inappropriate"; "Seen this ad multiple times"; and "Not interested in this ad".

    I long for at least two other choices: "Ad insulted my intelligence" and "Ad was both juvenile and prurient". Too much to ask?

  • I have a couple reflex mental tics:

    • When I hear politicians or pundits talk about "the little people", I think: "You mean the leprechauns?". (This is no doubt a psychic hangover from listening to too many Firesign Theater albums in my youth.)

    • Similarly, when those folks talk about "universal pre-K" or "universal health care", I think: "Including Klingons?" (A psychic hangover from… well, you know where.)

  • While we're discussing language gripes, I'm increasingly morose when the bare word "diversity" is used to mean "racial diversity". (Example on the front page of the August 15, 2021 Seacoast Sunday newspaper: "Census: Seacoast gains in population, diversity")

    Writers, there are all kinds of population characteristics that show differences; if you mean racial diversity, say "racial diversity".

    Things get really stupid when people start referring to "diverse indivduals". A lone individual is a single data point. Nevertheless, NASDQ tried it in their latest iteration of their "Board Diversity Rule":

    Nasdaq’s Board Diversity Rule requires companies listed on our U.S. exchange to […] Have or explain why they do not have at least two diverse directors.

    This does not mean "two people who are different from each other", of course. Because companies with five your fewer board members "can meet the diversity objective by including one diverse director."

    What they really mean by "diverse" is "not a straight white male". They should stop using the euphemism and say that.

  • Another peeve, if you can bear it: people who don't pronounce the internal "c" in "Arctic" and "Antarctic". Especially on-air weatherpeople, who should (a) know better and (b) be able to pronounce words. "There's an artic front headed our way!"