Fire and music go well together. Sixties rocker Arthur Brown – a long-time resident of the liberal enclave of Lewes, home of your correspondent, Podnosticator Knowles – made an entire career out of his 1968 cult classic, Fire
Indeed, I even played roadie to him and had the honour of putting him out when he caught fire during the first chorus of Fire in a Sussex gig back in 2007, my pimple on the backside of rock ‘n’ roll history. And the first time Arthur had gone up in flames since the 1971 Windsor Jazz Festival.
The least successful rockstar of all time, John Otway, was given a 50th birthday present to remember when his fans “rigged” the charts in a totally legal way and bought him a second, top-ten hit in a 5,000-plus gig career, and that catchy ditty Bunsen Burner stormed the charts.
Its chorus features the line “Burn, baby, burn”, a lyrical echo through the ages, from The Tramps to (appropriately enough) Ash.
And “burn baby burn” is exactly what it appears the planet will be doing – even quicker than the entire combined scientific consensus has unequivocally determined it will do, thanks to our crack-like addiction to fossil fuels – if we don’t shake our very recent, very deep love of generative AI.
Sam starts episode 72 of the Small Data Forum podcast with a look at the latest developments in this new technology, whose poster boy is ChatGPT and one of whose early funders was Elon Musk. But more of the Musky one, anon.
Continue reading “Burn, baby, burn”
Back in the grey drizzle of a late March Friday morning in the UK, the three Podnosticators of the SmallDataForum convene to take another sideways look at ‘events, dear boy, events’ (something Harold Macmillan apparently never said).
For once, and in spite of recent headline-grabbing incidents, we give relatively short shrift to the unflushable turds of politics on either side of the Atlantic – though Sam briefly reminds us of the two blonde bombshell’s travails – one with the UK parliament’s privileges committee, the other with a Manhattan grand jury.
Perhaps by SDF 72, there will have been some flushing. Though we’re not holding our breath.
In the meantime, we focus our attention on three themes:
Continue reading “Trolley problems”
- The “sic transit gloria – quo vadis” of the Tory party
- The UK government’s WORLD LEADING AI plans
- The BBC post causa Gary Lineker
With the sun beating down on the Small Data Forum Podnosticators on day three of our podcast recording retreat in Ríogordo, Andalucía, we turn our attention back to the world of AI and its potential impact on the world of communications.
With a new generative engine popping up almost every day – for words, structure, music, images, film, translation; you name it, it’s appearing – we consider the approach taken by the communications industry to this brave new world.
Continue reading “Myopic PR industry set to miss yet another boat?”
Fuelled by nothing more than Coke Zero and Fanta Limon, the Small Data Forum Podnosticators pop up for a special, flash, mini, 15-minute micropodcast, recorded during our podcast retreat in Andalucía over the weekend of 10-13 March.
Our topic? The titanic struggle emerging on the future of independent, impartial broadcasting manifested in the battle of Gary vs Suella.
For a change, Neville blows the starting whistle to get us going, passing the ball to football lovers Thomas and Sam, with a shared passion for Liverpool, Arsenal, Fulham, but probably not Brighton.
Continue reading “Hasta la vista, Auntie?”
During the Matrix Churchill affair – a conflict of interest and bit of political skulduggery so tepid compared with what’s happened in the intervening 20 years – the Tory MP Alan Clark conceded that he had been “economical with the actualité” in answer to Parliamentary questions.
Lying about arms export licences to Iraq seems almost innocent compared to the stodge we’re served up daily by our demagogic masters in the fibbing 2020s. Even if Clark was branded by his wife as a “total Ess-Aitch-One-Tee” in a puff-piece documentary in the 1990s, not least for his endless affairs that were satirised by Private Eye as “discussions about Uganda”.
We start our examination of the uses and abuses of data big and small with a focus on politics in the latest outing of the Small Data Forum podcast, episode 47.
Sam is inspired by the writing and the message in comedian Stewart Lee’s tragedy vehicle, his weekly Observer byline. In a recent column picking through the ashes of Labour’s shambolic performance in British local elections, Lee takes aim at Prime Minister Johnson’s record as one of the worst – and most transparent – liars in British political history.
Continue reading “Oh-oh-oh, your pants are on fire”