Week 173: Batata Harra

A week of kitten news, excellent name choices, pancakes, cider, heart-shaped potatoes, trips to Leeds, winning boardgames, ChatGPT experimentation, and deepfakes.

Posted on by Rowan Manning.
Tagged with FoodGamesBoard GamesWorkAI

  • We’re getting two kittens! We’ve been thinking about getting another cat for a while and an opportunity kind of just landed in our laps – a friend of Charlotte’s mum had an unexpected litter and there are two left. We pick them up in March and I’m quite excited about it.

    We’re still not 100% on these but the winning names at the moment are Tom Barnaby and Jane McDonald.

  • On Tuesday we went round to Gallal’s for pancakes and cider, which is apparently a thing in France. It’s a good combination! Also, pancakes with pesto, cheese, tomatoes, and anchovies are :chefs-kiss: so good. Pancakes are just thin pizzas.

  • Some pallid-looking heart-shaped potatoes that have just started being cooked

    Wednesday was Heart-Shaped-Food Day. I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish, which is annoying, but I made heart-shaped Batata Harra with Mujaddarah and flatbreads. As usual, I got stressed, particularly cooking by lamplight, but it tasted pretty good! I should make Batata Harra more often 👀

  • Over the weekend I got a train up to Leeds to hang out with Scott, Eric, and Carlton and play in-person board games. It’s always nicer in person than our weekly virtual sessions and I had a lovely weekend. I was on form, I won Archaeology: The New Expedition, came second in Galaxy Trucker, and second in Terraforming Mars with no cities, greenery, or oceans on the board.

  • My LLM experimentation continues: my employer has procured ChatGPT. I’ve mostly used it to steal other artists’ work by generating images to make people laugh. I also spent a bit of time using it to steal other programmers’ work to see how well it can do this (not dissimilar to Copilot so far).

    Finally, I tried using it to steal my own writing, using variations on “write a weeknote in the style of Rowan Manning”. It seems to understand that I’m a software engineer in London and they have a weird familiarity to them. Either my life is super generic (likely) or my weeknotes were stolen by OpenAI (likely). I already know my website formed part of the datasets that OpenAI used because I used a tool that I can no longer find (annoying) to verify that rowanmanning.com was crawled.

  • In other dystopia AI news, OpenAI has released Sora which can generate fairly realistic-looking video. I’m sure this will be fine and definitely not used to make deepfake porn, silence political rivals, or use more of our planet’s precious resources than a small country 👍