The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

It Only Took 8 Years …
March 6, 2023, 8:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Australia, Brand, Jill, My Fatherhood, Otis, Parents, Technology

A few weeks ago I went to pick up Jill and Otis from the airport.

They’d been in Australia to see ‘granny’ and had a lovely time.

Anyway, when I saw Otis, he immediately told me about an “amazing cool giant robot face” he’d seen in Sydney and showed me a photo he’d taken.

As soon as I saw it, I realised it was part of project I did with the founder of Gentle Monster.

Telling him this resulted in Good and Bad news.

Good: I’m now [Finally, if temporarily] cool.

Bad: He wants me to bring it home.

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The Character Of Code …

One of the topics that is everywhere right now is the topic of AI.

What I find particularly amazing is how many people are talking with such certainty about it, given the reality is it’s still in its early days of infancy and possibility.

The reality is – like most things – it will likely have good and bad uses.

As I wrote a while back, my brilliant son – Otis – has dysgraphia.

Dysgraphia is a form of dyslexia … except it’s less about mixing letters and more about a difficulty in writing them. In essence, dysgraphia has an impact on your motor skills and while it won’t affect his ability to learn, it will affect how he does it and what he may be able to do because of it.

More than that, there’s no ‘cure’, but with things like ChatGPT … I can see how AI could enable him to express his stories and imagination that otherwise, he would struggle to convey.

I cannot tell you how much that fills me with joy and it serves as a good reminder to stop judging and evaluating new technology by the rules, standards and experience of established technology.

But we do.

We all do.

Desperate to throw our opinion in the ring with the confidence and certainty of a mediocre white man.

[That’s for you, Chelsea]

However the recent story of Twitch streamer, Atrioc, highlights how AI can definitely be used for terrible, terrible things.

Brandon ‘Atrioc’ Ewing was live-streaming when he accidentally showed a tab that showed he had been visiting a deepfake pornography site featuring popular female Twitch streamers.

Popular female Twitch streamers he had previously claimed were his friends.

As if that wasn’t despicable enough, the site he was on requires a subscription to view its content and the page he was on was centred entirely around making deepfakes of famous Twitch streamers … which means he didn’t just choose to do it, he paid for the privilege of doing it.

Paid. For. It.

Which highlights another narrative that maybe we should also be considering about AI.

Maybe we need to discuss the character of the developers behind the tech rather than simply arguing about the value or threat of the tech.

Or said another way …

Why aren’t we having conversations about why investors place greater value on speed of monetisation than focusing on educational or humanitarian benefits of tech.

Please do not me wrong.

I’m not making any excuse for Atrioc … that fucker made his choice and there’s no way he gets to blame that on anyone else but himself … however for all the talk about the good or bad of AI, I’m not seeing much conversation about the character of the people behind it – technically and financially – when ultimately, it’s their intent and influence that shapes what it is and what it can become.

As the old saying goes, follow the money and you find the truth.

The industries problem is we have too many following their ego.

Coming from me, that say’s a lot. Hahaha.

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Rob 1. Robots 0. [For Now]
February 24, 2023, 8:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Innovation, Insight, Marketing, Marketing Fail, Technology

A few weeks ago, a client of mine at Google posted this on Linkedin …

Fortunately, due to its lack of swearing and use of bullshit terms like Gen-Z – not to mention the fact it was more professional than I’ve ever been in my whole life – it was pretty obvious no one was going to mistake this for me.

Which means my job – whatever it is I do – is safe.

For now.

And I say now because it’s only going to get better.

That should be obvious, but the amount of people who judge new ideas by the standards of established ideas is insane.

Of course that doesn’t mean every new idea is going to be successful, but it does mean every new idea has more places to grow and go than established ideas and for that alone, we should keep an open mind rather than – as this industry loves to do – make grand declarations about the impending doom of anything we don’t understand, don’t like and/or don’t want it to destroy what you’ve spent years trying to build for yourself.

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What Do You Give The Person Who Has Everything?

Gifts are always nice to receive.

You feel a sense of specialness and love and it’s delightful.

Even when you get a gift voucher – which is the equivalent of a bunch of flowers from a petrol station – you kinda are happy, such is the power of the present.

But what if you have to get something for someone who has everything?

Well, I once bought Richard Branson a vanilla latte on his birthday and I can tell you, while he was gracious … he obviously thought, “what the fuck has he got this for me, for?”

Which – ironically – is exactly what Jill said to me when I told her what I’d done.

Well, recently I saw something that may be a solution for you – should you ever find yourself in this predicament. It’s this …

Yes … it’s a computer mouse, with a leather jacket.

And according to Liam, once you’ve used it, you will never go back to a regular, ‘naked’ mouse.

Now this may sound like I’m about to be hypocritical but if someone bought me this – even if I was the richest person in the entire world – I would want to smash them in the face.

Not because it’s bollocks.

Not because if I’m that rich, I’d have someone doing the ‘mousing’ for me.

But because they cost TWO HUNDRED QUID and they refer to themselves as ‘pointer instruments’.


I love how they are trying to elevate the appeal and craftsmanship of what they’re doing by referring to it as an ‘instrument’ … but whatever way you look at it, they’re charging you 200 quid for a shitty mouse wearing a teeny-tiny leather jacket.

But they’re going all in on it.

Read their website and the descriptions of the various products they make.

It’s hilariously depressing, but not as much as the fact they’re selling a ton of them.

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Why People Who Believe In The Metaverse, Need To Be Dire Straits Fans …

After the amazing drama of yesterday, I need to calm things down.

Not for you, but for me … because my heart can’t take nerves like that.

And yet it’s going to have to do just that in a little over a week.

Bloody hell.

So to slow things down, let me take you back in time …

Back in 1985, the band Dire Straits launched a song called Money For Nothing.

It became famous for a whole host of reasons.

It was the first song of theirs that actually sounded slightly modern.

It had ‘modern’ day references in the lyrics.

It had Sting – from The Police – singing on it.

It had this video …

Did you watch it?

You didn’t did you?

You lazy bastards …

Well, to get back to the point of this post, here’s a screen grab from it …

Now while that image may not strike you as cutting edge, back in 1985, it was revolutionary.

Digital characters living in a digital world, where their universe was a blend of normality and possibility.

Hang on, does that sound like something else?

Something that a huge amount of the tech and marketing industry have been wetting their pants over?

Something that sounds suspiciously close to this …

Did you watch this?

You didn’t did you?

You über-lazy assholes …

Well, to get back to the point of this post, here’s a screen grab from it …


Yep it does.

A music video from 1985 by the most snooze-rock band ever formed, not only communicated the metaverse, it did it in a style pretty close to what Facebook and every other brand have shown as ‘the standard’.

How terrifyingly embarrassing is that?

All these hip, technologists, futurists and strategists trying to look like they’re on the edge of culture creation and all the bollocks they’re banging on about was expressed by bloody Dire Straits 37 years earlier.



I mean … when that Zuck video first broke, I wrote a post about how it was missing the point by showing things we can already do, but now – thanks to errrrrm, Dire Straits, I realise it was even worse than I imagined.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe technology and – the metaverse, even though what is being celebrated as it, isn’t what it is – will have the possibility to make a huge, positive difference to humanity. Eventually.

But making – and lauding – a film and idea that looks awfully similar to a bloody 1985 music video isn’t doing them any favours. If anything, it shows how much of this industry is filled with individuals who crave attention or adoration or just desperately seek relevance.

Not helped when you learn that, unsurprisingly, the main reason Zuck is so into the Metaverse is not for changing the world but upping his bank account.

Given how much Facebook tried to label Apple as ‘anti-business’ for the amount they charged creators and partners – which is a lot less than 47.5% – it makes the whole Meta situation even more laughable.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the new is often misunderstood.

And new technology should not be judged by the standards of established technology.

But when the ‘icons and industry leaders’ stand on soapboxes and stages to promote the future in a similar way that Dire Straits brought to the World almost 4 decades ago … it’s only fair to question if these people care about the future or simply their own career image.

Even though, sadly, we keep seeing hyping can get better career growth, than grafting.

If the Metaverse could fix that, then maybe we’d all sign up.

Then again …