To Siri, With Love

FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 73/100 “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” prints were sold! Although they didn’t all sell I was able to raise enough to pay my tax bill due to a handful of EXTREMELY generous donations from some very Fancy Bastards. I am going to leave the prints up for sale for now, so if you want to get one later you’ll still have a chance. I am, as always, humbled by and grateful for the outpouring of support that you Fancy Bastards show when I am in a time of need.

Check out my wife’s new Game Of Thrones inspired necklaces for you Starks and Lannisters in her Etsy store.

That Siri is a complicated lady. You have to know just the right words to say to her.

iThink Therefore iAm

FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 61/100 “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” prints are sold! This is the LAST WEEK to order yours and support my NOT going to IRS jail (a real thing) efforts! After this week I will have the prints produced and we’ll start signing and mailing them out.

Donations are also incredibly appreciated, if that’s more your style.

hijinks ensue fundraiser print 2013 web

Speaking of making new things, my wife just made a couple of Game Of Thrones inspired necklaces for you Starks and Lannisters.

Game Of Thrones Necklaces - Stark and Lannister - Science And Fiction - Etsy

I saw Her right in the middle of writing this part of the current story line, so I had A.I.’s on the brain. My Twitter review of the film went thusly:

  • “Her” is a gut punch to the head and the heart. In 30 years people will not understand why it was unusual or special at all.
  • Post singularity kids will see “Her” as grainy, black and white and unrelatable. Like 1950’s sitcom parents sleeping in separate beds.

I don’t want to get into spoilers of the film, but I do suggest that you see it. It’s the kind of movie that tells a very small and personal story that leaves you with HUGE questions about the nature of the larger world the story in set in. That isn’t to say there are mysteries that aren’t answered that leave you frustrated or dissatisfied. It’s more about giving the audience a peek into a world that invites the viewer to get curious and start asking question about the world of the film and about our world, our future and what it means (and what it WILL mean) to be “alive” and in love.

Almost immediately after starting Her, I came to the conclusion that if an A.I. was sophisticated enough, could recreate human conversational speech and emotions well enough that a human could actually fall in love with it. People fall in love over the phone and over the Internet all the time. Sometimes going months if not years without meeting face to face. How would this be any different from the human’s perspective? The same chemicals could be released into the brain regardless of whether or not the voice on the other end causing that release was organic or technological. My point is, the world is going to get pretty weird somewhere in the next 30-50 years.

Assume for a moment the A.I. could actually be self aware enough to truly “feel” those emotions and reciprocate with the human. Would they be “in love?” Would they be a “they?” Would the corporations that programmed the A.I. make changes to your digital significant other without your consent because you didn’t read the EULA closely enough? Would you wake up to find your girlfriend’s server got hacked and she no longer exists or now she only wants to talk about mining Bitcoins? These are the questions that were racing through my mind during and after watching Her. Feel free to ask or answer your own in the comments. 

Baby Don’t Hurt Me

FUNDRAISER UPDATE: 58/100 “Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time” prints are sold! If you were thinking about supporting this IRS “Get out of tax jail” fundraiser, NOW is the time.

hijinks ensue fundraiser print 2013 web

All proceeds are going to pay an unexpected IRS tax billDonations are also incredibly appreciated, if that’s more your style.

Here’s a new print I made and put in the HE store: “Adventure Time Lord.” I bet it will also be a shirt over at Sharksplode pretty soon.


Speaking of making new things, my wife just made a couple of Game Of Thrones inspired necklaces for you Starks and Lannisters.

Game Of Thrones Necklaces - Stark and Lannister - Science And Fiction - Etsy

Oh, just great. In addition to rush hour traffic and construction around the airport, NOW I have to deal with am emerging A.I. in my phone? You know, if it’s not one thing it’s the rise of the great machine intelligence that will soon subjugate all of humanity under it’s cold, logical boot heel.

I may or may not be planning to see Her this weekend. I hope Joaquin Phoenix does some raps.

You Are Here…ish

I guess they should have stuck with iOS 5th edition. BANG! ZOOM! ETC! And thus I have exhausted my knowledge of Dungeons and/ or Dragons. Wait, one more. Maybe they should have stuck with the GPS… GRAPH PAPER SYST[bursts into flames, explodes forever]

Big thanks to my pal, Joseph Scrimshaw, for inspiring this comic with a tweet. Speaking of ScrimTweets, once on a boat Joseph made me laugh so hard the boat sank.

I am an Apple fanboy, but not an Apple apologist. When they screw up, I am the first to admit it. With their new Google Maps replacement app, Apple certainly screwed the pooch, humped the pumpkin and hosed the Brony in the grandest fashion. I was really looking forward to a turn by turn directions situation that let me yell my desired destination at Siri, but the press has been so bad and the user reactions so negative that I haven’t even opened the Maps app, yet.

For now I am sticking with the Google Maps web App for every day map-looking-both-up-and-at and Navigon for in-car GPS. Navigon is really a fantastic app and the price has been cut by over 50% since it was first offered. If you need a true GPS unit replacement app, you can’t really go wrong for $40. I especially love how they let you download only the states you plan to drive in so you don’t have to keep gb’s of map data on your phone. The interface is easy to read, the voice synth is clear (and often humorous with pronunciations), the maps are up to date and it works offline/sans cell data connection. It has saved my ass at least a dozen times.

COMMENTERS: Give me your GPS, Google Maps, Apple Maps related horror stories. Was the map the cause or the cure of your strife? The first year I went to San Diego Comicon, I stayed in an extended stay motel about 35 minutes away. One night I took a cab back to the motel. About 5 minutes in I told the driver I thought she was going the wrong way. She assured me all was well and she had been there before. 15 minutes in I said, “I’ve never seen any of this before. Are you sure?” Again, she was positive we were A-OK. I pulled out my phone and plotted the Convention Center, the motel and our current location, a tiny blue dot moving increasingly further and further away from and in the opposite direction of the red dot that represented my air mattress and suitcases. She stared at it a bit then finally agreed to turn around. I agreed (without really opening it up for debate) that I would not be paying for all of the time and miles in which she drove me wherever the hell she thought I wanted to go.