a loosely-defined set of symbols

Fendor faked his own death (as everyone suspects) but so did Meredith. Meredith then killed Fendor for real, using Mac's knife, during the macarena, and she is the one who has been moving the statues.

All of the characters except Benny are animatronic robots that Benny created in the alien lab, but due to the trauma on New Year's Eve, he's suppressed that knowledge. He will regain his memory, and then in a climactic final scene will discover that he is also a robot, created by the aliens before they left Earth, and Sherene has known all along.

The characters are all dead and in Hell; Benny is Satan.

The characters are all dead and in Heaven; Mac is God.

The characters are all dead; Benny is God, Mac is Satan, and the two are vying for control of the others through the visions.

Meredith and Mac are working together to drive Benny insane, so they can split the lottery winnings between them; everyone but Benny knows that Meredith is still alive, but don't mention it to avoid enraging him again.

Sherene and Mac are lovers, and only pretending to hate each other to keep Meredith from suspecting.

Benny and Mac are lovers, and only pretending to hate each other to keep Sherene from suspecting.

Sherene has a key to the Circular Room, and has been slipping in at night and planting the “alien messages” to manipulate the others.

Fendor was not killed by the poison, and regained consciousness during the macarena. He is the one that lit the fire in the abbey, and used the distraction to steal Meredith's papers.

Anyone entering the Circular Room is transported forward in time by one day (alien technology). This is how Meredith could reappear in the dining room after the macarena; Mac was not involved in any way.

There are lots of open questions about (among other things) the legal status of AI art tools (Midjourney, StableDiffusion, etc.) with respect to the works that the AIs are trained on.

What might happen in the short to medium term, with the concerns of artists and writers whose works are used to produce AI tools that other people then use to create art and writing that might (for instance) cut into the demand for the works of those artists and writers? Will the legal system find that (for instance) there are copyright issues involved at all?

I list some possibilities, in roughly descending order of how likely I think they are:

  • I fear that the most likely outcome is that the artists and writers are just out of luck, because some of the AI tools companies are rich and individual artists and writers, even as a class, aren’t rich.
  • Second most likely, the bigger AI-makers will give some symbolic amount of money to something that will benefit some artists and writers a little and some lawyers a lot, and there will be no precedent-setting court decision.
  • Less likely, after some long wrangling process, something like the Private Copying Levy might be worked out, which is sort of like that last bullet, but more codified and involving more money, and possibly a precedent that there is a copyright violation at least potentially involved.
  • Even less likely, there would be some kind of opt-out process whereby a creator could indicate they didn’t want their stuff used to train AIs, and makers of AI engines would have to like re-generate their neural nets annually without the opted-art works.
  • And at the bottom, perhaps fairest in some sense but also least likely, a straightforward finding that AI Engine makers, at least ones that make money, really do need the right to copy and/or prepare derivative works of the things they train their engines on. So we’d get engines trained on just public domain works, things out of copyright, things posted under sufficiently permissive licenses, things they explicitly license, and so on. I would be fine with this, myself, but I wouldn’t bet on it happening.

Time will tell, and most likely the above is wrong in significant and interesting ways. :)

(Things might get interestingly different if big record companies eventually go up against big AI makers over AI tools for music; it's interesting in itself that this hasn't happened, and there's no Stable Diffusion for music! I wonder why.)

I wrote a version of this list on my main wordpress weblog (scroll down a bit there), in the context of a developing class action lawsuit against Microsoft and GitHub, over copyright violations in the CoPilot product (which, unlike AI tools for text and art, seems to commit verbatim copying with some frequency).

But I think the basic set of possibilities applies to generative AI tools for text and art as well, so I thought I'd post an appropriately tweaked list here as well. I guess you can't comment here :) unless I've overlooked an affordance, so feel free to comment on the original wordpress post or post at me on Mastodon or whatever!

TEN social media?

I realized that I'm on so many social media (“social media”) systems now, that I can't keep them all straight. So I set up a Link Tree (thus adding yet another system?) to hold pointers to them all. So far there appear to be ten (not including Link Tree): . Let's list them as they are today, with brief commentary, just for fun!

Mastodon: Sort of my main hangout after fleeing Twitter (although I do still stray back there now and then). Mostly I boost stuff, sometimes comment, boost my PixelFed images (see below), and sometimes say random things there.

Pixelfed: Midjourney pictures! Mostly weird and/or surreal. I generate literally thousands of these (headed for that MJ 25,000 club soon), and post a teeny tiny fraction of the ones I love most. Entire essays could be written about the aesthetic, social, legal, and moral status of AI Art: as I say in my profile on Pixelfed, “I think AI Art is Art, and I also think that the rights of artists whose works are used in creating AI Art tools must be respected, and I hope we find a path that benefits everyone.” I've written various things about the legal / copyright status of things made with AI art tools on the ceoln weblog (see below also), but eventually I got bored of it. :) Copyright law (and practice) are such a mess, mere reason isn't enough to predict what might happen.

The main WordPress weblog: This is where “ceoln” originally comes from; it's short for “the Curvature of the Earth is Overwhelmed by Local Noise”, for no particular reason. I post stuff there, including my NaNoWriMo stories, random thoughts, and sometimes more organized sets of like Midjourney or Nightcafe pictures.

The Dale Innis weblog: A weblog, quiet sparsely updated lately, where I would talk about Second Life, Opensim, and other virtual worlds (i.e. World of Warcraft, heh heh) stuff, back when I kept that identity more separate from my real-world one.

Instagram: Mostly I post pictures of one building on 14th Street for no apparent reason. Also some graffiti and the occasional heartwarming cat picture or something.

The Beauty Of Our Weapons dot tumblr dot com: I created this a long time ago, mostly just reposting funny pictures or weird little things I did in Photoshop or whatever. More recently threw a few Midjourney images there because why not. Maybe tumblr will become the dominant social media site (again)!

u/ceoln on Reddit: I'm not all that active on reddit, but what the heck? :) I was active in like r/aidungeon for awhile, back before that burned down. And r/zen despite it being a perpetual trashfire.

Me on Friendica: Just playing with this so far; not sure how it differs from Mastodon, except that maybe its client is also an RSS/Atom reader?

me on WriteFreely: Right here! :) Not positive why, yet; experimenting with it as an WordPress alternative I spose.

me on Twitter: Under my Dale Innis identity again. I didn't realize how bad using Twitter made me feel, until I started using other things instead.

There should really be a “Preview” button for this UI. I wonder what this will look like once I publish it! :)

Noun Phrases

A large white room. In the center of the room, a white cube. On the wooden cube, an abstract metal shape.

An open box made of wooden slats. An old matchbook, in the box. An old screwdriver, in the box. Three small screws, and a nail, in the box.

A table up against one wall of a silent cluttered room. A plate and a cup sitting on the table. A broken pencil, sitting on the table.

A pack of tarot cards, buried at the foot of a tree, near the edge of the woods. An old house, standing at the edge of the woods. A leaf, fallen from a tree near the old hour. An acorn, fallen from the same tree.

The stones spread on the driveway of the house. The cracked cement stairs leading down to the driveway. The cracked cement wall next to the driveway. The round holes in the cement wall, lined with red mortar. A chipmunk that lives in a hole in the cement wall.

A snake. A snake coiled around a stick. A snake coiled around an automatic weapon. A snake with one eye, coiled around an automatic weapon abandoned in a forgotten corner of the plaza.

Feelings of pleasant melancholy upon contemplating things in the past that bloomed and then faded all too soon.

A postage stamp. A post-it note. A roll of Scotch Brand Magic Transparent Tape. A pebble.

The sound made by your spoon in your half-empty coffee cup. The smell of coffee. Chlorogenic acid.

The City of Paris. La République française.

An apartment in Paris. The hallway door to an apartment in Paris. A metal plate on the hallway door to an apartment in Paris. The number 317.

A question about the speaker's experience with urban planning. The concept of truth. The title of the presentation. The speaker's hair. The color of the speaker's hair. The first page of the speaker's notes.

A cat sleeping in a box. A cat sleeping in the sun. A cat sleeping under a bed. A cat sleeping on a sofa. A cat sleeping on a rug. A cat sleeping on a hooked rug that depicts the story of the scorpion and the frog.

Books. Cows. A rabbit. A tablet. A rabbit-shaped tablet. Two cows. 3.9 million votes. Sweaters. Time. Motion. Long division. A table leg.

An analysis of the cultural consequences of the Muslim transformation of Constantinople. The United States Senate. Weblogs. Fear. Three sticks bound together with a length of vine. Rainbows.

I say that all the time. :)

I forget where-all I've written down more about it, and what it means (ha ha a trick, nothing “means”).

“Language cannot express truth” isn't true, or at least doesn't express truth (since it's language and all).

And also because when we learn (by ostention) what it means to express truth, the examples we learn from are pretty much linguistic.

But it's meant to suggest that there is something that we might expect language to do, or might think that it does, that it does not actually do.

I wrote some words about this in the 2022 NaNoWriMo novel “Various Flings”. Let's see...

“I might write down the words 'language allows one mind to communicate a thought to another'; but what is communication? What is thought?

This is why it is difficult to construct language about language, nicht wahr? I can use language, and these books can use language, to speak about, to be about, anything whatever, on the assumption that language works for speaking about things. But if I am going to speak about language? What can I use, if I have not yet satisfied myself (satisfied the potential reader) that language works?”

That is not entirely it. Another bit of it is that truth, either the detailed material truth of the universal wave equation or the subjectively infinite truth of experience, is far too complex and nuanced to capture in some very finite string of symbols from a tiny even more finite set, in any approximation sufficiently accurate to deserve the title of truth.

Exceptions in the case of for instance small formal systems may be addressed later on.


Well, this looks interesting!

This is my first Weblog Entry (if indeed that's what it is!) on the #fediverse weblog-like thing, called I have the impression #writefreely.

It supports markdown.

(The opposite of “markup” laughter.)

I always forget how to do links in markup; like, which punctuation thing is which.

I have gone and looked it up in order to link to my WordPress weblog. We'll see how that worked.

I am writing this from my “phone”, if ya can believe it.

Now I will send this off, and interact with it from Mastodon, and see how that looks.


(I say “woot” with some frequency.)