Dingus of the week: Marc Andreessen
Marc Andreessen, Titan of American industry (which is what we are calling criminals now), is worried about the creator economy.
What is he worried about specifically? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because he’s not worried about theft or low wages or the dearth of opportunities. He’s worried that creators are whiney little snitches who don’t like him stealing their creations for his AI robots to feed on.
This week, in a letter to the US Copyright Office, the firm Andreessen Horowitz wrote, “Imposing the cost of actual or potential copyright liability on the creators of AI models will either kill or significantly hamper their development.” The only right way to train AI, according to the company owned by actual billionaires, was using “something approaching the entire corpus of the written word” and “an enormous cross-section of all of the publicly available information ever published on the internet.”
If I can translate from Corporate Speak to English, and I think I can, their argument is basically, how dare you expect some of the world’s richest people to pay for the content they are using to train their robots?! Do you know how much content those robots need to eat before they can spit out one coherent sentence? The ABSOLUTE audacity of expecting a company to pay for the things it’s stealing from the unwashed commoners. I mean, look at them with their little pumpkin spices, and silly little memes, tumbling about in the darkness, sending email reminders to their bosses, while the world swiftly spins into oblivion. They’re so used to having their work stolen, their wages stolen, and their health ruined, does it even matter if Marc Andreessen also wants to take their words and pictures?
And if necessary, he’ll feed them a few actual humans too. Not because the robots need it but because it brings him joy. If you have to crush a few be-dandruffed skulls of the poors to feel better, then so be it. Marc Andreessen is a self-care king.
Essentially, Andreessen Horowitz wrote to the American government and was like, “Hey, you and I both know the benefits of stealing. Amirite? So, let’s just pretend this isn’t happening, okay?” Compelling argument, Marc. When has that ever backfired? *Stares in Killers of the Flower Moon*
How DARE you expect him, Marc Andreessen, to pay the actual cost of things?
Incredibly, this AI technology —which America’s wealthiest duds of men have all agreed is something they’d rather spend money on rather than, say, affordable housing — can only exist through theft and exploitation, much like the men who are pioneering it.
Despite all of that, Marc Andreessen would like you to please stop paying attention to the small issue of his massive thefts of your work, content, and livelihoods and focus on what’s really important — making Marc Andreessen money.
Marc, don’t make me bring back my app, GYLLTYN
Dingus runner up: Daylight savings time
Last week, we celebrated America’s beloved tradition of messing with the clocks just so everyone who is already feeling crushed by the enormous weight of capitalism can feel a little bit more tired as a treat.
Daylight savings time began as a way to keep people going to work, while saving money on electricity. Instead of letting people just go home when it’s dark, America was like, what if we CHANGED TIME just to make people work harder?
Now we have electricity and all sorts of devices that illuminate buildings but we cling to this antiquated changed of the clocks, why? Because we love misery and capitalism.
So, now it’s the time of year when we awake in the dark, we return from work in the dark. Dark. We live in darkness. And the darkness overwhelms us. It swallows us. The darkness draws us into her bosom and says, “shhhhhhh shhhhh it’s okay because at least Marc Andreessen is getting rich, have a pumpkin spice.”
The change last Sunday shifted our clocks away from daylight savings time to standard time. Standard time is supposedly the one that aligns more closely with our circadian rhythms.
But still ,we refuse to change. And if that's not a metaphor for the American experiment, I don’t know what else is.
And now for something good:
Last weekend, my kids and I set up our Christmas tree. I see a lot of people bemoaning the Christmas creep. But I say, WHY NOT? Who does it hurt? Does it hurt Thanksgiving’s feelings? It’s a holiday that essentially celebrates genocide and you are out here defending its honor? No, let’s let the December holidays steamroller anything they want.
So, in the spirit of my friend, let me offer you a pep talk: You want to put up twinkle lights? Then, BY GOD PUT UP THOSE TWINKLE LIGHTS. You do not need permission to put up lights or a giant decaying pine tree in your home. You do not need permission to don a Santa hat or put peppermint whipped cream in your coffee.
You squeeze out every single drop of joy from that dry rag of life.
Some more good things…
Love to see this ambitious zoning code that is being proposed in Milwaukee!
The orcas are at it again. If you recall, this past summer was the summer of the whale.
Also, are the national Democrats going to get abortion on the ballot in other states? Is there finally a plan?!
In Iowa, extremist school board candidates were roundly defeated. A lot is being made of this defeat as a “rebuke” of Iowa’s governor and I think that at best, that’s over-extrapolating and at worst, being willfully ignorant of the other political factors in the state. It is a win worth celebrating. But it’s not a win for the Iowa Democratic Party, because it’s more reflective of incumbency, local name recognition, and local issues. And it’s the Iowa legislature that passed the book bans. And I’ll believe Iowans are rebuking those measures when Iowans vote out the lawmakers that banned the books.
In Kentucky, Andy Beshear won reelection.
Quick note: This week, Jim Spanfeller, a professional herb, shut down the website Jezebel. Jezebel was the site where got my start. The site that launched a thousand bitches, including me. The reasoning was that the parent company claimed they couldn’t make money from it. But in the era of the Barbie movie and Taylor Swift, not being able to make money off women’s media is a sign you are bad at your job.
I will have more to say next week about Jezebel and women’s anger. But I am bringing it up because the closure of women’s media across the industry means that so many writers (like me!) are working for ourselves now.
So thank you for your support! Most of the nearly 40,000 subscribers are free. And I am committed to keeping the bulk of my content free. But if it’s possible to move to a paid option, I encourage you to do so. Paying subscribers help me pay my editor and podcast producer and make it so I can keep on slinging dinguses every week:
What I am drinking:
It’s less than two weeks out from Thanksgiving and I am preparing to host a dinner with my sister and her husband next weekend. I am also hosting a small Thanksgiving celebration with a friend, and a Friendsgiving on Friday. This means I am prepping my drink recipes.
This year, I think I’m going to lean heavily on the punch. Why punch? Well, because I have a beautiful punch bowl I bought from a garage sale a couple of years ago and never use except to put chips in at parties. And I think that’s reason enough.
Normalize matching your drinks to your drinkware!! Normalize using fancy cups!
Normalize eking joy out of every available area of this meager miserly world.
Tell me your favorite holiday drinks!
Also, this song is going to have to carry my seasonal depression on it’s back.