Tech’s endless attempts to apply neural networks to writing are an utter failure to understand humanity and address real problems

http://www.offshorecomic.com/

If there’s one thing that’s stayed consistent throughout my entire time in the tech industry, it’s been the relentless effort on the part of engineers to fabricate problems in order to justify spending time on programming challenges they find “interesting.” Just because a problem exists in the programming world does not necessarily mean there is a real-world analog for that problem. …


Late night hosts have varied in their responses to the loss of laughs, and some have adapted more gracefully than others.

Does anyone remember back in 2012 when someone managed to get an episode of The Big Bang Theory up on YouTube without a laugh track? As a committed non-fan of the show, I was elated when I discovered it, believing it might finally force viewers (read: my parents) to confront the fact that the show was nothing more than a brain-rotting waste of time. And though I wasn’t disappointed — the show does indeed fall apart without the laughter — I ended up getting more than just the schadenfreude I was looking for.

The basic premise of a laugh track…


Why aspiring musicians, programmers, linguists, and bakers shouldn’t let theory get in the way of learning something new

Sheet music thanks to sheetmusicdirect.com

I took piano lessons when I was six, for what feels like a long time, but was probably only a year or so, and as far as I recall, I hated it. I don’t actually have many memories of the lessons themselves — that is, sitting on the bench with my hands on the keys playing music. What I do have is a set of tangential memories: the fights I’d get in with my mom for not having practiced a single time between weekly lessons; the basket of chachkie toys my teacher used to get me to pay attention; the…


Working on a bear for a stop-motion film. His name is Dave.


Only three nights ago, I watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown with my girlfriend before bed. It was the one about Seattle. When it was over and my girlfriend got up to go brush her teeth, I went for my phone, pulled up Instagram, and searched through my recent stories for any from Anthony. He was on Instagram constantly, and the stories were always there. His most recent one was from an hour earlier — a slow pan of a hotel room in France. The one before that was video of Chef Eric Ripert chatting with the Parts…


Four years, eight months and change ago, I made the first commits to an app called Razefeed, a poorly-named permit data scraper that would (somehow) eventually morph into what is now CityGrows. I had no idea at the time that I was starting a startup. All I knew was I wanted better access to public data — specifically the kind that would help me figure out what the heck was going on with real estate development in Downtown Los Angeles’s Fashion District. And so I set out to do just that.

Before long however, the project ballooned far beyond a…


Remember the morning after Brexit happened, when Nigel Farage went on TV and admitted that several of the key promises proposed by the campaign weren’t actually true? Remember how duped so many voters felt? Well get ready: it’s about to happen all over again. Except this time Nigel Farage is Jill Stewart, and Brexit is Measure S, the March ballot initiative to halt all real estate development in Los Angeles for the next two years.

Back in June, I wrote an open letter to Jill explaining how Measure S (formerly called the “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative”) was not an appropriate way…


I used to work in an office on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and La Brea, at the start of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On our lunch breaks, my coworkers would get kicks out of watching out the window, narrating comic thoughts to match the disappointed expressions on the tourist’s faces walking by. Our quips almost always ended up being some variation of, “I’ve made a huge mistake.

Hollywood’s brand is extremely powerful, and it lures people on expensive vacations to Los Angeles from all over the world. But the sad reality is that the vision of Hollywood that…


If there was one piece of advice I could give to software developers looking for work at a startup, it would be to care.

If you’re anything like me, you spent the majority of your young life listening to other people tell you what to do to get a good job. People told you you had to go to a good college. They told you you needed to do internships during your summers and join leadership organizations and wear a suit to your interviews and have a resumé perfectly formatted to fit on a single page.

I played that game…


This article was written partially in response to Airbnb’s announcement of Samara, their new design studio.

My girlfriend mentioned to me yesterday that the manager at a restaurant she and her coworkers had gone to for lunch had asked her to order her meal via an app.

Beaming, he went on to inform her that their team was “embracing this whole technology thing,” and that all she had to do to order her food was download the app and select the items she wanted. …

Stephen Corwin

Co-founder CityGrows | Eventual proprietor Alpaca Hot Spring Rave Farm | Regretful non-architect, non-filmmaker | Fountain of unqualified opinions

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