Saturday, January 1, 2022

You Say You Want A Resolution

Janelle Shane
, author of "You Look Like a Thing and I Love You", which I said I was going to buy back when I posted her wonderful AI-Generated Christmas Carol, is now the first ever "Futurist in Residence" at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building

I still haven't gotten around to buying the book but I will. I am, however, following her blog, which is now on the blog roll to your right for your future convenience. Or futurist convenience. One of those.

As her first public act of professional futurism, she's populated the AI generator at the SAIB website with resolutions generated using an iterative and selective process she describes in detail on her aforesaid blog

The post includes a link to the generator and I was going to use it to generate some resolutions of my own to post here. Unfortunately, having spent about fifteen minutes combing through the various pages of the Smithsonian's website, I can't find it. 

I'm sure it's there. It's probably just hiding. Maybe it's shy. Or else it isn't ready yet. Maybe that.

Either way, I'm not missing the opportunity. Luckily, Janelle has a long list of the kind of resolutions the AI came up with, or at least the ones that she's willing to let us see. Apparently the AI has some odd ideas, as you might expect from something that learns everything it knows by trawling the internet.

Anyway, here's the list in full. I found it hilarious. Also not entirely impractical. Some of these you could do and it would probably be good for you if you did, too.

  • Record every adjective I hear on the radio.
  • Act like a cabbage for a month.
  • At 4 o'clock every day I will climb a tree.
  • Speak only to apples for 24 hours.
  • Jump in front of a moving tree.
  • On the day of the first snow paint a canvas red.
  • Dress in a way that only a ghost could love.
  • Make pancakes out of grass at midnight each night.
  • Find old man Winter, hug him and let him know everything will be ok.
  • Ride out of town holding a pelican.
  • Under every rock I come across for a month I will write "all power to the rocks".
  • Every day for a year, at a random time, shout "sausage".
  • Make a film about the last sock in the world.
  • Put on a red shirt and scream 'I'M NOT WEARING PANTS!' every time I leave the house.
  • Throw a party for insects.
  • Try to convince the dog next door that he is wearing a coat of moonlight.
  • Every time I press a button I will say 'this is my favorite'.
  • Search my apartment for secret doors or hidden staircases.
  • Wear two superman outfits at the same time.
  • Every time it rains I will stir my tea anti-clockwise.
  • Every night for a week I will wear a hat lined with lettuce.
  • I will begin to believe that the trees that I see everyday are my friends.
  • Every time a bird flies past me I will remember to breathe.
  • Throw a birthday party for my favorite tree.
  • I will from now on tell every dog I meet that I am training to be a dragon.
  • Every time I see a panel van pass me I will dub it a "Slice-a-Wagon."
  • Crawl on the ceiling like a spider for a month.
  • Attempt to find peace living with an army of puppets.
  • Wear a dinosaur costume to every public event I attend.
  • Go to the beach every day for a week and shout the names of colors into the ocean.
  • Go on a three-day backpacking trip dressed as a turnip.
  • Create messages that only the wind can hear by blowing on the blades of grass.
  • Give a piece of cloud to a complete stranger.
  • Make a mask out of grass and wear it while I'm sleeping.
  • I will now treat every worm I see as if it is an old friend.
  • When I hear a strange noise in an empty room I will assume someone is saying hello to me.

I really must buy that book. That's my resolution.

While we're on the subject of AIs, here's something that will either make you think "Hey, that could be the next big thing in eSports!" or give you nightmares for a month.

Honestly, with a paddle that size, it really doesn't look like that much of an achievement but the cyborg apocalypse has to start somewhere.


  1. "Search my apartment for secret doors or hidden staircases." When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the idea that ordinary houses and apartments must have secret passages of some kind. I remember searching with my cousins all over their new house to try to find them.

    I still dream about this sometimes.

    1. Some of the biggest trouble I ever got into as a child was for breaking through a vent in a wall because I'd convinced myself it led to secret passage. Then again, someone in my class actually lived in a house with a priest hole so I had some evidence it could happen.

  2. Of all the strange things about these resolutions, I'm most fascinated by how many of them involve plants or wildlife. There are three about grass alone!

    1. I believe that's alluded to in the full post. Apparently, left to its own devices, the AI gets obsessed with certain patterns and keeps iterating on them... or something like that. Sounds a bit like certain mmorpg devs I could think of... and bloggers, for that matter.

  3. #2 is really easy, I act like a cabbage pretty much all the time.

    Best list of resolutions I've ever seen to be honest.

    1. There's a non-zero chance I'll actually try some of these. Stirring my tea anti-clockwise every time it rains is not at all far from some habits I have already...

  4. Just read this post. Thanks for sharing. My wife and I laughed a lot.. Maybe because I was late I had no trouble finding the resolution generator at the link below.


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