Ending an Era

It is likely time for me to hang up the keyboard. I feel that way, anyway. Readership is down. Time to gracefully exit the building, perhaps?

But, well, here’s one reason to stay….seems bots and AI are generating news stories now. So a dude from the Guardian investigated 49 separate ‘news’ sites and discovered that the wording was often computer-wording and wrong, phrases repeated, topics full of lies and misinformation. It was all machine-written. He rightly concluded that the bulk of all news was completely or mostly fake or, at the very least, computer-program generated!

I can assure all seven regular readers and the dozen or so intermittent readers who occasionally visit here that no intelligence whatsoever was employed in the writing of this blog. No bots either. No advertisers. This blog is as purely human as I am.

I recall being shocked years ago when I learned that many radio stations were, in fact, just sophisticated computer tape-decks with daily cassettes just plugged in once a day and left to run with no one but maybe a janitor in the building. Radio all day without a human being being involved in the content.

I also recall as a writer/drafter of a few legal documents that much of what lawyers charge hugely for is ‘canned’ language and phrases that were put in their computers and then cut and pasted to make a new fancy document for a client. I even did the copy-and-paste legal drafting myself to some extent. So it is not a huge leap of imagination to conceive and enact a GIANT data base of news items gathered over decades and, with much of the news just latest variations on oft-repeated acts, let the machine write it up.

Who needs feet-on-the-ground reporting when everything has been done so many times before with just the names requiring change. Hell, some of the facts might even be different now and then but, who cares?

Put bluntly: if some nerd does not have a US mass-shooting program that can spit out the latest murder spree report in seconds with only the names of the dead, the shooter, the Sherriff and the town involved, they are missing a great opportunity to join the ranks of new journalists. That story repeats in the US every day.

I think bots and AI are writing the Ukraine-Russia war, too. I follow the news and have done so for over a year and still have no idea what is going on. Today I read a headline of a massive drone attack from Russia that overwhelmed Kiev. Destruction, chaos, etc. Five dead. I immediately wondered, a Texas family man kills more than that at a local McDonalds…? How does Russia unleash a major assault resulting in total chaos but only five got killed? I mean, when countries bomb other countries, don’t hundreds or even thousands get killed? Who wrote that story?

My point? Well, I obviously am not overly popular but at least I am original. No facts, no research, no intelligence (natural or artificial), no bots. For better or worse, I may be exceptionally light and fluffy reading but I am at least a real person.

22 thoughts on “Ending an Era

    • “….maybe not agree..?” Alberta John? Zat you? If so, you are one of the intermittent dozen but valued highly still. Imagine having a right wing Conservative Albertan read me? That’s a huge compliment. Thank you. If it is one of my ‘other Johns’, it is not so much the same compliment because one of them and I are so much alike and the other is a friend of 45 years. Hmmm….three great Johns…..


  1. and …. Dave – you are real. Please keep writing. You keep showing the crap of the world is the not the real. Don’t stop. Your dogs and the birds who visit make reality, your family and OTG and your boat / car loaded after the big shopping reality, hauling everything up to your home. Keep writing.


  2. Okay, fourth & final try! Please don’t stop! I’ve just suffered a(self diagnosed) bout of longCovid and I only survived by reading archived versions of your blog, and comments. That, and the thought of Mendoza!
    When one experiences a near end episode they tend to throw caution to the wind and say “just go for it”!
    On that note, have you ever considered a fourth volume of J. David’s Blogs and Comments?
    I wish WordPress would consider saving passwords.


    • OK. I won’t stop. I mean, I really do not want to ( I have a spleen, after all) but there is nothing sadder than a poor writer gone to seed. Still, there is so much more to comment on. There is a lot going on. I suppose I was a bit put off by recent events and then realizing that so much of what I must have read in the last few years could just be bot crap. Think about that – the ‘net’ needs so much ‘content’ they are having bots and AI write it! And I, not being a bot or even artificially intelligent can attract only 7 magnificent and maybe 3 dozen almost-magnificent readers. There are Russian bots and Kardashian butts out there more popular than I am.


  3. Add Twitter to your news feed. Spam,lies,AI, are quickly getting removed. Follow the subjects that interest you. Lots of ammo for you to rant on.


  4. I think some AIbot just destroyed my passwords…I can not log in anymore to your WordPress page to comment. So I hope you get my message this way : Please DO NOT STOP! Even if it’s only for us 7 + the dozen intermittent readers. Your blogs, comments, advices are so real life and straight from the heart, they can never be replaced by a zillion chatbots or AI computers. After your blog, I took a trip on memory lane and went through all your posted pictures on your WordPress account (still can see the account, just not comment directly).
    So now that you have scared us by saying you would stop, please consider this as a kind but warm and honest request from my side to continue writing


    • Thanks, WdG. I’ll continue. Kinda hafto or else I will blow up and explode. But, I confess, having a healthy readership-feedback audience really helps. They tell me (indirectly) what they are interested in and what kind of viewpoint might an OTG guy have. THAT is fun.


  5. How will we get our OTG fix?
    How will you get to rant out loud and get a response?
    Mirrors don’t cut it. I’ve tried that option.
    You could always go “total nutbar” in your rants to have 100 CSIS bureaucrats log in everyday.
    Don’t let the “radio” go silent like “On The Beach”…….
    We few Ham operators live vicariously through you and Sal….


    • I have a natural abhorrence to mirrors. But I like the CSIS hack. I used to urge our Chinese students to yell ‘Alahu Akbar’ at the airport to get better service. Yeah..you are right…someone has to document the Sal legend. Who better?


  6. I would much prefer you not to pack it in. I read all of your posts and all comments. I hold back commenting a bit because I seem to have an unseemly penchant for putting a prophylactic on discourse. By that, I refer to a number of instances in which I have noticed that you will post an item and get a few early responses. I might be reply # 4 or 5, and the thread dies. Had I not interjected, maybe 20 more would have come in, but my post has a chilling effect that puts folks off their feed. So I tend more to keep quiet and simply to enjoy reading.

    Moreover, many of your writings are too learned and cerebral for my reptilian brain. You have knowledge of current events – local and global – and insights as to cause and effect and likely future outcomes. You understand the key players and their divers attributes and what influences them. Meanwhile, I am not thinking much beyond what to have for dinner tonight and just what it is that requires me to have to spend $5,600 to sandblast and paint the bottom of an 18-foot welded aluminum boat.

    But (forgive me for starting a paragraph with a conjunction), your scholarly posts are about my only source of reading anything at all educational and thought-provoking. By contrast, your posts that are more confined to OTG life I enjoy as reaffirming why I am here (except for those times when, as you know in recent years, I am with my wife overseas).

    So, I beseech you, don’t stop! Or must I entreaty you with tears?


    • Firstly, your comments are NOT the kiss of death. They are fun and exceptionally well written. They are, however, so good, they may have a hard-act-to-follow effect but I am 100% sure the Magnificent Seven would not be deterred in the least. So just go for it.
      As for the $5600 to sand blast the bottom, that’s insane. Why do it? Why not just power wash, accept a few remaining calcium deposits and paint? The little 18 footers around here just power wash and do not even paint! They just power wash every year. One firm and non-debatable fact: any professional marine service is a rip-off. This is a DIY job. If you can’t DIY, then we’ll get you a power washer and get Monty to do it. Under $1000. He’s young, strong and very helpful. Plus anyone can hold a power washer.


  7. I hope this does not cause you too much depression. Maybe you saw this already. It appeared mysteriously in my inbox. Obviously it originated from Ai. The clue, ‘he’ made 2 revealing errors. ‘He’ said time to exit the building, and understated tenfold your readers claiming 7. . I may have to stop reading you. Can you give your readers a code by which we can verify you? Hate to see your security breached. . S


  8. It’s gonna be a scorcher this weekend Dave.
    Do you and Sal have the homemade beer and potato salad on standby?
    Or are you a cold bean salad kinda guy with a dollop of white wine?


    • Just started planning all that. This year’s gonna be hot. If we are a bit too hot this weekend, so be it but I am disinclined to repeat that all summer. Time to get it together. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate NOT being in crowded elevators now.


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