On Wednesday evening I walked with Mum and Nash around the Torrens after dinner. She was complaining about dealing with call centres and hard to understand people. I mentioned that AI and voice synthetization would probably replace those employees within a few years, and potentially my own job as well. After I extolled the benefits of generative AI some more she asked what I would do as a job if AI replaced my current one. I answered that I would pivot back to being an author and writing stories. I don't think AI will take over that for a while yet.

And yet... I finished the draft of my latest story a few months ago which gave me great satisfaction. And I workshopped it after making a return to writer's group where I also received good feedback to help improve it. All that is left for me to send this story to publishers for the small chance of it being published. And I have procrastinated that step more than any other in the process of writing it. Much of this procrastination time has been used to upskill myself in Generative AI.

Submitting stories is so hard because that's the point you lose control of them. And that's the point the feedback loop can stretch to such lengths that the whole hobby feels unfulfilling. Programming in React means you don't even need to refresh the page to see functionality changes. A short story can take months to get rejected. That means a thread is running in your brain for all that time. You can try to ignore it, but it's there.

But getting stories accepted is more fulfilling that pushing code or even running serverless function apps. You have to try and submit, even though rejection will come. And what better time to learn how to handle this fear, when AI is coming for our day jobs.

If you like Bradism, you'll probably enjoy my stories. You can click a cover below and support me by buying one of my books from Amazon.

If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

[Freebie] Dinner, Soft Drink and Pinball (Save $35) [SA]

Tonight I attended a meetup for Australia's preeminent online bargain finding website. It played out how I expected it would. Chow negotiating a deal with the owner of the barcade for better discounts on the free dinner. Me briefly interacting awkwardly with strangers from the internet, then taking advantage of the unlimited play on the pinball machines partly to avoid conversation and partly to learn how to tilt machines without being penalised. I did ask a few people the small talk question I prepared in the car. What's the best bargain you found? Only one person had an answer. I focused mainly on the Wheel of Fortune pinball where I successfully solved two puzzles, GIANT PANDA and UNSALTED CARAMEL. Solving puzzles results in a delightful multi-ball period.

I Mammal

I enjoy reading history books, though it typically leaves me feeling infinitely small in the zeitgeist of human history aka the universe. There's been approximately 108 billion humans on this Earth (according to Chat GPT), and a number several magnitudes greater of total mammals (Chat GPT refused to get specific). Since synapsids broke off from reptiles and started on the evolutionary high way to developing LLMs (Dimetrodon isn't a dinosaur, but actually my great-grandpa?) there have been generations and radiations of so many layers and layers of creatures throughout the epochs that eventually gave us humans and golden retrievers and elephants without scrotums.

I found Liam Drew's I, Mammal: The Story of What Makes Us Mammals endlessly fascinating as he took me through the stages of evolution that led to nipples and middle ears and brains. Every time he explained how one of our mammalian traits could have developed - like hearing, and being able to survive out of water without oxygen - it made so much sense. Like, well, yeah I can see why that trait led to a higher success rate than other animals without it.

There were also lots of good titbits of a lighter nature. Like, apparently sperm were first observed by the person who invented the microscope. He didn't even let anyone else have a go first.

The chemistry of genes and hormones also was insightful. Apparently in one experiment with rats - who usually press a lever to be rewarded with food - were given a lever that resulted in baby rat pups being pushed out the chute. All the rats did not press this lever, except the group that they dosed with oxytocin triggering hormones and those rats pumped that lever until they had twenty babies at their feet. That explained a lot.

While I now feel even more miniscule, I do feel less like I am at the top of an evolutionary tree, or even a leaf on a branch. On timescales of millions of years I'm basically overlapping Napoleon in comparison to Dimetrodon. I am essentially background noise.

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I experience a moment of self awareness at lunchtime. I was walking back to the office from the city library. A borrowed book and a kilogram of low fat strawberry yogurt balanced in one hand while I tried to slide my sunglasses on between the headband of my noise cancelling headphones with the other. I realised that I was probably peaking.


Some days it seems bizarre that my job is to sit, which is not very comfortable, and not to walk up steep hills, which feels so natural.


Social activities planned for the weekend all vaporized for a variety of reasons. Instead, how I spent much of my time was building an API into Bing Chat so that I could use it from my PHP application. I couldn't do this directly as I needed to host a NodeJS library to act as a proxy. So I elected to deploy a serverless function app in Azure to fill the gap.

As an IT Professional I've advocated for serverless solutions plenty of times as Cloud becomes a more routine part of organisation's infrastructure landscape. There is much to like about the concept of code that's only running when you need it, that will spin up in milliseconds any time you want it. But despite having a reasonable understanding of how that works under the hood, I've never actually deployed serverless code myself. So there was an element of magic that lingered behind the curtain.

Building and deploying a serverless API only took a few hours, and that included setting up an Azure account and installing Visual Studio Code plugins. The only real problem I had was with a version of Node that was too high. I called my API a few times from my PHP application and it worked. Such a mundane experience, but it felt like I was finally over the threshold and ready to call myself a Cloud expert.

Away from my computer, no one seemed to care that there was a piece of code in a database somewhere, but not hosted until it was called into action whenever it was needed. I went for a walk around the neighbourhood, enjoying the golden, sunny light knowing nearly everyone I was passing had never deployed serverless to the cloud.