Well, that hiatus went far longer than expected! I’ve had a lot of changes in my life in the last year that kept pushing this project further and further out. Most recently I bought a new-to-me townhome, which has eaten up much of my life in renovations, before catching on fire last week. Fortunately the fire was stopped before it reached my unit, but it still has put back moving in by several weeks, in addition to dealing with insurance and getting utilities turned back on and just everything.
And yet, I had announced a month ago that Crystal Society is launching first week of April, and dammit, it’s the first week of April, so here we are! :)
I am ridiculously excited to be doing Crystal Society, and wish to thank Max Harms again for giving me permission to podcast it. It’s a great story, and I’ve gone over the reasons why I love it in my review of the book, so I won’t repeat myself too much (if you’re interested, the review is linked). But in addition to my unabashed love of Face, I think this is a great exploration of an almost-human mind and helps to bring people to an intuitive understanding of just how difficult (and important) the AI alignment problem is. Even if we could make something that thinks like a human, encoding human values is *hard*.
I learned another frustrating lesson about language while editing this episode. I said “vista” like “vee-stah.” Literally everyone else in the whole world pronounces it “vih-stah.” And having just me saying “veestah” while everyone else says “vihsta” is really distracting and aesthetically unpleasant. I had to go back and re-record every single instance of my saying “Vista” in episodes 1 & 2 and splice in the retake, which is a giant pain. >< I hope the edits aren’t too noticeable.
Really wish someone would’ve corrected my pronunciation at some point in the last 30-odd years. :/ But on the other hand, aside from a few months in the late 90s, I don’t think I use the word “vista” more than once a year.
Intro/Outro – I Wanna Be Adored, by The Stone Roses