telling stories

On the last Friday of each month I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“Proposal to stop referring to the pandemic in the past tense and climate change in the future tense.”@BethSawin

That you tried your damndest
only to fall ill now
is no reason to feel shame
after so many months
of masks and social distancing
of shots and canceled plans
it is not that you failed
but that your society failed you.


The shame should rest
Where the blame does rest
Yet those who should hang their heads,
abashed at the unexpected harvest their actions did sow
Do not see the ripples in the pond,

while, those who bobbling in the wake,
hear the peal of memory,
“I made a mistake.”


Scientific American: Facial Expressions Do Not Reveal Emotions

Emotion AI systems, therefore, do not detect emotions. They detect physical signals, such as facial muscle movements, not the psychological meaning of those signals. The conflation of movement and meaning is deeply embedded in Western culture and in science. An example is a recent high-profile study that applied machine learning to more than six million internet videos of faces. The human raters, who trained the AI system, were asked to label facial movements in the videos, but the only labels they were given to use were emotion words, such as “angry,” rather than physical descriptions, such as “scowling.” Moreover there was no objective way to confirm what, if anything, the anonymous people in the videos were feeling in those moments.

The Tell of Captain Walker by @whatsthepont

Over the last 2 years of the pandemic I spent a reasonable amount of time sitting around a fire pit (old dustbin) in the garden talking and telling stories with close family members (totally Covid rules compliant). I suspect a lot of people did this sort of thing. I’m wondering if the pandemic version of the tribal story circle has cemented a few new (and old) stories in family histories? We’ve got an explanation of how Wolves were domesticated with cheese & onion crisps (apparently), that will stick in my mind … but that’s another story.


sackville attic painting by christopher pratt

Sackville Attic by Christopher Pratt (1935-2022). Image via @Canadian Paintings

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