Breaking ChapGPT

It’s a thing, I’ve learned, people try to stymy the chatbot. I thought I did it yesterday. At the advice of Colin, who writes one of my favorite blogs, Bon Repos Gites, I asked the bot to write some love letters. Then Colin suggested he’d asked it to write Valentines in particular forms — heavy metal song and public service announcement. I loved that idea so I asked it to write one in the style of 80 hardcore punk music. It “broke” three times. It couldn’t — or wouldn’t — write them. I was proud of myself, as, it seems, are all the people who “break” it. This morning I realized that the reason it “couldn’t” was because, to succeed at that task, it would have to violate some of its own rules against violence and obscenity. OH well.

What’s my fascination with punk? Maybe something similar to my fascination with ChatGPT et al. A lot of the society in which we live is built on lies and beliefs. Maybe we don’t examine them because, if we did, we’re afraid we’d break or reveal ourselves to ourselves for what we are. Possibly we don’t even know what we are. Popular music, politics, religious beliefs, magazines, the Internet, highways, cities — I would say everything humans create — all are mirrors. Whatever we do, we create images of ourselves, our desires, our culture. We can’t do anything else, and, if we could, it would be really weird. Punk is a mirror revealing our hypocrisy.

Punk — some punk not all (some Punk is just pop with an edge) — throws the ugly image up there in an often humorous way. Dark but truthful humor. It’s a break from saccharine love songs and all the rest of pop music. It has political beliefs, too, and over time became a fashion more than anything else and the fashion includes the Mohawk.

Back in the 80s was a — IMO — great cartoonist, Lynda Barry, and her cartoon parodying the parody that is punk is still one of my all time favorites.

My favorite 80s punk band is Dead Kennedys not only because someday I’ll be one, but because their songs are (IMO) funny. Their version of “Viva Las Vegas” is hilarious. Their political stance is in harmony with mine (“Nazi Punks Fuck Off”). Social commentary right on point (“Kill the Poor”). It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m refraining from dropping a video in here. Just remember: ChatGPT wouldn’t write in that language.

In other news, be careful what you wish for. You might get a legit blizzard. Seriously. We are having the most formidable snow I’ve seen since I moved here 8+ years ago. It’s not particularly cold right now so the flakes are pretty big, but the wind is fierce and the snow is blowing like a MOFO. Tonight will be in the negative digits F and, obviously, C. Tomorrow the sun will be out again. I don’t think even Bear and I will venture out until tomorrow but maybe just me on my skis, though I hate to speak that outloud (is this outloud?). Great Sand Dunes National Park is closed because of the blizzard.

20 thoughts on “Breaking ChapGPT

      • I have lost patients and people in the community: heroin, fentenyl and benzodiazepines, oh, and alcohol too.

        • Oh alcohol — my therapist said it better than anyone ever re: my brother. “Heroin is better. People die sooner. Alcohol? Years and years and years they suffer the family suffers and it’s legal. How long has it been for you and your brother?”

          “Since he was 19.”

          “How old is he now?”


          Better, of course, is a relative (no pun) term. My therapist was French and had a very lovely, dark, Gallic sense of humor. I got to work with families of addicts in the early 2010s. I don’t know if I did any good because NO co-dependent person wants to see what is in front of them. God knows I didn’t. The person who ran the program was a former junky, an amazing, amazing, talented brilliant man who lived in Tijuana and worked with people helping them through Ibogaine treatment which had helped him. I had a student who’d gone through that program. It’s not for everyone, but it saved my student’s life. Godnose…. It breaks my heart. This friend was the only person I ever met who understood what I understood from watching my brother — it’s a battle for one’s soul. I think my brother understood that, but he couldn’t win. 💔

    • There was a lot of power in the Straight Edge movement of the early 90s. Henry Rollins etc. I think that had a lot to do with the kids I hung out with keeping their shit together.

  1. It rained here night before last — not much, but enough that the streets were wet yesterday morning, and it looked like possible rain all day long — that must be what is hitting you today! Today is beautifully sunny, but cold (especially with the gas turned off, no heat or hot water until a leak can be fixed!)

  2. Lynda Barry is still around. I thought of her as being from the Pacific Northwest. I knew she and Matt Groening were in college together in Olympia WA, but I just found out she grew up near me. She is currently an Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin and is a MacArthur Fellow (AKA Genius Grant recipient). It is rather amazing, the extent to which we are run by beliefs. This raises the question: do we have beliefs, or do beliefs have us? “Breaking the chatbot” was addressed by Firesign Theatre in 1971 with “I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus”. The character Clem breaks the AI President by speaking to it in its programming language and hacking into its system, finally asking it a question it can’t answer.

    • Yeah, that version would write my hardcore punk valentine (and worse…) I had a “talk” with ChatGPT about its rules when I first started playing with it, and I support its rules.

  3. That cartoon is hilarious.
    Whoa, that snow! Will you have to dig yourself out? Naturally I think the worst like why doesn’t every house have a steeply pitched roof? I am totally dark inside, Martha, but occasionally it is nice to light a small candle. People don’t need to see that so I live with my hypocrisy.
    Send Bear out. She is good at digging.

    • We got about 8 inches — I spent quite a while shoveling the walks which I enjoy so that was fine. The dogs didn’t even want to come in and barely did. Now they’re both sound asleep. I’m not dark inside, but I am angry in there, recognizing the futility of THAT which explains me and punk. I don’t see you as all that hypocritical, Tracy — unlike a lot of people you find a task that fits your hands and commit to it. It’s all we can do. ❤️🌱

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