Two e-essays for your consideration! The first is Models All The Way Down by Christo Buschek and Jer Thorp. It’s all about LAION-5B and the enormous corpus of questionable data that’s used to train AI models under the hood. Here’s the kicker:

...how do you investigate something that takes lifetimes to look at?

Yes, wonderful, tell me everything. And do not stop.

One question I have for myself here is this: why do I love this format—where the atomic unit of an essay on the web isn’t a paragraph but the humble sentence—and yet completely loathe the LinkedIn-style sentence, sentence, even-tinier-sentence format? Perhaps it has everything to do with tone instead of structure. E-essays like Christo and Thorp’s are open-eyed and curious...

Here we find an important truth about LAION-5B:

It contains less about how humans see the world than it does about how search engines see the world. It is a dataset that is powerfully shaped by commercial logics.

A vast, half-baked intelligence based on SEO? Heck yeah!

Second, this time with less snark, I propose this “console log essay about love for computers”. Boot up your log and behold:

Agoraphobia is the anxiety, not of open spaces, but about the boundaries of spaces. Is this why I also try to write in different formats, always? Is this why I’m writing this essay for the console, creating a margin for the website, the vastless blank canvas by excellence? Is it why I keep looking for liminal openings, transitional spaces, where nothing is its final form?

Excellent, truly excellent.