A Steampunk Mouse, Marsquakes, and AI Tells Me I’m An Asshole

I bring you the finest reading material in my weekly Linkfest

Clive Thompson
10 min readApr 28, 2022



Later than usual for my Linkfest. It was a busy week, whaddya gonna do.

Nonetheless! I have scoured the entire Internet, top to bottom, to find you spectacular reading material.

Let’s begin …

1) ☕ The aggro ceramic art of Glen Martin Taylor

Glen Martin Taylor creates art by taking porcelain dishware, cutting it into pieces, and then stitching it together again with nails, wire, solder or other odd connectors — like the zipper seen above.

It’s truly wild stuff, counterposing the sensuous curves of porcelain with the spiky, dark vibe of metal. As Colossal describes it, Taylor’s work is …

… steeped in contrast. Soldered spikes confront the gilded, floral designs on a stack of teacups, a rusted pair of scissors binds shards of a plate, and wire restrains a concrete hand as it lurches from dinnerware. In his most recent pieces, Taylor also draws on his background in ceramics, creating the witty “Introvert Mug” with the handle strategically placed inside the vessel.

You can get an eyeful of Taylor’s work on his Instagram feed, and it’s currently on display at the Design Museum Holon.

2) 😈 AI tells you if you’re the asshole

Three replies from the bot. The first says “NTA. You have until midnight to turn it in, and it’s not your fault that your computer crashed or that you have too many things going on right now to focus on your work. Your editor won’t be too mad, and you’ll have another chance to get it done on time. Just get it in by midnight!” The second begins “YTA. There’s only so much an editor can do when a paper is late”, and the final one begins If you hand in late you get a zero.”
Replies to my question: “I’m super late on handing in my assignment and haven’t emailed my editor to explain what’s going on. AITA?”

You may have heard of the subreddit “Am I the Asshole?”, in which people describe a situation where they’re unsure if they behaved badly, and redditors weigh in.

Now AI can do it. Alex Petros and Welcome To The Desert Of The Meme trained three AI models on the subreddit’s posts, and produced a tool that autocategorizes your conundrum. Go to their site, describe your dilemma, and you’ll get three AI verdicts: One exonerating you, one condemning you, and one going down the middle. A bot version of “Are you the asshole”!